2004-11-12 / Front Page

Six Injured On American Airlines A300

Experienced Turbulence Over Rockaway
By Howard Schwach

Six people, including three flight attendants, were injured last week as an American Airlines Airbus A300-600 hit turbulence at 21,000 feet, about 50 miles southwest of Rockaway, prior to flying over the peninsula and touching down at John F. Kennedy Airport.

The Airbus A300 is the same model jetliner that crashed upon takeoff from JFK Airport in November of 2001, killing all 260 people on the plane and five local residents on the ground.

A recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report said that the cause of the Belle Harbor crash was a wake turbulence incident in which the first officer over-controlled the rudder.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. last Thursday night, with heavy winds and rain, American Airlines Flight 952 was in its final descent to JFK Airport and the pilot had just turned on the plane’s “Fasten Your Seatbelt” signs, according to American Airlines spokesperson Jackie Young.

Young said that the A300, with 89 passengers and nine crewmembers aboard, was in its descent when it “hit five to ten seconds of severe turbulence.” The cause of the turbulence has yet to be explained.

Although the seatbelt light was lit, she says, several passengers were waiting on line to use the lavatories at the back of the plane prior to landing and some of the cabin crew was moving about as well. They were the ones who were knocked about by the turbulence.

The six people who were injured were taken to local hospitals with back and neck injuries. They were all treated and released according to Young and none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson Arlene Salac told The Wave that the Miami to New York flight has officially been declared an accident by the NTSB because of the injuries involved.

The NTSB, however, did not return calls for information and comment about the flight prior to press time.

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