Images from the Second Radar Tape.

These are frames from the JFK radar tape obtained by Paris Match and published in the March 20th issue of their magazine. Since these radar images are from a taxpayer paid for installation, they are in the public domain. The captions from Paris Match (a loose translation I will grant you) are in italics. The other comments are my own.


[Radar Frame 1]Click to download.

00 h 30 min 45 s: All goes well. Flight TWA 800 is at 13,300 feet. Unusually low because of the US Air flight.

A noticeably different data display than the first video, this one shows the 747 at flight level 133, or 13,300 MSL. Note the two non-transpondered targets in the red and yellow circles. The red circle appears to be the USAir flight headed for Rhode Island. Something has triggered a "Low altitude / Close approach alarm", similar to the one in the first radar video.

The barometric reading is set to 29.92, the average barometric reading. Aircraft flying above 18000 feet in the U.S. and Canada all use this setting to ensure that everyone's altimeters read the same.


[Radar Frame 2]Click to download.

00 h 31 min 16 s: One second Before the tragedy.

31 seconds later, TWA flight 800 has climbed to flight level 137 or 13,700 MSL. The non-transpondered targets, the yellow circle moving southwest and the red circle moving northeast, are abeam of each other. If they are at the same altitude, they are dangerously close. The LA/CA alert is still on screen.


[Radar Frame 3]Click to download.

00 h 31 min 17 s: There appeared the signal CST ("coast") which shows that the equipment was not transmitting anything anymore.

One second later. Note the data block for TWA 800 has changed, with the altitude gone and the letters "CST" in their place. The altitude data, supplied by the transponder aboard flight 800, is no longer being returned in response to the radar signal.


[Radar Frame 4]Click to download.

00 h 31 min 34 s: The controller, after having put his cursor on the US Air flight, in order to bring up the identification 2237, asked the identification of the P-3 Orion which moved without giving it.

Seventeen seconds later. The red circle traffic has now been identified and matches the transponder ID of the USAir flight seen in the other video. It's data block shows an altitude of flight level 214, or 21,400 MSL.

Flight 800 still shows "CST" instead of the altitude readout.

The traffic in the yellow circle is the Navy P-3 which refuses to identify itself to the air traffic controller.



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