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American Airlines 587, Case Closed  
User currently offlineNightFlier From United States of America, joined May 2004, 284 posts, RR: 2
Posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4236 times:

According to the NTSB final report they have concluded that the probable cause of the break up of AA 587 was the in flight separation of the vertical stabilizer as a result of the loads beyond the ultimate design that were created by the fist officer's unnecessary and excessive rudder pedal inputs. Contributing to these rudder pedal inputs were characteristics of the Airbus A300-600 rudder system design and elements of the American Airlines Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Program. (Source NTSB Reporter)


Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIlsapproach From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

Case closed indeed. Pretty much what was conclusion all along.



User currently offlineIanatstn From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 577 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4082 times:

Agreed, this was the suspected cause from the very beginning....

Cheers,
Ian.



Ian@STN ::
User currently offlineUSAir734 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4026 times:

Then why did the engines fall off?

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4014 times:

Read the report.

User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4011 times:

USAir734-
I think you are thinking of a different accident.  Confused

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineAnnoyedfa From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3970 times:

Actually he is not thinking of a different report. The engine separated from the wing and landed in a gas station. I have been to the site many times and the plane missed my sisters friends house by maybe two. I think it comes down to the F/O is dead and can't defend himself SO the blame is on him. I believe from reading all the NTSB reports it is a design flaw in the rudder but we all know it takes Multiple crashes for anything to change. AA has before had problems with the rudder on the A-300 just like boeing had on the older model 737's. Then again nothing we say counts because the case is now closed.


"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3913 times:

Well the engines are the only thing that bugs me about the NTSB report on AA587. The report does not go into why they came off, which seems strange to me. I suspect though that it was because the aircraft got sideways to the airflow and the shear took them off.

User currently offlineCatatonic From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1155 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

I believe from reading all the NTSB reports it is a design flaw in the rudder but we all know it takes Multiple crashes for anything to change.

It wasn't a design flaw, it could happen to any aircraft that exceeds the limits of its design. Wasn't there an issue of wake turbulence aswell? Anyway, this is one accident, the A300 has been around for many years and has not experienced this problem before.

[Edited 2004-12-23 23:50:14]


Equally Cursed and Blessed.
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4195 posts, RR: 37
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3830 times:

Catatonic- this was an accident, not an incident. Big difference.


The engine sheered off due to huge side loads. Engines are mounted to give very strong front to back support, but they will sheer off with large side loads experienced due to the high yawing created by the tail coming off. The rudder movements were given in response to large roll moments coming from wake turbulence following a 747.




Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3788 times:

Well an AA lost a chunk of a tail once on the A300 I think (Very sure I heard it here) but landed safley.

It could have happened to any aircraft really it was just a case of the design of the AB6 rudder controls (less force being required on the pedals once a few inputs have been made).

Either way, the case is closed.

Phil
FlyingColours



Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3773 times:

Sorry, I guess I was the one who was confused. Embarrassment

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineAnnoyedfa From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3715 times:

Well you know what! I think it is a god damn desing flaw. No system on a plane should be allowed to exceed the limit of what it can handle. There should be some type of warning or the plane should of been designed to where it could of NEVER reach the limitation. When the rudder revered on the 73's it was a DESIGN FLAW. There is not only one other insident with AA's A-300's there are quite a few. One left from MIA to south america and the rudder started shifting on it's own. Throwing the cabin crew to the floor and thankfully the plane landed safely. The plane is know around AA as the Scarebus because of it's many problems. I personally would never fly on one to this day.

I have flown many times and have hit wake turbulence. I hit is so bad one time the plane was banking on 40% angels and the captain said the rudder was at full deflution and on a lil old RJ it managed to stay intact. So thats my opinion just like I think the whole TWA 800 is a bunch of bull$shit SO IS THIS!



"TWA... One Mission, Yours."
User currently offlineBENNETT123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7562 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3651 times:


I may be missing something here, but in AA587 the FO pushed the pedals and the aircraft responded. In the B737 cases, the aircraft made UNCOMMANDED rudder inputs.

My understanding is that if you take off, and immediately pull the stick right back, then the plane will crash. Are you saying that this is a design fault.

If there is a design fault, why does it only appear to affect AA.

Finally, I am not saying that it would not be a good idea to modify the A300-600 rudder, just that the pilot crashed the plane. This is what the NTSB are saying as well.


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 14, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3621 times:
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Before passing your opinion here why don't you actually READ the report.


The PF on the incident a/c made 5 full opposite deflections before the Fin failed. Cycling the rudder like that doesn't give the structure time to dissipate the loads induced by each deflection. The result is the loads build up to the point where the structure fails. In this case I believe the failed at over twice it's designed max load

The purpose of the rudder is to assist with:-

1. Lateral control on TO Roll. especially in Xwind conditions

Ldg Flare with Xwind, de crab purposes

During Ldg Roll when on ground.

2. To counteract thrust assymetry

3. a) Cater for the loss of both Yaw Dampers

b) Rudder Trim Runaway

c) Landing with abnormal Ldg Gr position. The rudder then can be used for directional control on the ground.


All the NTSB is recommending is that input loads required to move the rudder are increased to slow the rate of movement and increase the amount of pedal movement required to fully deflect thr rudder.

The fin and rudder worked as advertised. Th PF operated the controls incorrectly. I have spoken to several Boeing & Airbus pilots and they all said the AA pilot was wrong to fly like that


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3610 times:

No system on a plane should be allowed to exceed the limit of what it can handle. There should be some type of warning or the plane should of been designed to where it could of NEVER reach the limitation. When the rudder revered on the 73's it was a DESIGN FLAW.

Nonsense, very few aircraft have hard limits on control movement (or, more importantly, control repetitiveness) at any altitude or airspeed. Try turning you car wheel from full lock one way to full lock the other five times while travelling at 70mph. If you crash, is it a design flaw? The rudder hardovers, on the other hand, were design flaws – the rudder should not have done that.

The A300-600R rudder pedal characteristics were unusual, as the report pointed out – but unusual characteristics don’t make an unsafe aircraft. Every aircraft is unusual in one way or another. Safety is ensured when training informs crews of the quirks of the aircraft, and in the case of AA 587, training wasn’t adequate.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17027 posts, RR: 67
Reply 16, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

I have flown many times and have hit wake turbulence. I hit is so bad one time the plane was banking on 40% angels and the captain said the rudder was at full deflution and on a lil old RJ it managed to stay intact

How coul you possibly know that the pilots was using the rudder?

And I concur with the much more experienced posters. You can't save people from using stuff incorrectly. It's like putting warning labels on a knife: "Can cut your fingers." Well duh...



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3527 times:
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Try turning you car wheel from full lock one way to full lock the other five times while travelling at 70mph. If you crash, is it a design flaw? The rudder hardovers, on the other hand, were design flaws – the rudder should not have done that.

Err - haven't you just contradicted yourself?


The rudder system was doing what it was told to do. The PF demended L - R - L - R - L and the rudder gave him L - R - L - R - L until the fin couldn't take the loads imposed.


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 3467 times:
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Ah.. I've just realised the hardovers you are referring to are the 737 ones.

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3332 times:

Sorry should have been more clear.

User currently offlineKtachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1793 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3300 times:

So nothing was asked with JAL?

I don't know which ac but it was a 744 that was fully loaded heading for Tokyo. Does anybody know how much spacing there was between the two?



Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17027 posts, RR: 67
Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3255 times:

I don't know which ac but it was a 744 that was fully loaded heading for Tokyo. Does anybody know how much spacing there was between the two?

Not enough spacing. That is clear. But the situation was still salvageable. If the FO had not tried to chase the plane around the sky with the rudder things would most probably have turned out much better. Large jets simply don't react to rudder inputs fast enough to make what the FO attempted a viable option, quite apart from the fact that it can break the aircraft.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineCTHEWORLD From Mayotte, joined Dec 2004, 478 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3080 times:

Why is it that the FO used the rudder for spin recovery? This isn't the way spin recovery is to happen. The Navy teaches you to never touch the rudder for spin recovery, so do most other major airlines, but not AA. If you look at the spate of AA accident lately, it appears that they have some training issues.

C


User currently offlineNightFlier From United States of America, joined May 2004, 284 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

Just want to add one more thing to this. I read a little further into the report and found this shocking detail !!!!!. An American Airlines captain who flew several times with the first officer of 587 on a 727 recalled a account when during a flight in 1997 this same first officer had been "very aggressive" on the rudder pedals after a wake turbulence encounter. (Source NTSB Reporter )


Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
User currently offlineAirtahitinui From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2001, 79 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2883 times:

Uh CTHEWORLD, first, spin recovery is taught with use of the rudder pedals - the control yoke is set to a neutral position (or full forward as I prefer) and you yaw against the direction of the spin. Open any abc123-my first groundschool book and look it up. So I believe you were misinformed.

Second, counteracting wake turbulence is completely different, in my opion as a pilot, than getting out of a spin. Wake turbulence, typicially in my experiences, tries to roll the aircraft more than anything else - something easily solved with aileron input and a little rudder as needed.

I expect a full resination of your a.net membership on my desk tomorrow morning...



send a real message - DON'T VOTE!
25 Dayflyer : Both are to blame here. Yes the FO should have not been as aggressive as he was with the rudder, but the aircraft should have had stop limits, just li
26 777236ER : Yes the FO should have not been as aggressive as he was with the rudder, but the aircraft should have had stop limits, just like the elevators and air
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