NTSB: No New Probe Into What Brought AAL 587 Down

Board Maintains Recent Incidents Not Related To 2001 Accident

Wed, 24 May '06

No. Plain and simple. That's the answer from the NTSB to pilots who've requested the safety board take a second look at the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Queens, NY almost five years ago. Pilots are concerned about the Airbus A300-600's tail section, after two recent incidents involving the rudders of similar aircraft. Flight 587 lost its entire vertical stabilizer in wake turbulence as the aircraft flew behind a Boeing 747 as it was crossing over Belle Harbor on its way to the Dominican Republic. The safety board ruled in that accident that the copilot's violent use of the rudder to shake the plane out of the wake turbulence caused so much stress on the tail of the plane that the stabilizer simply snapped off. It was later found in Jamaica Bay.

The pilots' request was forwarded to the NTSB by New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. It came after a Canadian Air Transat Airbus A310 all but lost its rudder on a flight from Cuba. It landed safely back at its starting point. That was in March of last year.


Back in November, a FedEx plane also suffered rudder damage... further raising pilots' concerns.But the NTSB says the incidents were different enough from the AAL 587 crash that no further investigation is warranted.

"The data provides that there are very distinct differences between the Flight 587 accident and these two other events," the NTSB letter to Weiner said, according to the New York Daily News. "Please be assured that the Safety Board will thoroughly examine any issue or new information that might be pertinent to an investigation."

Weiner's office is reviewing the NTSB letter to see if any more action is warranted