Useless crash speculation

All the networks always say that they will wait until they have more information before speculating on the cause of a palne crash, then they trot out their usual aviation experts who go about detailing their crash scenario. Well, with the wealth of aviation experience on the board, we ought to be able to do come up with some ideas of our own.

I really can’t come up with a way to explain the wreckage sites. Engine pylon separation has occured in at least two accidents where the damage was severe enough to result in the loss of the aircraft. (AA DC-10 in Chicago and an El Al 747 in Amsterdam) OTOH, was engine separation a triggering event in this case or part of an inflight break-up after loss of the rudder, most of which was found in one piece (less control surface) furthest from the crash site? How does a separating engine move inward and to the rear to hit the rudder when the ballistic motion of the pylon should be along the same direction of the aircraft? Speculation, please.

Hard to imagine that, unless there was a defect in an engine mount part or pylon attachment as there was in the '79 ORD DC-10 crash.

'Cause the engine’s net thrust goes from positive to negative (high drag) as soon as the fuel stops and the flame goes out. If the forward mount breaks loose first, the whole engine/nacelle combination rotates about the aft mount, with the inlet pointing down. If the aft mount then breaks, it all shoots aft, and could conceivably hit the rudder.

But I suspect the rudder broke off after the breakup, when the hinges were stressed beyond design ultimate-load limits. It landed furthest away from the crash site because it’s very light for its size and simply fluttered some distance away as it fell (from 2800 feet, I think). My vote is for a mount system failure at a location where the wing structure was torn, causing a fire and separation of the wing, etc. - just like the AA DC-10 and El Al 747.

“How many crash investigators does it take to change a light bulb?”
“It’s too early to speculate on that at this time.”

There must have been a fairly complex failure. Engine pylons have failed before and were contributors to crashes but not in the “engine fell off and plane stopped flying” manner. In both the AA crash and the El Al trip, the aircraft remained controllable (marginally in the case of El Al, that crew would have had their hands full; a DC-10 Capt I talked to about the AA crash said the plane in that case was very flyable, the book on how to do it was wrong and the crew didn’t have time to figure it out). Hard to believe a pylon failure would result in a wing failure and almost instant loss of an aircraft.

Apparently the NTSB was worried about the possibility of the GE engine model used on the A300 failing. Engine failure leading to a fuel tank explosion followed by breakup of the aircraft? Seems a more likely scenario. Engines do blow, but I don’t remember a case where the engine failure almost instantly resulted in wing/aircraft structural failure. Is it a dreaded “design flaw” in the Airbus and its wing and fuel tank design? One of those things that doesn’t show up until late in the aircraft’s life?

For the pylon failures, opinions are from these reports:
AA191 crash info

El Al 1862 crash

An uncontained engine failure could damage the leading edge of the wing, puncture the fuel tank, or damage the hydraulics.

This quote was in today’s Dallas Morning News.