2002-03-09 / Letters

Wants Weiner To Get Information

Wants Weiner To Get Information

I was interviewed by the Wave last week and asked to comment on my article about the timeline of American Airlines Flight 587 I had compiled based solely on NTSB, FAA, and Radar data. I had posted this article along with all the other coverage at http://usread.com related to Flight 587. 

You are welcome to all the research there on flight 587, and the video interviews of witnesses, and offer your comments, and even your assistance.

I'd quickly like to correct a misquote in the article.  I was quoted as
saying that the call for max power by the pilot, the "recovery mode" the
NTSB's George Black Jr. spoke of, occurred 19 seconds before the NTSB's key, 8 second sequence.  Instead, the call for max power occurred at 15 minutes and 58 seconds after the hour, 15:58, 6.5 seconds before the NTSB had stated that it did (Ed. Note: the NTSB and other agencies use Greenwich Mean Time in their reports. That time differs from local time by seven hours).

George Black Jr. had directly given reporters and the public the impression that the desperate crew comments picked up by the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), go to "max power", and we're "losing control", came *after* the tail had broken off.  This would certainly explain the obsession and narrow focus the NTSB currently has on the tail. As I wrote in my timeline article at usread.com, and mentioned to your wonderful Editor last week, this was a major misstatement on the part of the NTSB, since the NTSB's own data shows that the call for "max power" (which every heavy jet pilot will tell you when this happens in-flight it means there is a very worrisome situation at hand), and the crew comments that they were "losing control" (only 2 seconds after the call for max power!), occurred 6.5 and 4.5 seconds, respectively, before the rudder and/or tail broke (the rudder is the smaller, vertical flap attached to the back of the tail fin or vertical
stabilizer that can "yaw" the nose of the plane ... move it left or right).

This is a big deal my friends.  If the tail did not lead to the problems
onboard that caused the crew to go to max power and only 2 seconds later to be losing control, then what did?

Wake turbulence? Something else perhaps?

There's no doubt the tail did break off.  And so did the engines. But what
was the initiating event?

Also keep this in mind.  The Flight Data Recorder stopped working 10 seconds before the crash, the transponder antenna sent its last radar signal 16 seconds before the crash, and the communications (between crew and Control) from the plane became severely distorted 18 seconds before the crash.

The engines didn't come off the plane until 3 or 4 seconds before the crash, so it's not that they couldn't provide power to the craft. Are we also to believe the tail separation also affected these three systems?

Here's the real concern I have and where the NTSB refuses to cooperate.  The NTSB has released much information (including Flight Data Recorder, FDR, information) about the 8-second period from 15:59 to 16:07 when there was a second 1/10th g-force lateral movement, the rudder moved wildly five times
and broke, and the FDR stopped working. The plane didn't crash till 10 seconds later at 16:17.  However, aside from telling us that the FDR
recorded the first 1/10th g-force lateral movement at 15:39 (19 seconds
before their key, 8 second sequence) they have released no FDR data at all
for that 19-second period. There was a lot going on during those 19 seconds
including loud rattling noises of the airframe.  The crew ended that 19-second period by calling out for max power.  All this information from the
CVR, all this activity on board, and we have no information about the
plane's speed, altitude, and attitude.  Nothing.  The NTSB wants to talk about the tail. That's fine. I'd like to talk about the 19 seconds too.
They seem very important.

Call Congressman Wiener. Ask him to familiarize himself with the timeline, which the NTSB won't comment on now with the response that all data released so far is preliminary. What exactly does that mean?  It is not a hard task to synchronize the CVR, FDR, and FAA Tapes.  They did it in November.  Ask
him to call the NTSB and ask them for their own simple timeline of CVR and FDR events from 15:39 onward.  If he gets this I'll shine his shoes.


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