This page kindly provided by Tom Shoemaker.
The two images below were supplied to me by Mr. Luigi Di Stefano, a technician working for the Italian Court currently investigating the destruction and crash of an Itavia DC-9-15 on June 27, 1980. Mr. Di Stefano has been working on this analysis for the past nine years. The investigation continues to be active and ongoing at this time, more than a decade and a half after the accident.An article describing and showing some of his work on this investigation appears elsewhere within TWA 800 CASE FILES.
The image above illustrates Mr. Di Stefano's conclusion that the Itavia DC-9 was struck by two missiles of the Semi-Active Radar Homing type. Many believe these missiles were fired by either American or French aircraft as they intercepted and attempted to destroy a Libyan aircraft. Artistic representation of the missiles in this graphic should not be taken as an identification of the type of missiles which actually struck the DC-9.
The graphic below illustrates the angles at which the missiles approached and entered the DC-9, relative to both a side view and top view of the aircraft. Again, please note Mr. Di Stefano's advisory to not infer that the investigators of this disaster believe the missiles shown were the types which destroyed the aircraft. It does appear from the angles of approach by missiles to accomplish damage consistent to that shown by the wreckage mock-up and also by other means that missiles of the Semi Active Radar Homing (SARH) type were involved. The Sidewinder AIM-9L employs an Infra Red (IR) seeker. The great sensitivity of its seeker allows it to be launched at targets from straight ahead of the target if necessary, although a great many people believe that IR-guided missiles would have to always approach the target from a direction to the rear of the target's engine exhausts.
PUNCTURE CLOSE-UP VIEW
SMALL PUNCTURE DAMAGE
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