NightFlier
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AA 587 Reopened?

Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:50 pm

A few weeks ago I posted a message about the final report about the NTSBs case on American Airlines 587. I was talking to someone recently and had mentioned that the NTSB had closed the case on 587 and he mentioned to me that just this past week that the NTSB has reopened it because AA feels the report has some flaws in it. AA feels that Airbus is to blame just as much as they are for the accident. What is going on does any one know any thing about this ?
Regards
NF
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ANNOYEDFA
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:56 pm

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. A plane should never be allowed to go beyond it's capabilities such as the A-300 was. I don't care what anyone's says I don't believe the report for nothing.
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NightFlier
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:06 pm

So they did reopen the investigation ? Tell us what you know Annoyedfa.

NF

Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
 
Leskova
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:54 pm

Oh Christ - for the millionth-and-first time: the plane went beyond it's capabilities because the pilot in command performed maneuvers that he was not supposed to be performing: the plane held up far above certification limits, but his actions just simply took the stress levels so far up that, at one point, it was simply too big - and the plane consequently broke apart.

Anyhow, there's nothing on the NTSB's website - and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this rumor, too, is just a bunch of hot air.

Regards,
Frank
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backfire
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:03 pm

It's not been re-opened, as far as I know. I believe the recent report was a draft which, as usual, is then forwarded to interested parties for possible comment. Those comments will be included in the final report, which I understand is due in February.
 
NightFlier
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:35 am

Thank you for the input I know this matter has been talked about a thousand times. It sounded like a bunch of crap to me when I heard of it the NTSB and FAA would drag this on for another ten years before they made a claim that was not true.

NF
Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
 
N766UA
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:19 am

: the plane went beyond it's capabilities because the pilot in command performed maneuvers that he was not supposed to be performing: the plane held up far above certification limits, but his actions just simply took the stress levels so far up that, at one point, it was simply too big - and the plane consequently broke apart

I still don't buy that. Tex Johnson can flip a 707 on its back but the F/O on an A300 can't use a bit of extra rudder in wake turbulance? Yes I saw and read the reports and the F/O did use inordinate rudder deflection, but I maintain this should not cause the whole tail to come off. I'm sure he's not the only pilot in history to horse a rudder a bit.
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BR715-A1-30
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:07 am

I still don't buy that. Tex Johnson can flip a 707 on its back but the F/O on an A300 can't use a bit of extra rudder in wake turbulance? Yes I saw and read the reports and the F/O did use inordinate rudder deflection, but I maintain this should not cause the whole tail to come off. I'm sure he's not the only pilot in history to horse a rudder a bit.

Well Said... I think my colleague above has said everything I was going to say... Except one thing... WHY, in all the years of commercial air travel, has this NEVER happened to a Boeing/Douglas airplane made out of aluminum... but yet Composites come along in the late 80s and all sorts of problems start happening? Can anyone comment on that? Bash away gentlemen, I got my heat armor on.
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777236ER
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:50 am

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. A plane should never be allowed to go beyond it's capabilities such as the A-300 was. I don't care what anyone's says I don't believe the report for nothing.

Every single commercial aircraft flying today can be overstressed by simple control imputs.

Well Said... I think my colleague above has said everything I was going to say... Except one thing... WHY, in all the years of commercial air travel, has this NEVER happened to a Boeing/Douglas airplane made out of aluminum... but yet Composites come along in the late 80s and all sorts of problems start happening? Can anyone comment on that? Bash away gentlemen, I got my heat armor on.

A statement by someone who didn't even read the report, let alone understand what it meant. What crashed the plane wasn't anything to do with carbon composites, but a repeat input on the rudder pedals. You take any Boeing or Douglas jet, and stomp on the rudder pedals four times and see what happens.

However, the NTSB did issue a recommendation about the A300-600R Rudder Travel Limiter, which limits rudder travel (surprisingly). With rapid reversals, it was said the RTL couldn't keep up with the sudden changes, allowing the rudder to travel beyond it's limits. Whether this is the case is moot, AA587 crashed because of pilot error.
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Leskova
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:53 am

Tex Johnson can flip a 707 on its back but the F/O on an A300 can't use a bit of extra rudder in wake turbulance?

If it had been just "a bit of extra rudder", the rudder would not have fallen off.

Simple as that.

From the NTSB's report:
Flight 587’s vertical stabilizer performed in a manner that was consistent with its design and certification. The vertical stabilizer fractured from the fuselage in overstress, starting with the right rear lug while the vertical stabilizer was exposed to aerodynamic loads that were about twice the certified limit load design envelope and were more than the certified ultimate load design envelope.


And let's not forget to mention this part:
The first officer had a tendency to overreact to wake turbulence by taking unnecessary actions, including making excessive control inputs.


... or this:
The first officer’s initial control wheel input in response to the second wake turbulence encounter was too aggressive, and his initial rudder pedal input response was unnecessary to control the airplane.



If Tex Johnson had, while doing his roll with the B707, repeatedly reversed the rudder as the PIC on AA587 did, I'm not at all certain that the plane would have survived the roll... nonetheless, he didn't, so we'll - fortunately - never know.

By the way - what "all sorts of problems" started happening?

And while, true enough, no Boeing plane has ever lost it's composite rudder - do any even have a composite rudder? - I'd say that the trouble the B737 had with it's rudder wasn't really that small either.

And finally, while it's a different type of composite, Boeing doesn't seem to think that composites are unfit for making planes with it... does the B7e7 ring a bell?

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
N1120A
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:08 am

>has this NEVER happened to a Boeing/Douglas airplane made out of aluminum... but yet Composites come along in the late 80s and all sorts of problems start happening<

The A300 is largely made of Aluminum anyway, and composites are actually stronger than or as strong as the metals they replace.

>Tex Johnson can flip a 707 on its back but the F/O on an A300 can't use a bit of extra rudder in wake turbulance<

The F/O used extreme back and forth rudder input, which the A300 was not built for. Tex Johnson executed a 1G roll, which put the plane under very, very little stress. He actually said in an interview about it that any plane could roll if it was kept to 1G, whereas this was many times greater force than that

The main issue here is that the pilot was trained to use rudder in such a manner, if the situation presented itself. The problem is that the A300 is not designed to deal with situations in this way, rather with smaller rudder inputs. The conflict is over whether Airbus was negligent in informing AA of the need to differentiate between the A300 and the other planes in AA's fleet in rudder training or if AA knew and was negligent in its training of the pilots. Discovery is needed in the case to find who actually is telling the truth.
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N766UA
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:20 am

You're telling me that in the history of Airbus jets only one pilot has ever overreacted to wake turb? Only one guy has ever used excessive rudder? I am 100% certain that similar circumstances had been encountered previous to AA587, so why did the tail decide to snap off only once? There has to be something else to this, airplanes aren't designed to just break apart. If the F/O had been inverted doing mach .91 and was kicking the rudder to the stops for 30 seconds straight then I could buy it.
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gigneil
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:27 am

WHY, in all the years of commercial air travel, has this NEVER happened to a Boeing/Douglas airplane made out of aluminum...

It has. A JAL 747 ripped its tail off, as well.

You're telling me that in the history of Airbus jets only one pilot has ever overreacted to wake turb? Only one guy has ever used excessive rudder?

This much, apparently.

There has to be something else to this, airplanes aren't designed to just break apart. If the F/O had been inverted doing mach .91 and was kicking the rudder to the stops for 30 seconds straight then I could buy it.

Since you know absolutely nothing whatsoever about airframe design, the design details of the Airbus A300, and are a 16-20 year old student, I'd say your buying it is irrelevant and your comments pointless.

N
 
Scorpio
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:30 am

N766UA,

It's clear that you know next to nothing about mechanical stresses that can build up in an aircraft. It's also clear that you either haven't read or haven't understood the NTSB report on this crash. I suggest you go (re)read it and find all the answers for yourself.
 
N766UA
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:45 am

Then someone explain to me why it has never happened before.
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Leskova
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:53 am

N766UA - the answer is quite obvious: because no other pilot has, in the same (or a similar) situation, made as many errors as this one did.

The other planes in similar situations, and, yes, there have been others in which the design limits have been exceeded, never came close to the huge load this pilot put on the airframe - and, thus, the airframes stayed intact.

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
N766UA
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:57 am

Since you know absolutely nothing whatsoever about airframe design, the design details of the Airbus A300, and are a 16-20 year old student, I'd say your buying it is irrelevant and your comments pointless

Okay from now on only Airbus engineers who have specific working knowledge of the A300 may post opinions regarding rudders snapping off of perfectly good airplanes in a climbout.

Rather than patronize me why don't you bust out your engineering degree and explain to me why it is unreasonable to think a rudder should stay on an airplane.
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777236ER
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:05 am

Rather than patronize me why don't you bust out your engineering degree and explain to me why it is unreasonable to think a rudder should stay on an airplane

The rudder didn't snap off, the fin did. At least understand a BIT about the case.

I'll repeat it again. Take any commercial aircraft and stomp on the rudder pedals both ways four times at 300+ knots - all will suffer serious damage. This isn't an issue of rudder travel, simply of poor airmanship.
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N766UA
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:11 am

The rudder didn't snap off, the fin did. At least understand a BIT about the case.

Well the rudder is attatched to the fin. And besides, the tail should stay on too.

Take any commercial aircraft and stomp on the rudder pedals both ways four times at 300+ knots - all will suffer serious damage

But the airplane was below 250 knots as it was just climbing out. Had he been at cruise it would make more sense to me but dogging along below 10,000 feet isn't exactly top-gun flying.

After seeing so much video of things like wings being bent to ridiculous angles before finally snapping, angles that will never be achieved in actual operation, I still find it hard to swallow that the rudder (tail, fin, whatever) can be that vulnerable. It seems manufacturers would design the aircraft with better tolerances so that a triggerhappy co-pilot can't simply remove the empenage.
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cedarjet
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:11 am

N766UA, get it together. The Final Recommentations from the investigation about excessive use of rudder on all jet transports was made jointly to Airbus AND BOEING. Something along the lines of, "Both of you: tell all your customers that the rudder is fitted for use after an assymetric engine failure, or some crosswind landings. Only." Most airlines already knew that, as did the gents and ladies who fly them, but in the wake (pardon me) of AA587, it was worth reminding everyone. If that first officer had flown a 767 into the same bumps and operated the rudder the same way, the tail WOULD HAVE COME OFF. The loads generated by pointlessly stamping on the rudder, AND REPEATEDLY DOING IT, exceeded by a huge factor the maximum design load, which was itself 250% of the mazimum certification load. I don't know why you find it so hard to believe. The rudder is not to be messed with unless you've popped an engine - remember that full rudder deflection on a 737 far out somewhere on descent will become a smoking crater in fifteen seconds flat (CO Springs and Pittsburgh) so you swing that sucker back and forth four times, you're definitely going to break something. DEFINITELY. This isn't Buck Rogers bullshit where you can treat any machine so casually - the forces at work to blast hundreds of tonnes of metal and fuel and indeed humans into effortless flight, lest we forget, can turn against us if not respected (sorry if I sounds like I'm quoting scripture).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
cedarjet
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:15 am

I just remembered the word I was trying to remember, just got it: the first officer was cavalier (ta da!) in his attitude towards flying the plane safely, in mildly unusual conditions (I am being generous - it's only a bit of bloody wake turbulence!).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
airxliban
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:15 am

As 777236ER has said...

This isn't an issue of rudder travel

But I'll stop at the first phrase of your comment.

The question is not an issue of the aircraft, or an issue of the composite tail, or anything else like that...the issue is of the information loop.

The real cause:

"A conspiracy of ignorance persistently tolerated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airlines and the airplane manufacturers."


http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-garrison11jan11,1,2791965.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
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777236ER
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:55 am

Well the rudder is attatched to the fin. And besides, the tail should stay on too.

The tail isn't the fin. The fin nor empennage is certifed to remain intact after the control movements of the cirst officer.

But the airplane was below 250 knots as it was just climbing out. Had he been at cruise it would make more sense to me but dogging along below 10,000 feet isn't exactly top-gun flying.

'Making sense to you' isn't the issue - are you saying the NTSB is lying?

Do it to ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, and it will crash, whether you find it hard to swallow, or not.
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goboeing
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RE: AA 587 Reopened?

Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:00 am

In the early nineties, American Airlines held a pilot training session in a hotel near LGA. The use of rudder to recover from unusual attitudes was encouraged and taught from what I understand. My source is an AAL DC-10 Captain (now on the B-777).

Rudder use is covered in the manuals of several transport category aircraft. This is an excerpt from the B-757 at a major U.S. air carrier TODAY:

Rudder Use

For transport category aircraft, the use of full rudder for control of engine failures and crosswind takeoffs and landings is well within the structural capability of the aircraft. For other phases of flight, however, it is important to use the rudder in a manner that avoids large sideslip angles and the resulting excessive roll rates. Further, if the pilot reacts to an abrupt roll onset with a large rudder input followed by a large rudder input in the opposite direction, the resulting yaw amplitude oscillations may be beyond the structural design limits of the aircraft. There are no manufacturer flight crew procedures that require such inputs.

Regarding rudder use, consider the following:
  • Manufacturers strongly recommend that rudder not be used in stall or unusual attitude recoveries. Ailerons/spoilers provide adequate rolling moment in either case.

    A rudder input is never the preferred initial response for events such as a wake vortex encounter, a windshear situation, or to reduce bank angle preceding an imminent stall recovery.


    Nick
  •  
    IDAWA
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    RE: AA 587 Reopened?

    Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:10 am

    Gigneil,
    are you talking about the JAL 747-SR accident in 1985? In this case the tailfin failure was caused by an explosive decompression in the improperly repaired rear pressure vessel, that would have damaged any tailfin at any time!

    Or is it another accident you are talking about?

    I-DAWA
    Flown on: 319, 320, 321, 340, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, DC9, D10, M11, M80, 146, EM2, BEH, CRJ, DH8, L4T.
     
    N766UA
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    RE: AA 587 Reopened?

    Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:18 am

    'Making sense to you' isn't the issue - are you saying the NTSB is lying?

    Yes that's exactly what I'm saying. Obviously I consider my knowledge to be far superior to that of the NTSB.  Insane

    Seriously, I'm asking questions because I know I lack knowledge in this area and I want to understand this stuff. That's what this forum is for right? To educate one self? If everything made sense to everyone we wouldn't have a need for discussion and, thus, making sense to me is the issue.
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    SPREE34
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    RE: AA 587 Reopened?

    Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:21 am

    N766UA Patrick & BR715-A1-30 Max

    Boys when you come in here and mouth off, you should expect to get hammered. Neither of you had any understanding of what Tex Johnston did with the 367, yet used it as an example of some non-existent aerodynamic law to support your boastful mouthy post. Both of you need to learn to inquire more, and pontificate less, about subjects you obviously lack knowledge in.
    You don't pack the gear.
    I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
     
    777236ER
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    RE: AA 587 Reopened?

    Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:02 am

    Seriously, I'm asking questions because I know I lack knowledge in this area and I want to understand this stuff. That's what this forum is for right? To educate one self? If everything made sense to everyone we wouldn't have a need for discussion and, thus, making sense to me is the issue.

    The fin snapped off because of rudder reversals, not because Airbus is inferior to Boeing.
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    N766UA
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    RE: AA 587 Reopened?

    Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:25 am

    Woah woah woah when did I say anything about Airbus being inferior to Boeing?
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    eric
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    RE: AA 587 Reopened?

    Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:39 am

    Now, I do not know to much about the aircraft specs but I remember watching a show a few years ago (I think Disc channel) who had a program on airplanes. Someone should be able to verify this; early composites were found to be "disturbed" when hit by lightning, ie they would become more unstable and hence, more fragile. This was especially critical for the tri-stars where the tail-fin would weaken and could snap off. I think this has happened a few times (nothing to serious) and has subsequently been changed at a later point. Perhaps my mind is playing a trick on me but I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong in all of this. Albeit nothing on AA587 but would explain a bit about early composits.

    eric
    n

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