Public Hearing in Connection with the
Investigation of Aircraft Accident
American Airlines Flight 587
Airbus A300-600, N14053
Belle Harbor, New York
November 12, 2001

Closing Statement
by
Honorable Carol Carmody
Chairman, Board of Inquiry
November 1, 2002


With the last witness having been heard, this concludes this phase of the Safety Board's investigation.

In closing, I want to emphasize that this investigation will remain open to receive, at any time, new and pertinent information concerning the issues presented. The Board may, at its discretion, reopen the hearing in order that such information may be made a part of the public record.

In my opening statement I assured the family members of those who lost loved ones on flight 587 that the Safety Board will pursue every lead in search of answers for the cause of this tragedy, and I hope this hearing has given all of them an idea of the meticulousness and thoroughness of this effort.

Our investigation is 11 months along, and so far we have issued two safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration dealing with pilot training, and this week released 3,500 pages of documentation to the public record. Much of this documentation is available on our web site, www.ntsb.gov, and all of it is available to the public on CD-ROM.

But as important as it is for us to find the answers on behalf of the families, our mission is substantially broader. We pursue causes of such tragedies for the millions of people who fly on transport category aircraft every day. I can assure those travelers that if we ever find an element of the aviation system that needs safety improvement, we will issue other recommendations even before this investigation is complete.

I know the inevitable question is, when will we complete this investigation? We can't answer that yet. There is more work to be done before the staff will present us with a draft final report. For now, I would estimate that next Spring would be the earliest that we could expect to receive such a draft, and circumstances could delay that further.

On behalf of the National Transportation Safety Board, I want to again thank the parties for their cooperation, not only during this proceeding but also throughout the entire investigation of this accident. Also, I want to express sincere appreciation to all those groups, persons, corporations, and agencies that have provided their talents so willingly throughout this hearing.

The record of the investigation, including the transcript of the hearing and all exhibits entered into the record, will become part of the Safety Board's public docket on this accident and will be available for inspection at the Board's headquarters. Anyone wanting to purchase the transcript, including the parties to the investigation, may contact the court reporter directly.

I now declare this hearing to be concluded.

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