It was thirty-eight years ago today that three pilots worked together to safely land a badly damaged aircraft after an unprecedented dive and recovery. The investigation that followed would eventually end with the NSTB blaming the crew for the initial upset. The theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB have since been challenged in official petitions for reconsideration. The NTSB, however, continues to support the conclusions of the original investigators despite overwhelming evidence that points to another cause. Eight months ago the narrative on TWA 841 began to change with the release of Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption.
Aviation enthusiasts, current and retired pilots and accident investigators, and fans of nonfiction narratives can now decide for themselves whether or not the official probable cause is correct or not. There is also strong evidence to suggest that the failures that led to the TWA 841 upset may have also played a roll in a string of rollover accidents in the 1990s, including United Flight 585 and USAir Flight 427.
The captain of TWA 841, Hoot Gibson, has since passed away. He never got the chance to read the manuscript that would convince many that the NTSB got it wrong. Scott and Gary continue to deny any crew action that might have led to the upset. Today, on this 38th anniversary of TWA 841, I’m pleased to say that the book Scapegoat is currently the number three eBook in its category. The word is spreading. Hopefully, the crew of TWA 841 will be cleared of any wrongdoing, if not by the NTSB, then at least in public opinion.