A number stamped on aircraft wreckage found behind the “Ground Zero mosque” probably can’t be traced to a specific plane used in the 9/11 attacks, aviation parts experts said today.
The number — BOEING CSTG 65B84045 — is a casting number that isn’t unique to the part or to the aircraft it came from, said Alan Lery of Turbo Resources International, Inc., an Arizona aircraft parts reseller.
It’s possible a number of parts on the mechanism have the same designation, said Lery.
“Sometimes the airlines track every single part number that comes with the plane, but not likely this,” he said.
Another expert, Chuck Horning of Embry-Riddle Aviation University in Florida, agreed that the number can’t be traced.
“I would think that it will be difficult to determine specifically which aircraft the assembly came from,” said Horning, chairman of the university’s aircraft maintenance science department.
“Being that both aircraft [in the World Trade Center attacks] were B767-200, they both likely had components with the same casting number,” he added.
A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment on the part today but said the company will aid the police and National Transportation Safety Board probe of the matter.
Lery said the “65B” designation in the casting number suggests that the part indeed came from a landing gear, as police believe. But he said experts will need to inspect the mechanism to be sure.
He also said it’s possible there’s more identifying information elsewhere on the mechanism that investigators have not seen yet.
Surveyors working for the developer of the controversial Muslim cultural center at 51 Park Place found the part found Wednesday in an 18-inch space behind the building.
While police believe the mechanism has been hidden behind 51 Park Place all 11 years since the 9/11 attack, they’re also investigating evidence it might have been placed there afterward.
One mystery is how a rope became entwined in the mechanism.
Police were guarding the site today, but investigators aren’t expected to return to the scene until next week.