This report sheds alot of light on an incident that was so butchered by the media.
NTSB Identification: MIA01FA029
Scheduled 14 CFR 121 operation of AMERICAN AIRLINES
Accident occurred NOV-20-00 at MIAMI, FL
Aircraft: Airbus A300B4-605R, registration: N14056
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 15 Minor, 113 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On November 20, 2000, about 1222 eastern standard time, an Airbus Industrie A300B4-605R, N14056, registered to Wilmington Trust Company, and operated by American Airlines, Inc., as flight 1291, a Title 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled international passenger flight, from Miami, Florida, to Port Au Prince, Haiti, had a flight attendant receive fatal injuries during an emergency evacuation after the flight returned to Miami. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The aircraft received minor damage and the airline transport-rated pilot, first officer, 6 flight attendants, and 105 passengers were not injured. One flight attendant received fatal injuries, 1 passenger received serious injuries, and 15 passengers received minor injuries. The flight originated from Miami, Florida, the same day, about 1149. The captain stated that both automatic cabin pressurization controllers would not control cabin pressure while climbing through 16,000 feet, about 8 minutes after departure, and that the forward outflow valve went to the full open position. About 11 minutes after departure, he stated to air traffic controllers that he was unable to control the pressurization and that he would need to return to Miami. He stated that during the return to Miami, the flight attendant call chime continually chimed erratically and the forward lavatory smoke detector sounded. Twelve minutes before landing, the captain told air traffic controller that he would not need any assistance. About 3 minutes before landing the captain declared an emergency with air traffic controllers and requested that fire trucks be standing by for the landing. He stated that after landing, the ram air switch did not depressurize the aircraft on the ground and that 45 seconds after landing, the aircraft did not depressurize. He requested that the fire trucks check the aircraft for fire. About 2 minutes after landing, the fire commander reported no signs of fire and stated they would follow the aircraft to the gate. About 1 minute later, the captain reported he had a fire and that they would evacuate the aircraft. Fire department personnel stated that shortly after the captain reported they had a fire and would evacuate the aircraft, the left front door of the aircraft "exploded open" and a flight attendant was ejected out of the aircraft and landed on the tarmac. The other doors opened and the evacuation slides deployed. They assisted the flight attendant on the tarmac and also assisted the passengers as they evacuated the aircraft.