Maybe the Crash of Flight 93 Isn't So Strange After All?
On March 17, 1960, Northwest Airlines flight 710 left Minneapolis-St. Paul on schedule. It made a scheduled 1/2 hour stop at Chicago and took-off again for the warmth of Miami. On board were 33 men, 23 women, and one baby riding as passengers, along with six crew members. At about 1pm, the 63 people were cruising above a cloud layer at 18,000 feet over Tell City, Indiana.Definitely this crash has significant similarities with flight 93; the major difference is that flight 93 had its wings. I think the wings might have slowed down the telescoping effect somewhat for flight 93. Flight 710 fell from the sky after the wings broke off, while flight 93 was supposedly crashed on purpose by the terrorists. Both planes were going similar speeds. Flight 93 supposedly crashed at a 45 degree angle, flight 710 appears to have gone in at a 90 degree angle.
Then something happened.
Witnesses on the ground heard tearing sounds in the sky. They looked up and saw the thick fuselage of the Electra emerging from the clouds. The entire right wing was missing, and only a stub of the left wing remained attached to the Electra.
The airliner seemed to float for a while, defying the laws of gravity. But then it dipped, diving straight down toward the ground, trailing white smoke and pieces of aircraft. The 63 people entombed in the fuselage struck the muddy ground, vertically, at 618 miles per hour.
All 63 people on board were killed, but there were no bodies- and hardly any aircraft wreckage! The tremendous velocity of the aircraft caused the Electra to telescope when it struck the earth. It created a 60 foot deep crater. Rescuers found nothing at the site of impact larger than a spoon.
According to Jere Longman's "Among the Heroes", the nose of flight 93 smashed to bits and scattered before the rest of the plane went into the ground, which always seems odd to me. I think if the front broke off and the plane was going at a 45 degree angle, this would tend to inhibit the rest of the plane from going straight into the ground. But in any case, the main point here is that prior to flight 93, there was another plane crash where the plane essentially burrowed into the ground leaving very little visible debris. Thus, a precedent.
This hardly means flight 93 wasn't shot down or anything else weird, just that the crater itself may not be incredibly unusual.
UPDATE: this description I found online of the flight 710 crash is not accurate. There actaully was major pieces of debris sticking out of the ground where flight 710 crashed, such as the tail.* So, this leaves the flight 93 crash suspiciously unique.
*See page 5 of this official crash report.