2003-11-14 / Community

NTSB Issues Flight 587 Update, Sets Final Report For Spring

NTSB Issues Flight 587 Update, Sets Final Report For Spring


Investigators sift through the rubble left by the engine that separated from the plane and destroyed a home on Beach 128 StreetInvestigators sift through the rubble left by the engine that separated from the plane and destroyed a home on Beach 128 Street

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 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.

Composite Lug Test

On August 13, 2003, the NTSB conducted a lug sub-component structural test at the Airbus test facility in Hamburg, Germany. Engineers from the NTSB, Airbus, American Airlines, BEA, and the NASA Langley Research Center supported the testing and analysis.

The test component was a rear main attachment lug from an A310-300 Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) fin box skin panel. The panel was originally constructed as a manufacturing quality test article and was used to demonstrate the interior quality of the skin panel.


Firefighters and police officers join civilians in fighting fires caused by the crashFirefighters and police officers join civilians in fighting fires caused by the crash

The test was to demonstrate the behavior of the lug under a load condition similar to that experienced by American Airlines 587 during the accident flight. The load condition used was derived from the flight data recorder information and the subsequent structural finite element analyses.

During the test, the lug structurally failed at a load beyond its design ultimate limit.  The test failure appeared to be consistent with calculated failure load analyses performed by both Airbus and NASA Langley. Work is continuing at the Safety Board to continue refining a reliable estimate of the loads on the AA587 fin during the accident.

The Safety Board has obtained two other lugs for testing. Two rear lugs were removed from the tail fin from
the A-300-600 aircraft that was involved in a loss-of-control incident in 1997 as American Airlines flight 903
(see Fifth Update, February 25, 2002). These lugs will undergo structural tests in December of this year and February 2004 in Hamburg.

Systems


Protestors demand that no planes fly over Belle Harbor after the crash.Protestors demand that no planes fly over Belle Harbor after the crash.

The team has completed its examination of the flight control cable routing for possible failure modes that could have led to the accident. The team has also examined the design of the A300-600 rudder limiter system and performed comparisons of other rudder-limited systems.

Human Performance

The group has examined issues related to the directional stability and control characteristics of the Airbus A300-600, obtaining expert information on pilot/aircraft coupling design issues, evaluating aircraft response to differing rudder designs, and examining the service history of the A300-600 for high tail load events that might involve issues related to the accident.

Final Report

The Safety Board currently expects to deliberate over a final accident report in a public meeting in Washington, D.C. during the spring of 2004.


Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History