Heads Up

A Weekly edition of News from around our country

November 30, 1997
Issue #61

by: Doug Fiedor

Previous Editions at: http://mmc.cns.net/headsup.html


Friday, December 5 is the day it's scheduled. That's the day Americans coast to coast "Strike for Liberty." So says Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center (www.americanpolicy.org).

"The American Policy Center has called for a 'Strike For Liberty' to send a loud and clear message to the United States Senate against the Climate Change Protocol. The Strike has been called for December 5, 1997. The date was picked, not to stop Clinton from going to Kyoto, Japan, but to utilize the massive world media attention that will be focused on the treaty signing."

"The Climate Change Protocol will affect every American through higher taxes, higher fuel bills, higher living expenses, higher goods and services and shortages of modern day living necessities, including medicine. It will force many businesses to leave this nation, thereby depleting jobs. Truckers will be affected by higher fuel costs and fewer products to haul. Farmers will be affected by severe restrictions on pesticides needed to grow crops. Industries directly affected will be the auto industry, oil refinery, aluminum production, cement production, chemical manufacturing, paper manufacturing and steel production."

And, it's all foolishness, anyway. The so called "global warming" scam is based on bad science and perpetrated by far-left control freak organizations that, for some reason, seem to be against human existence on this planet.

DeWeese said that, "If Bill Clinton and his social-planning buddies want to shut down the United States of America, which is what this treaty will do -- then I propose that for one hour, we help him shut down the nation."

So, the nationwide "Strike for Liberty" was called to let all of us -- office workers, factory workers, truckers, farmers, police officers, sales people, teachers, construction workers, and everyone else across the country -- shut everything down for an hour (or more) and make some noise. Because, in a nutshell, folks, if we do not do something to support our own liberty, who do we expect will?

The American Policy Center reports that Strike for Liberty activities are planned for 27 states to date -- all spontaneous. "We're not telling anyone what they should do -- but we're urging Americans to do something," DeWeese reports. "I'm getting indications that this is developing into something really big."

If nothing is scheduled locally, many plan to publicly "Strike" from noon till 1 p.m., on their lunch hour.

"There's no evidence whatsoever to support the claims made to justify the treaty requirements," says DeWeese. "The bottom line is, there is no credible scientific evidence or findings of global warming. Yet the administration is bombarding the airwaves saying we have to support the treaty against this supposed threat."

So, truckers, park those rigs somewhere symbolic for an hour. Factory and office workers, it's lunch time anyway, so go out and make some noise. All drivers should turn on their headlights, and beep the horn in favor of anyone you see "Striking." Farmers, let's get those tractors out onto the highways at 25 MPH (or stalled). And everyone, find some red white and blue to wear for the day.

Who's to say that we can't "Strike" and have fun with it too? Yes, this is a serious protest. But, it's a peaceful protest to show that Americans are fed up with all this eco-wacko stuff they're constantly trying to shove down our throats.

So spread the word. Talk it up with family, friends and co-workers. Some (hundreds?) radio talk-show hosts say that they will play the Star Spangled Banner. That is to be the signal, a reminder, for Americans to flood Capitol Hill and the White House with phone calls to protest the signing of the United Nations Climate Change Protocol in Kyoto, Japan. Faxes and letters are definitely appropriate too.

And, folks, just a thought here, but isn't it time that we start registering our complaint directly with the United Nations officials in New York City too?

Regardless, it's time to bring this eco-wacko foolishness to a screeching halt.


The Democratic Party has found itself in a bit of a quandary. Originally, Clinton, Clinton & Gore budgeted $2-million in campaign funds for the legal problems they expected when they got caught for the campaign fund shenanigans. As it turns out, $2-million wasn't nearly enough.

The Democratic Party already returned about $2-million in illegal campaign contributions, and there's still more to be returned. On top of that, they ran up $11-million in legal bills just this year alone. But their problems are far from over.

That $11-million, they say, was necessary to defend the party in investigations looking into their illegal fund raising practices. Democratic National Committee chairman Roy Romer now reports that the money is not coming in fast enough, and he expects the party could be as much as $12-million in debt by the end of the year.

Of course, Romer blames the Republicans for the problem. He says the House and Senate committees investigating illegal fund-raising are actually trying to bankrupt his party by inundating it with dozens of subpoenas. "I believe there was a concerted strategy on the part of the investigatory committees in the House and Senate just to use our resources up so that we would not be competitive in the election process," Romer complained.

But, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) quickly put it all into proper perspective: "Much of the legal costs faced by the Democrats over questions of misconduct in fund raising is the result of resistance," Burton said. "Expensive attorneys are not needed by those willing to cooperate and tell the truth."

Burton was exactly correct. Because, instead of just turning over the records when the subpoenas came, the Democrats hired a legal team of 34 lawyers and paralegals to censor the material first. And, of course, these are high-paid Washington, D.C. lawyers, the type who demand about $500 per hour.

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson said, "For DNC Chairman Roy Romer to try and blame their big legal problems on Congressional and criminal investigation activities is like blaming the doctor when he tells you that you have cancer. To finance the 1996 election, Bill Clinton and the Democrat Party sought illegal money on a grand scale, they spent illegal money on a grand scale and they had to return illegal money on a grand scale. Now they're paying legal bills on a grand scale and they're trying to blame us for it and that dog won't hunt.

"The Democrat Party is on financial life support and their IV unit is connected to the Washington big union bosses. As we saw this month with the defeat of 'fast-track' trade legislation in Congress, for every dollar that the DNC sinks deeper into debt, the union bosses' power in the Democrat Party grows."

This is all true, as far as it goes. But there is also a bit more to this story that the inside the Beltway crowd does not yet realize.

Part of the problem is that the Democratic Party is dying, and has been for quite some time. The Democrat presidents elected within the last 50 years effectively destroyed the party.

For instance, FDR showed us that when a Democrat stays around too long, he tries to make this a socialist nation. After FDR, we passed a Constitutional Amendment to insure no president can run more than twice. JFK brought his brother into the cabinet, which caused another big mess. More laws were passed to bar that happening again. Then came Johnson, who got rich while in office by insuring that his wife and family got a whole slew of sweetheart deals.

And, look what we have this time: Effectively, a co-presidency -- and another first class mess in the White House.

Today, officials are afraid to state the obvious. Kenneth Starr has more than enough information to indict. So does the FBI and the Justice Department. Both the Senate and House committees have seen the memos, and have plenty of information to accuse. Yet, no one says anything.

Why? Because, most roads lead directly to Hillary. But, no one wants to publicly accuse Hillary. In fact, any time her name comes up in an investigation, that leg of the investigation is stopped dead.

Sure, Bill Clinton is involved in it all, too. So is Al Gore. But that's not the point. Whole investigations are halted simply because she is involved. The problem is, people outside the Beltway are starting to notice. Even though public officials in Washington are bending over backwards to keep this quiet, the American public are starting to connect the dots. And one thing the public is learning: A co-presidency is bad.

Then there's the socialism. The Democrats (and some Republicans) support a strong central government; a government that intends to regulate everything in human existence from womb to tomb. And, to put it simply, Americans are fed up with that.

The Democratic Party is mortally wounded. It is about to die a slow agonizing death. And if the Republicans do not start supporting liberty and the individual freedom of the citizen, their party will soon meet the same fate. Because, Americans are getting disgusted with this oppressive mess we call a federal government; and one way or another, changes will be made.


We at Heads Up know next to nothing about commercial aircraft, or the actual cause of (many) aircraft crashes. But, like many others, I had my own favored scenario (of the many available) on the TWA Flight 800 demise.

This, however, is not a conspiracy oriented publication. So, due to the lack of anything resembling evidence, I kept my personal opinion out of here. I did, however, ask many questions of people involved in the aircraft industry. And one very experienced expert agreed to put his thoughts on the crash into words for Heads Up readers.

First, if I may, let's introduce our expert:

David Buck is a retired U.S. Air Force Major with over 4000 hours in the B-52. A good part of his Air Force experience included using the B-52 for that which it was intended: war. He was also an instructor pilot in the B-52, and is currently a commercial airline captain with over 10,000 hours of total flying time.

David Buck has a B.S. in mathematics and physics from Augusta College in Augusta, Georgia. He also holds an M.S. in Aeronautical Science (MAS) and an MBA in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. While matriculating for his MAS, he received a grade of "A" in Boeing 747 systems.

Since 1984, David Buck has been an Adjunct Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Campus of Continuing Education. He teaches Aerodynamics, Aircraft Stability and Control, Boeing 757 and 767 systems, Aircraft Safety and Accident Investigation, and 16 other aviation related courses at the master's level.

David watched the animated presentation offered by the FBI and read many of the speculations I found floating around on the Internet. Having spent all of his adult life flying, and teaching about aircraft and flying, he is uniquely qualified to comment on this issue.

I might also add that I have known David for a number of years. Therefore, I can personally certify that he has no relationship to any government organization -- other than the hoops the FAA makes commercial airline pilots jump through to keep their licenses, that is. The opinion below is, therefore, strictly his own opinion, independently derived, and based on many years of professional experience.

There are two parts to this report: A discussion (at times rather technical) of the ability of the aircraft to "climb" after the explosion, and the potential cause of the actual explosion.

There seems to be quite a lot of speculation concerning the events surrounding the TWA Flight 800 crash. I, of course, was not near the crash site at any time. But, perhaps I can shine a little light on some aspects of the subject from my point of view.

First, let's examine the possibility of the 747 gaining altitude after the initial explosion which blew the nose off the aircraft.

Most airliners climb at 250-280 knots indicated air speed below 10,000 ft. Unless more speed is required for the safety of the flight, the FAA restricts aircraft to a maximum speed of 250 knots below 10,000 ft. At 10,000 ft., they accelerate to 320 knots indicated air speed. (1 knot = 1.15 mph) Therefore, 320 knots indicated air speed x 1.15 = 368 mph.

Airspeed has nothing to do with stall. According to Dr. Charles E. Dole -- B.S. in mechanical Engineering Drexel institute of technology, B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering US Navy Post graduate School, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering University of Minnesota, Ed.D. University of Southern California -- in his book "Flight Theory and Aerodynamics" pages 44 and 45, "Stall is the condition of airflow separation of the boundary layer from a lifting surface. It is characterized by a loss of lift and an increase in drag." Stall occurs at a single angle of attack, which depends on aircraft weight, air density, and maximum coefficient of lift. For these conditions, stall occurs at a particular airspeed. Dole's book is one of the books I have used to teach aerodynamics at the master's level.

Dole goes on to say that stall has to do with the angle of attack of the wing, not the speed of that aircraft. Because of weight, aircraft configuration -- i.e. gear up, gear down, flaps extended, etc. -- and altitude, the aircraft will stall at a specific angle of attack. For a commercial aircraft we don't even get what is called the shaker (a device which shakes the control column, the first warning of stall) until 15 degrees nose high or more. To get out of a severe wind sheer or microburst effect, we are taught to go to 15 degrees nose high, find the shaker, then lower the nose just out of shaker. And let me tell you, that is an uncomfortable high angle of attack. In the simulator, I have to really force myself to hold the aircraft in that high of an angle of attack.

Normally, the aerodynamic center of lift, or aerodynamic center, does not move with changes of the angle of attack. The aerodynamic center varies slightly, depending on airfoil shape. Subsonically, it is located between 23 and 27% of cord. (Chordline is a straight line connecting the leading edge of the wing and the trailing edge of the wing. Cord is the length of the cordline.)

For maximum stability, it is preferable that the center of gravity be ahead of the aerodynamic center of the aircraft. This is desirable in larger aircraft like airliners, bombers, and transport aircraft. But this does not necessarily have to be the case, and in fact is not, with many fighter aircraft or with the B-1 and the B-2 bombers.

During U.S. Air Force pilot training and after, we pilots were taught that if we were low to the ground and in trouble, we were to do what is called a "zoom" maneuver. The idea of this maneuver is to pull back on the stick or yoke and trim nose up to get the aircraft going up and the aircraft momentum moving in an upward direction. This maneuver, of course, trades airspeed for altitude, but keeps the momentum going up so the pilot can eject. As expected, this maneuver produces very high rates of climb. I have seen video of an F-4, starting a few feet above the ground, go straight up and the pilots eject safely. The maneuver saved many a life and also makes for good video to sell on TV.

If the nose was blown off of TWA Flight 800, the center of gravity would shift aft, toward or behind the aerodynamic center. The aircraft would then pitch up, in a zoom maneuver. The aircraft may be in an accelerated stall, but it will still go up very rapidly.

That is because, at that point in time in the aircraft's assent, the engines were at near full thrust. And, due to a series of built in safety devices on all hydraulic control circuits, known as hydraulic "fuses," all controls should have remained at their settings. All that changed, then, was the center of gravity, which would accentuate climb. And, yes, the aircraft will fly without the nose section. In fact, given enough thrust or velocity, we can even make a barn door fly.

I'm not sure, but 240 people on a 747 may not be a full load. I will try to find out how many people that type of 747 can carry. It seems to me that, depending on it's configuration (to carry cargo, etc.), the aircraft should be able to carry 380 to 420 people. Therefore, with only 240 passengers, the aircraft would have been light.

So, as we see, the aircraft was not in cruse flight at the time of the explosion, but in a climb. Hence, the engines would have been at near full thrust, and after the initial explosion, the aircraft could have had a very high rate of climb.

However, this is only speculation on my part. The only way to prove what happened is to use a 747 simulator -- or the aircraft similarly loaded and then remove the nose at the some point. Good luck.

With all that said, let's examine the fuel tank explosion:

In 1988 or 1989, a U.S. Air Force KC-135 (Boeing 707) exploded while in the traffic pattern on returning to Loring AFB, Maine after a night refueling training mission. The cause of the explosion was determined to be the copilot turning off the air refueling boost pumps in an empty fuel tank. As the Air Force investigation determined, the spark arresters on one of the boost pumps were improperly installed. The tail of the KC-135 was blown off, resulting in the destruction of the aircraft and the death of all on board.

The U. S. Air Force fuels its aircraft with a fuel called JP-4. Commercial airliners are fueled with a fuel called Jet-A. Basically, the fuels are both the same. They are a grade of kerosene (wide cut gasoline). This is a safer fuel than straight high-octane gasoline. A lighted match can be plunged into JP-4 or Jet-A without igniting either fuel.

The problem occurs when the fuel tank is empty, when the fuel boost pump is not covered with fuel, and (if) the spark arresters are improperly installed. The liquid fuel is not explosive, but an air-fuel vapor mixture is highly explosive. One small spark from a boost pump with no, or improperly installed, spark arresters and you have an explosion.

In the late 1970's or early 1980's, at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas, a B-52 aircraft exploded on the ground when two mechanics were testing fuel boost pumps they had just installed in an empty fuel tank. This resulted in adding a warning to the B-52 flight manual.

Incidentally, a "warning" in a U.S. Air Force flight manual means -- and I quote from the T.O. 1B-52G-1 -- "Operating procedure, technique, etc, which will result in personal injury or loss of life if not carefully followed." The warning says: "Do not operate or turn on or off fuel boost pumps in empty fuel tanks. This may result in a fire or an explosion."

Although B-52 and KC-135 aircraft are normally assigned to the same base, this warning did not appear in the KC-135 flight manual before the mishap at Loring AFB.

That empty tank on TWA Flight 800 would have had a fuel boost pump in it. The Flight Engineer could have inadvertently turned that boost pump on, mistaking it for another pump he wanted to place in the "on" position. The fuel boost pump switches are grouped together on the fuel control panel.

The Flight Engineer who was a passenger on board the aircraft was the roommate of a friend of mine. My friend, who was not on that aircraft, and his roommate, who was riding on the flight, had just been qualified in the 747 as flight engineers. Hearsay has it that the Flight Engineer who was operating the flight had also just recently qualified as a 747 flight engineer.

So, there you have it, folks. If this is not the complete story, then at least it is a plausible scenario. Unfortunately, there's still an "if" in there: As in "if" the spark arresters were missing, or "if" they were improperly installed. Maybe the NTSB investigation will tell us someday, but I wouldn't bet on it. In fairness, they may never even find all the parts.

Questions remaining: Why does the Air Force have a "warning" concerning operating fuel pumps in an empty tank, but not the FAA? And, how do we explain the eye witness reports of the TWA Flight 800 crash?

[We must add that the above text was edited for clarity. So, if there is some sort of slight technical error, it probably happened on this end.]

-- End --