Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

FLIGHT 800: TRAGEDY'S AFTERMATH

The Missile Question

July 20, 1996

Could a missile have shot down Flight 800? Experts who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press said is is highly unlikely. "At the altitude we've been given, the probability is nil," one said. However, the experts did agree that among a dozen or so portable antiaircraft missiles in existence, only two--the U.S.-made Stinger and a close Russian copy, the SA-14 Gremlin--would have been capable of downing the plane. The Stinger's range, officially classified, is said by a Pentagon fact sheet to be "more than 3 kilometers," or 1.9 miles. The Gremlin has similar capabilities.

That ruled out any chance that a missile fired from shore hit the jetliner, which was 10 miles out and 13,700 feet, or 2.6 miles up, the spokesmen agreed. Even if fired directly upward from a boat, the missile would be at the outer edge of its range. "I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it would be like throwing a rock at a duck," said a senior Army source.

Warning to Lawyers

The New York State Bar Association warned lawyers Friday against soliciting work from families of the victims of the TWA jumbo jet that exploded off Long Island. M. Catherine Richardson of Syracuse, president of the 60,000-member legal group, issued a statement reminding the state's lawyers that they are prohibited from soliciting business when they have reason to believe the mental or emotional state of a potential client is compromised.

"Out of respect for the family members of Flight 800 at a time of unimaginable shock and horror, all lawyers should at this time avoid even the appearance of soliciting a client from this catastrophe," she said.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|