Thu, Mar 20, 2003
The National Transportation Safety Board has
released the following update on its investigation of the November
12, 2001, crash of American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus
A300-600, in Belle Harbor, New York, which resulted in the deaths
of all 260 persons aboard and 5 persons on the ground:
The Safety Board held a public investigative hearing on this
accident during the week of October 29, 2002. Twenty-one witnesses
presented testimony during the 4-day hearing. Transcripts of the
testimony, as well as exhibits presented at the hearing, are
available on the Board's website.
Subsequent Investigative Work
All investigative groups are continuing their work in
preparation for the drafting of a final report. Highlights:
Systems Group is using data from a ground test to estimate pedal
forces that were used by the pilots in the accident aircraft. Also,
it has prepared the autopilot actuator and yaw damper actuator from
the accident aircraft for CAT scans and teardown, to be conducted
- The Human Performance Group and the Operations Group visited
the American Airlines training facility in Dallas. Simulator
instructors who trained flight 587's first officer (presumed to be
the flying pilot) were interviewed to experience and evaluate the
simulator excessive bank training they provided, which was
discussed at length during the hearing. The groups also evaluated
an Upset Recovery Training Ground School and Flight Training
program using small, twin-engine aircraft to compare actual
airplane training with simulator training.
Structures Group is working with NASA and Airbus to arrange a
static lug test to be conducted in Hamburg, Germany this spring.
The left-side rear main attachment lug from an A310 tail fin box
panel will be tested to demonstrate the behavior of the lug under
tensile load conditions to which the fin of flight 587 had been
exposed during the accident sequence.
- The Aircraft Performance Group continues to evaluate simulator
data to validate the "Loads Module" used to compute
aerodynamic load calculations for the accident aircraft.
Until the completion of the on-going work, a schedule for
release of a final report cannot be estimated.
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