NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


March 4, 2004

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.

Composite Lug Test

The NTSB has completed all remaining lug sub-component structural tests at the Airbus test facility in Hamburg, Germany. Engineers from the NTSB, Airbus, American Airlines, BEA, and the NASA Langley Research Center supported the testing and analysis.

These tests include lugs from the tail fin from the A-300-600 aircraft that was involved in a loss-of-control incident in 1997 as American Airlines flight 903 (see Fifth and Tenth Updates, February 25, 2002 & November 10, 2003).


The team has completed all examinations of the aircraft systems, including the design of the A300-600 rudder limiter system.


The group continues to review American Airlines and Airbus operational documentation.

Final Report

The Safety Board expects to deliberate over a final accident report in a public meeting in Washington, D.C. this summer. Under International Civil Aviation Organization procedures, once the staff prepares a draft report, the Bureau D'Enquetes et D'Analyses Pour La Securite de L'Aviation Civile (the Safety Board's counterpart agency in France) will have 60 days for review and comment. The draft will then be sent to the Members of the NTSB in preparation for their public meeting.

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.