I saw a report on CNN a couple of weeks ago on TWA 800 and was surprised at how little technical information was presented in support of the investigators findings. The investigator had little to no electrical experience from what i could tell and came upon the conclusion that a spark ocurred in the auxiliary fuel tank.
They said that high voltage lines powering the lights run close to the low voltage fuel guage wires and because wires on a plane of this age have been known to crack they could have shorted together.
A couple of questions come to mind.
First, if these wires did short, why would a spark occur at the guage in the tank? Sparks usually occur where the short is.
They never attempted to explain schematically or otherwise any mechanism to explain their theory.
Secondly, what data gets recorded in the black box? They said all data looked normal. Does the fuel level of the auxiliary tank get recorded? If so, and a high voltage wire came in contact with the fuel guage wire, wouldn't the fuel level reading have jumped just before the spark?
I haven't had time to do much reasearch on the discussions contained in this website do forgive me if these questions have been covered before.