NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


March 19, 2003

The National Transportation Safety Board today released the following update on its investigation of the November 12, 2001, crash of American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus A300-600, in Belle Harbor, New York, which resulted in the deaths of all 260 persons aboard and 5 persons on the ground.

Public Hearing

The Safety Board held a public investigative hearing on this accident during the week of October 29, 2002. Twenty-one witnesses presented testimony during the 4-day hearing. Transcripts of the testimony, as well as exhibits presented at the hearing, are available on the Board’s website.

Subsequent Investigative Work

All investigative groups are continuing their work in preparation for the drafting of a final report. Highlights:

· The Systems Group is using data from a ground test to estimate pedal forces that were used by the pilots in the accident aircraft. Also, it has prepared the autopilot actuator and yaw damper actuator from the accident aircraft for CAT scans and teardown, to be conducted this spring.

· The Human Performance Group and the Operations Group visited the American Airlines training facility in Dallas. Simulator instructors who trained flight 587’s first officer (presumed to be the flying pilot) were interviewed to experience and evaluate the simulator excessive bank training they provided, which was discussed at length during the hearing. The groups also evaluated an Upset Recovery Training Ground School and Flight Training program using small, twin-engine aircraft to compare actual airplane training with simulator training.

· The Structures Group is working with NASA and Airbus to arrange a static lug test to be conducted in Hamburg, Germany this spring. The left-side rear main attachment lug from an A310 tail fin box panel will be tested to demonstrate the behavior of the lug under tensile load conditions to which the fin of flight 587 had been exposed during the accident sequence.

· The Aircraft Performance Group continues to evaluate simulator data to validate the “Loads Module” used to compute aerodynamic load calculations for the accident aircraft.

Final Report

Until the completion of the on-going work, a schedule for release of a final report cannot be estimated.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.