- 1999 OCT 07 -


99-10-07          0700    Morning routine. 

In the afternoon, I had a short conversation with John GARSTANG.  He has not yet had a chance to meet with Larry VANCE over the Zurich trip, so has sent him an email to discuss the matter.  He also advised that last night, he, Vic GERDEN, and Dr. BROWN had a conference call regarding the AES of the wires.  Dr. BROWN apparently has reviewed his notes on the aircraft wires and his findings are still the same.  He has high magnesium at depth in the wires, totally out of proportion to the level of magnesium in the aluminium.  At these levels, he does not have aluminium as would be expected.  He also feels that the magnesium is not from post crash sources (the sea water, etc.) because there are no other elements present that one would expect to find related to those sources i.e. Sodium, Calcium, etc.  In short, on reviewing his notes, he is finding the same results as he indicated during the last week of the testing which resulted in my memo to Insp. LATHEM.  Nothing appears to have changed.  But in addition, John indicated that Gus SIDLA is against continuing with the AES, as it is taking too long, and the results that they expected appear to be clouded.  Dr. BROWN is not concentrating on Oxygen & Carbon levels but is doing too much other work (SIDLA’s opinion) that tends to lead away from the initial requirement of the examination.  In other words, Jim FOOT & Gus SIDLA wanted the test to determine the initiating wire, keeping in mind that in their view the cause of the fire was electrical.  The tests are not showing this, so Gus feels that the tests should be dropped.  This rather looks as if they want the physical evidence to fit the theory rather than letting the physical evidence tell its own story.  My thought is that should TSB drop further AES testing, then we should carry on with the tests ourselves.  At this time, it appears that they are carrying on with the tests.

John GARSTANG also advised that he was sitting in on another conference call over the Air Flow tests.  Swissair is still trying to arrange for the license to fly the test flight in Switzerland, but it may end up in Phoenix, Arizona.      



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