No Reason To Ground Airbus A300-600s - NTSB
Apr 12, 2002
The head of the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said yesterday that there was no reason to stop flying the Airbus A300-600, one of which crashed in New York last year. Marion Blakey said she disagreed with a group of eight American Airlines
pilots who wrote her last month urging that the government consider
grounding the plane.
"We have not seen anything to this point that indicates that kind of
radical action is warranted," Blakey told the House Appropriations
However, the pilots' concerns are serious enough that "the urgency is
probably accelerated to get a verdict on this plane," said John Clark, the NTSB aviation safety director.
Board investigators still do not know why the tail fell off American Flight 587 before the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Kennedy Airport on November 12. The crash killed 265 people.
Flight 587 experienced several sharp side-to-side movements before its tail fell off and the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Kennedy Airport The Federal Aviation Administration last month ordered inspections of A300-600 and A310 planes that experience similar movements.
Investigators know the plane's rudder sharply moved from side to side, but do not know if the movements put more stress on the plane than it was designed to handle, or if the tail had some hidden damage that weakened it before the flight.
I just hope there are no other terrible tragedies while the NTSB is looking for the cause. I'm not sure if I understand how they can assure these pilots that all is ok with no real results to date. Though we don't have official word from the TSB in Canada almost 4 years after the crash, at least we have some idea (IMHO) that the entertainment system was likely to blame in addition to many other factors existant on that aircraft.
Mark... I certainly concur with you, but I think the Government decission for the moment is a correct one. Remember, we have a large population to use in forming an opinion. There is no need to ground the airplane unless we know what we are looking for, or at. My guess is that it was a component rather than a structural issue. It would take some pretty fast foot work to make that rudder behave in the manner reported. I am however, concerned that this type of structural damage could (can?) occur at low altitudes and comparatively low air speeds.
One thing is for sure, it's not easy to figure out what happened after an air crash. In this case it seems that the control surface was exhibiting some flaky behavior prior to the crash. I was wondering whether the FDR gets its data from sensors on or near the actual control surface, or rather does it record the intended disposition of the control surface based on cockpit flight controls? Of course, in this case, the former would be far more useful. Both would be even better.
|Powered by Social Strata|