American Airlines Flight 587
Overview
 
American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

, crashed into the Belle Harbor
Belle Harbor, Queens
Belle Harbor is an upscale neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is a tightly-knit, upper class community located on the western half of the Rockaway Peninsula, the southernmost area of the borough. While there are no formal boundaries for the area, Belle Harbor is often used to...

 neighborhood of Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, a borough
Borough (New York City)
New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, is composed of five boroughs. Each borough now has the same boundaries as the county it is in. County governments were dissolved when the city consolidated in 1898, along with all city, town, and village governments within each county...

 of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

 on November 12, 2001. This is the second deadliest U.S. aviation accident to date, after American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight in the United States from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles International Airport. On May 25, 1979, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 operating the route crashed moments after takeoff from Chicago....

.

With 260 fatalities on board and 5 on the ground, this accident has the third highest death toll of any accident involving an Airbus A300. Iran Air Flight 655
Iran Air Flight 655
Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, toward the end of the Iran–Iraq War...

 and China Airlines Flight 140
China Airlines Flight 140
China Airlines Flight 140 was a route from Taipei, Taiwan to Nagoya, Japan. On 26 April 1994, the Airbus A300 on the route was due to land at Nagoya Airport...

 had higher fatalities.

The accident took place two months after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

, crashed into the Belle Harbor
Belle Harbor, Queens
Belle Harbor is an upscale neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is a tightly-knit, upper class community located on the western half of the Rockaway Peninsula, the southernmost area of the borough. While there are no formal boundaries for the area, Belle Harbor is often used to...

 neighborhood of Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, a borough
Borough (New York City)
New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, is composed of five boroughs. Each borough now has the same boundaries as the county it is in. County governments were dissolved when the city consolidated in 1898, along with all city, town, and village governments within each county...

 of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

 on November 12, 2001. This is the second deadliest U.S. aviation accident to date, after American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191
American Airlines Flight 191 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight in the United States from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles International Airport. On May 25, 1979, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 operating the route crashed moments after takeoff from Chicago....

.

With 260 fatalities on board and 5 on the ground, this accident has the third highest death toll of any accident involving an Airbus A300. Iran Air Flight 655
Iran Air Flight 655
Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, toward the end of the Iran–Iraq War...

 and China Airlines Flight 140
China Airlines Flight 140
China Airlines Flight 140 was a route from Taipei, Taiwan to Nagoya, Japan. On 26 April 1994, the Airbus A300 on the route was due to land at Nagoya Airport...

 had higher fatalities.

The accident took place two months after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. Several factors, such as the date, time, aircraft size, airline, eyewitness accounts, and location in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, raised concerns that the crash was caused by another terrorist attack. According to Northeast Intelligence Network, Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 listed the crash among its successes, and a Canadian militant cooperating with authorities suggested that it had been brought down with a shoe bomb. Nonetheless, terrorism was officially ruled out as the cause by the National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

, which instead attributed the disaster to the first officer's overuse of rudder
Rudder
A rudder is a device used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft or other conveyance that moves through a medium . On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane...

 controls in response to wake turbulence.

Cultural background

As of 2001 there were 51 weekly direct flights between New York City and the Dominican Republic, with additional flights offered in December. As of the same year most of the flights were offered by American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

, and most passengers flew American Airlines. Seth Kugel of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

said that the airline "holds a virtual monopoly" on the route. Around 90% of the passengers on the accident flight were of Dominican descent.

The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

describes the flight has having "cult status" in Washington Heights
Washington Heights
Washington Heights may refer to some places in the United States:*Washington Heights, Manhattan **Washington Heights , a 2003 film set in Washington Heights, Manhattan*Washington Heights, New York...

, a Dominican area of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. Belkis Lora, a relative of a passenger on the crashed flight, said "Every Dominican in New York has either taken that flight or knows someone who has. It gets you there early. At home there are songs about it." Kugel said "For many Dominicans in New York, these journeys home are the defining metaphor of their complex push-pull relationship with their homeland; they embody, vividly and poignantly, the tug between their current lives and their former selves. That fact gave Monday's tragedy a particularly horrible resonance for New York's Dominicans." He also said "Even before Monday's crash, Dominicans had developed a complex love-hate relationship with American Airlines, complaining about high prices and baggage restrictions even while favoring the carrier over other airlines that used to travel the same route." David Rivas, the owner of the New York City travel agency Rivas Travel, said "For the Dominican to go to Santo Domingo during Christmas and summer is like the Muslims going to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

." In 1996 Kinito Mendez
Kinito Méndez
Kinito Méndez is a merengue music star.In Mendez was responsible for the 1996 creation of the song "Flight 587," which pays tribute to American Airlines Flight 587, an early morning departure flight from New York City to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Mendez partially wrote the lyrics, and he...

 played the song "El Avion" which mentions Flight 587.

The crash did not affect bookings for the New York to Santo Domingo route. Dominicans continued to book travel on the flights.

Summary of the accident

On November 12, 2001, about 09:16 eastern standard time, American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 A300
Airbus A300
The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned today by EADS...

-605R delivered in 1987 and powered by two General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 CF6-80C2A5
General Electric CF6
The General Electric CF6 is a family of high-bypass turbofan engines produced by GE Aviation. A development of the first high-power high-bypass jet engine available, the TF39, the CF6 powers a wide variety of civilian airliners. The basic engine core formed the basis for the LM2500, LM5000, and...

, N14053, crashed into Belle Harbor
Belle Harbor, Queens
Belle Harbor is an upscale neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is a tightly-knit, upper class community located on the western half of the Rockaway Peninsula, the southernmost area of the borough. While there are no formal boundaries for the area, Belle Harbor is often used to...

, a New York City residential area, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

, New York. Flight 587 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight to Las Américas International Airport
Las Américas International Airport
-Cargo airlines:-Accidents and incidents:*On February 15, 1970, a Dominicana de Aviación DC-9 flying to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, crashed, killing all 102 persons on board ....

, Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, with 2 flight crew members, seven flight attendants, and 251 passengers aboard the plane. Ed States served as the captain, and Sten Molin served as the first officer.

The plane's vertical stabilizer and rudder separated in flight and fell into Jamaica Bay
Jamaica Bay
Jamaica Bay is located on the southwestern tip of Long Island in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, and the town of Hempstead, New York/hamlet of Inwood...

, about 1 mile north of the main wreckage site. The plane's engines subsequently separated in flight and fell several blocks north and east of the main wreckage site. All 260 people aboard the plane and 5 people on the ground died, and the impact forces and a post-crash fire destroyed the plane. Flight 587 operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 on an instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules are one of two sets of regulations governing all aspects of civil aviation aircraft operations; the other are visual flight rules ....

 flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions
Visual meteorological conditions
In aviation, visual meteorological conditions is an aviation flight category in which visual flight rules flight is permitted—that is, conditions in which pilots have sufficient visibility to fly the aircraft maintaining visual separation from terrain and other aircraft. They are the opposite of...

 (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident.

Investigation

The A300-600, which took off minutes after a Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

 Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

 on the same runway, flew into the larger jet's wake, an area of turbulent air. The first officer attempted to keep the plane upright with alternating aggressive rudder inputs. The strength of the air flowing against the moving rudder stressed the aircraft's vertical stabilizer
Vertical stabilizer
The vertical stabilizers, vertical stabilisers, or fins, of aircraft, missiles or bombs are typically found on the aft end of the fuselage or body, and are intended to reduce aerodynamic side slip. It is analogical to a skeg on boats and ships.On aircraft, vertical stabilizers generally point upwards...

 and eventually snapped it off entirely, causing the aircraft to lose control and crash. The National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 (NTSB) concluded that the enormous stress on the rudder was due to the first officer's "unnecessary and excessive" rudder inputs, and not the wake turbulence
Wake turbulence
Wake turbulence is turbulence that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. This turbulence includes various components, the most important of which are wing vorticies and jetwash. Jetwash refers simply to the rapidly moving gases expelled from a jet engine; it is extremely turbulent,...

 caused by the 747. The NTSB further stated "if the first officer had stopped making additional inputs, the aircraft would have stabilized". Contributing to these rudder pedal inputs were characteristics of the Airbus A300-600 sensitive rudder system design and elements of the American Airlines Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Training Program.

Investigators were concerned in regard to the manner in which the vertical stabilizer separated. The vertical stabilizer is connected to the fuselage with six attaching points. Each point has two sets of attachment lugs, one made of composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

, another of aluminum, all connected by a titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

 bolt; damage analysis showed that the bolts and aluminum lugs were intact, but not the composite lugs. This, coupled with two events earlier in the life of the aircraft, namely delamination
Delamination
Delamination is a mode of failure for composite materials. Modes of failure are also known as 'failure mechanisms'. In laminated materials, repeated cyclic stresses, impact, and so on can cause layers to separate, forming a mica-like structure of separate layers, with significant loss of mechanical...

 in part of the vertical stabilizer prior to its delivery from the manufacturer and an encounter with heavy turbulence in 1994, caused investigators to examine the use of composites. The possibility that the composite materials might not be as strong as previously supposed was a cause of concern because they are used in other areas of the plane, including the engine mounting and the wings. Tests carried out on the vertical stabilizers from the accident aircraft, and from another similar aircraft, found that the strength of the composite material had not been compromised, and the NTSB concluded that the material had failed because it had been stressed beyond its design limit, despite ten previous recorded incidents where A300 tail fins had been stressed beyond their design limitation in which none resulted in the separation of the vertical stabilizer in-flight.

The official NTSB report of October 26, 2004 stated that the cause of the crash was the overuse of the rudder
Rudder
A rudder is a device used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft or other conveyance that moves through a medium . On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane...

 to counter wake turbulence
Wake turbulence
Wake turbulence is turbulence that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. This turbulence includes various components, the most important of which are wing vorticies and jetwash. Jetwash refers simply to the rapidly moving gases expelled from a jet engine; it is extremely turbulent,...

.

The crash was witnessed by hundreds of people, 349 of whom gave accounts of what they saw to the NTSB. About half (52%) reported a fire or explosion before the plane hit the ground. Others stated that they saw a wing detach from the aircraft, whereas in fact it was the vertical stabilizer.

After the crash, Floyd Bennett Field
Floyd Bennett Field
Floyd Bennett Field is New York City's first municipal airport. While no longer used as an operational commercial, military or general aviation airfield, the New York Police Department still flies its helicopters from its heliport base there...

's empty hangars were used as a makeshift morgue
Morgue
A morgue or mortuary is used for the storage of human corpses awaiting identification, or removal for autopsy or disposal by burial, cremation or otherwise...

 for the identification of crash victims.

Aftermath

Since the NTSB's report, American Airlines has modified its pilot training program. Training methods have been reviewed and changed as a result of the accident, as previous training methods may have contributed to the accident. Previous simulator training did not properly reflect "the actual large build-up in sideslip angle and sideloads that would accompany such rudder inputs in an actual airplane", according to the NTSB final report.

Flight 587 no longer exists. The flight route designation for the flight between JFK and Santo Domingo is now Flight 1749.

American Airlines retired all its Airbus A300-600 Aircraft from service eight years after the accident (and 21 years in service) in August, 2009, with its last flight, flight 1908 from Miami to New York-JFK operating on August 24, 2009.

Terrorist claims

Because the crash was two months after the September 11 attacks and occurred in New York, several major buildings including the Empire State Building
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark skyscraper and American cultural icon in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet , and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft high. Its name is derived...

 and the United Nations Headquarters
United Nations headquarters
The headquarters of the United Nations is a complex in New York City. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River...

 were evacuated. In the months after the crash, rumors were suggesting that it had been destroyed in a terrorist plot, with a shoe bomb similar to the one found on Richard Reid
Richard Reid (shoe bomber)
Richard Colvin Reid , also known as the Shoe Bomber, is a self-admitted member of al-Qaeda who pled guilty in 2002 in U.S. federal court to eight criminal counts of terrorism stemming from his attempt to destroy a commercial aircraft in-flight by detonating explosives hidden in his shoes...

.

In May 2002, Mohammed Jabarah agreed to cooperate with investigators as part of a plea bargain
Plea bargain
A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence.A plea bargain allows criminal defendants to...

. Among the details he gave authorities, was that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's lieutenant had told him that Reid and Abderraouf Jdey
Abderraouf Jdey
A Canadian citizen, Abderraouf bin Habib bin Yousef Jdey was found swearing to die as a shaheed on a series of videotapes found in the rubble of Mohammed Atef's house in Afghanistan...

 had both been enlisted by the al-Qaeda chief to carry out identical shoe-bombing plots as part of a second wave of attacks against the United States, and that Jdey had successfully blown up Flight 587, while Reid had been stymied.

Nicholas Stix of Middle American News
Middle American News
Middle American News is a monthly paleoconservative newspaper published by the Middle American Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, known for its anti-globalist stances and criticism of mass immigration....

recounted the mutually contradictory theories that the NTSB had floated immediately following the crash, the statements made by retired fire fighters and police officers who had witnessed the crash, and the history of similar crashes, and concluded that the agency was frantically seeking to calm a public whose faith in commercial aviation had hit rock bottom.

NTSB findings

National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause of the crash was overuse of the rudder mechanism.

According to the official accident report, after the first officer made his initial rudder pedal input, he made a series of alternating full rudder inputs. This led to increasing sideslip angles. The resulting hazardous sideslip angle led to extremely high aerodynamic loads that resulted in separation of the vertical stabilizer. If the first officer had stopped making these inputs at any time before the vertical stabilizer separation, the natural stability of the airplane would have returned the sideslip angle to near 0°, and the accident would have been avoided.
The airplane performance study indicated that when the vertical stabilizer separation began, the aerodynamic loads were about two times the loads defined by the design envelope. It can be determined that the vertical stabilizer's structural performance was consistent with design specifications and exceeded certification requirements.

Contributing factors include the following: First, the first officer's predisposition to overreact to wake turbulence; second, the training provided by American Airlines that could have encouraged pilots to make large flight control inputs; third, the first officer likely did not understand an airplane's response to large rudder inputs at high airspeeds or the mechanism by which the rudder rolls a transport-category airplane; finally, light rudder pedal forces and small pedal displacement of the A300-600 rudder pedal system increased the airplane's susceptibility to a rudder misuse.

Airbus and American are currently disputing the extent to which the two parties are responsible for the disaster. American charges that the crash was mostly Airbus' fault because the A300 was designed with unusually sensitive rudder controls. Most aircraft require increased pressure on the rudder pedals to achieve the same amount of rudder control at a higher speed. The Airbus A300 and later A310
Airbus A310
The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range twin-engine widebody jet airliner. Launched in July 1978, it was the second aircraft created by Airbus Industrie,a consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. the consortium of...

 do not operate on a fly-by-wire flight control system, instead using conventional mechanical flight controls. The NTSB determined that "because of its high sensitivity, the A300-600 rudder control system is susceptible to potentially hazardous rudder pedal inputs at higher speeds". The Allied Pilots Association, in its submission to the NTSB, argued that the unusual sensitivity of the rudder mechanism amounted to a design flaw which Airbus should have communicated to the airline, and pointed to ten previous incidents in which A300 tail fins had been stressed beyond their design limitation.

Airbus charges that the crash was mostly American's fault because the airline did not train its pilots properly about the characteristics of the rudder. Aircraft tail fins are designed to withstand full rudder deflection in one direction at maneuvering speed. They are not usually designed to withstand an abrupt shift in rudder from one direction to the other. Most American Airlines pilots believed that the tail fin could withstand any rudder movement at maneuvering speed. The NTSB indicated that American Airlines' Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Program tended to exaggerate the effects of wake turbulence on large aircraft. Therefore, pilots were being trained to react more aggressively than was necessary.

Victims

Victims' nationalities
Nationality Passengers Crew Total
176 9 185
68 0 68
(Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

)
3 0 3
1 0 1
1 0 1
1 0 1
1 0 1
Total 251 9 260


All 260 people aboard the plane died, along with 5 people on the ground.

Relatives gathered at Las Americas International Airport. The airport created a private area for relatives wishing to receive news about Flight 587. Some relatives arrived at the airport to meet passengers, unaware that the flight had crashed.

One of the passengers killed on the flight was Hilda Yolanda Mayol, a 26-year-old American woman on her way to vacation in her native Dominican Republic. Two months earlier, on September 11, Mayol worked at a restaurant on the ground floor of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 and escaped before the building collapsed.

New York Yankee infielder Enrique Wilson
Enrique Wilson
Enrique Wilson Marte is a former Major League Baseball infielder. He batted switch and threw right-handed....

 was scheduled to be on the flight. However, after the Yankees lost the 2001 World Series
2001 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 27, 2001 at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, ArizonaArizona showed no fear and chased Yankees starter Mike Mussina after just three innings. The Yankees gave up five unearned runs and the Diamondbacks rode Curt Schilling's seven strong innings to a 9–1 rout...

 to the Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field...

, negating any victory parade in New York, Wilson flew home a few days earlier and was not on the flight.

Around 90% of the passengers on the flight were of Dominican descent. The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

describes the flight as having "cult status" in Washington Heights
Washington Heights, Manhattan
Washington Heights is a New York City neighborhood in the northern reaches of the borough of Manhattan. It is named for Fort Washington, a fortification constructed at the highest point on Manhattan island by Continental Army troops during the American Revolutionary War, to defend the area from the...

, a Dominican area of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. Belkis Lora, sister of crash victim Jose Lora, said, "Every Dominican in New York has either taken that flight or knows someone who has. It gets you there early. At home there are songs about it."

Memorial

A memorial was constructed in Rockaway Park
Rockaway Park, Queens
Rockaway Park is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. The area is on the Rockaway Peninsula, nestled between Jamaica Bay to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The neighborhood of Rockaway Beach lies on its eastern border while the community of Belle Harbor is situated...

, Belle Harbor's neighboring community, in memory of the 265 victims of the crash at Beach 116th Street, a major commercial street in the area. It was dedicated on November 12, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the incident, in a ceremony attended by Mayor of New York City
Mayor of New York City
The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.The budget overseen by the...

 Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...

.

The memorial wall, designed by Dominican artist Freddy Rodríguez and Situ Studio, has windows and a doorway looking towards the nearby Atlantic Ocean and angled towards the Dominican Republic. It is inscribed with the names of the victims. Atop the memorial is a quote, in both Spanish and English, from Dominican poet Pedro Mir
Pedro Mir
Pedro Julio Mir Valentín was a Dominican poet and writer, named Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic by Congress in 1984, and a member of the generation of "Independent poets of the 1940s" in Dominican poetry.His father, a Cuban mechanical engineer, migrated from Cuba to the Dominican Republic...

, reading "Después no quiero más que paz." (Translation: "Afterwards I want only peace.")

In a ceremony held on May 6, 2007, at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

, 889 unidentified fragments of human remains of the victims of the crash were entombed in a group of four mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 crypts.

Television documentaries

There have been two television documentaries made on the accident. An episode of the National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel, also commercially abbreviated and trademarked as Nat Geo, is a subscription television channel that airs non-fiction television programs produced by the National Geographic Society. Like History and the Discovery Channel, the channel features documentaries with factual...

 program Seconds From Disaster
Seconds From Disaster
-By original broadcast date:National Geographic Channel has broadcast many episodes under multiple titles. The title currently or most recently listed on the NGC Calendar is shown first...

, first aired on September 6, 2006, examined the Flight 587 accident in detail. The episode was titled Plane Crash in Queens (also known as New York Air Crash). The BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 program Horizon also created an episode about the crash.

A 2006 episode of Modern Marvels
Modern Marvels
Modern Marvels is a documentary television series that premiered on January 1, 1995 on History. The program focuses on how technologies affect and are used in today's society....

on The History Channel
The History Channel
History, formerly known as The History Channel, is an American-based international satellite and cable TV channel that broadcasts a variety of reality shows and documentary programs including those of fictional and non-fictional historical content, together with speculation about the future.-...

 also aired an episode entitled "Engineering Disasters 20", which featured detailed information on Flight 587.

An episode of Aircrash Confidential
Aircrash Confidential
Aircrash Confidential or Air Crash Confidential was a programme produced by WMR Productions and IMG Entertainment investigating air-disasters from around the world. Aircrash Confidential airs on Discovery Channel UK on a weekly-nightly basis and it also airs in Australia on Discovery Australia...

 on Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

 also featured Flight 587. The episode was entitled "Pilot Error."

See also


External links


} "Accident survenu le 12 novembre 2001 à New York."
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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