2005-04-29 / Community

Airbus A380 Makes Maiden Flight: May One Day Fly Over Rockaway

By Howard Schwach

It is not usual that The Wave writes about events that took place in Toulouse, France.

Sometimes, however, an event halfway around the world today can impact Rockaway tomorrow, or hundreds of tomorrows from now.

On Wednesday, Airbus Industries flight-tested its newest creation – the Airbus 380.

Designed to carry 555 passengers in three classes, the plane’s configuration can be changed to carry 840 people in a single-class aircraft.

An Airbus A300-600, a much smaller aircraft, crashed into Belle Harbor in November of 2001 after the planes tail separated from the aircraft over Jamaica Bay, killing all 260 people on the plane and five locals on the ground.

Many locals remain unsatisfied by the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that the first officer used the rudders so inappropriately that he ripped the tail off the plane, especially in light of later incidents with Airbus A300 aircraft.

Senator Charles Schumer has called on the NTSB to reopen its investigation in light of the new problems with the Airbus rudder system.

While no United States carriers have ordered the new Airbus (and none are expected to do so in the near future), 154 have been ordered by foreign carriers and it is clear that, by the end of 2006 or the beginning of 2007, the planes will be taking off and landing at John F. Kennedy Airport, right across the bay from the Rockaway peninsula.

Runways at JFK Airport will have to be redesigned and new construction will have to take place for the A380 to use the airport.

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