- 2000 MAR 21 -


00-03-21          0700    Morning routine.  .. 

            A message was received from Sandro SIRIU advising that they have no pieces of magnesium in their facilities.  So contacted John GARSTANG and asked him about the rudder pedal on the floor.  There are three out there, and he agreed that one could be used.  He suggested using the most decayed piece, as the others are heavily painted and for that reason have not decayed.  The three are Exh #s #1-10877, #1-10878, & #1-6657.  Exh #1-10877 was selected for the test.  It was noted that there is a steel rod through the centre of the pedal, but the magnesium is so corroded to it that it is impossible to remove it.  To cut it out would destroy the integrity of the unit.  Photos were taken of the three items, and of the selected unit, both 35 mm (hangar roll #027) and digital.

            Had a conversation with John GARSTANG about exhibits for lab exam.  I reminded him of the report on the insulation blanket test burns that he had provided me just prior to the AES-IV trip.  I told him that I did not see any of the residues that the report mentions, but that I wanted to test some of the pieces specifically for that, and to have some pieces for AES testing.  He also wants some of the insulation blankets as he intends to have the FAA do a burn test.  So, we will have to get together on that. 

            We also discussed aluminium pieces for the AES testing.  He reminded me that the frame material is 7075 type aluminium, and the skin is 2024 type.

            He also mentioned that MICROTRACE has provided an initial crystal melt temperature of 117 deg C. for the cockpit headliner material.  Due to the data on the CVR, it would indicate that the melt through in the cockpit did not occur until the very end of the recording, six minutes prior to the crash.  However, the melt point is so low in contrast to the amount of damage in the area that this damage must have occurred late, just prior to the crash.

            As for the final burn test of the insulation blankets, the FAA have only a straight hull area, and nothing to compare to the nose section of the MD-11.  He again mentioned that there is a hull available in Buenos Aires, but that it will have to be purchased.  He has put it forward to the TSB and to the FAA, but so far no one seems to be willing to spend the money.



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