Ian Goddard, <Ian@Goddard.net>, writes:
> The distance any object near the Earth will fall from
> rest in a vacuum in 29 seconds is 13,500 feet. However,
> the CIA proclaims that FLT800 fell from the apex of a
> dramatic climb (and thus from rest) 17,000 feet in only
> 29 seconds, and that's NOT in a vacuum! The CIA scenario
> violates Galileoian physical law by a very wide margin.
However, the plane was not a ballistic object and was not operating in a vacuum. Air can accelerate a plane downward as well as upward. Anyone who has flow in rough weather has felt the flutter in the stomach as the plane is occasionally blown downward, and it is not unusual to hear of meals and flight attendants being thrown to the ceiling. A plane which noses over will also accelerate downward. So there is no inherent contradiction in saying that a crashing plane descended faster than would an object released from rest in a vacuum.
If the report actually has the plane falling 17,000 feet in 29 seconds, that is 400 MPH straight down, which would be pretty hard to do. Most of an airplane is relatively lightweight metal, so it would not have a high terminal velocity if it falls without power. You'd almost need to fly at high throttle straight towards the ground to maintain a descent of 400 MPH, I'd think.
I don't know to what extent this 400 MPH speed is an accurate description of the CIA's scenario for the Flight 800 crash.