Re: False Claim, another

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 12:08:17 -0500

Ian Goddard wrote:

> At 09:03 AM 2/26/99 -0500, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> >Commander Donaldson may be a fine pilot. He is not skilled at all as a jet
> >mechanic. I am.
> IAN: Oh? Donaldson was the maintenance officer
> of a Navy jet squadron and a graduate of crash
> analysis training from the Naval Post Graduate
> School. His first crash investigation was of
> an accidental shoot down of a Navy A4 in 1977
> (

Now I know this is HOOEY. Maintenance officers know nothing. They are glorified pencil pushers, paper shufflers, and operations managers. They know NOTHING about the actual nuts and bolts of the planes. Good ones might know where things are on a plane, maybe even what they do, etc. but I have NEVER seen a maintenance officer get his hands dirty on a real plane, and they never get regular, real time experience of on the spot flightline or inspection depot operations. All they see is reports, data streams, schedules, regulations, etc

I would put ONE flight line or inspection dock NCO up against several DOZEN 'maintenance officers' in any crash analysis board. The Post Grad School for crash analysis doesn't go anywhere near the real nuts and bolts of the planes, it deals with scene management, trajectory analysis, rules of evidence, etc.

> >> IAN: Mike, jet fuel is not explosive at temps
> >> below (I believe around) 165 degrees. Commander
> >> Donaldson has shown that you can put out a
> >> cigarette in Jet A-1 fuel.
> >
> >There is no such thing as Jet A-1 fuel. There is A-1, A-2 and A-3 fuel,
> all are
> >aviation rated. Jet fuels are J-1 thru J-6. Please get your nomenclature
> >straight. It is true you can drop a lit cigarette in any J class fuel AT ROOM
> >TEMPERATURE without triggering ignition.
> IAN: Even above room temperature.

Even at 110 to 120 degrees, LIQUID fuel is not flammable via ignition with a cigarette. It is, however, flammable with a lit match or an electrical spark. The cigarette 'tale' is frequntly bandied about on flight lines, usually up until some dope drops a generator cart power cable into a puddle of fuel......

> >However, an electrical arc is much
> >higher temperature than a cigarette, as it is a plasma, especially an
> >electrical arc triggering an explosion of kapton insulation, which would not
> >only add high temperature, but high compression from the small blast shock
> wave
> >to provide conditions similar to that inside the combustion chamber of a jet
> >engine. Not to mention the fact that I have all along been talking about jet
> >fuel FUMES, which are highly flammable at even room temperature, given the
> >proper ignition. There is a significant difference between liquid fuel and
> >fumes, which you can't seem to grasp.
> IAN: You just spoke of drops of the fuel
> leaking out and being ignited, not fumes.
> Donaldson does a lot of tests with jet
> fuel, where he attempt to explode the
> fuel and the fumes, and gets little
> in the way of impressive results.
> He has these tests on video tape.

A small leak in a tank, depending on where it is at, may spray mixed fumes, or an atomized spray of fuel (which is sufficient for ignition, just try it with an aerosol can and a lighter), or a mixture of both.

   Michael Lorrey, President
                        Lorrey Systems
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