The National Transportation Safety Board will convene its public investigative hearing on the crash of American Airlines flight 587 on October 29, 2002. The hearing is expected to last four or five days.
The hearing, which is open to the public to observe, will convene at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 29, at the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. It will be available by webcast on the Board's website, www.ntsb.gov.
"The crash of flight 587 was a great tragedy," NTSB Acting Chairman Carol Carmody said, "not only for those who were directly affected - the loved ones of those aboard the aircraft and those who lost their lives on the ground - but for the city of New York, still reeling from the attacks of September 11, and the entire nation. This hearing is part of the fact-finding phase of our investigation of the second deadliest aviation accident in United States history."
On November 12, 2001, American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus A300-600 on a scheduled flight to Santo Domingo, crashed into a neighborhood in Belle Harbor, New York shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 persons aboard and 5 on the ground. The plane's vertical stabilizer and rudder and both engines separated from the aircraft before it impacted the ground.
Safety issues to be examined at the hearing are:
· The certification standards for the vertical stabilizer and rudder;
· Continuing airworthiness inspection procedures;
· Airplane manufacturers' rudder system design philosophies;
· Pilot training; and
· The potential role of wake turbulence in the accident sequence.
This will be an "en banc" hearing, meaning that all Board Members will participate, with Acting Chairman Carmody presiding. Technical witnesses will be called to offer testimony addressing one or more of the identified issues. They will be questioned by the Board Members; a technical panel made up of investigators from the NTSB and its counterpart agency in France, the BEA (Bureau D'Enquetes et D'Analyses pour la Securite de L'Aviation Civile); and representatives of the parties to the investigation, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Airbus, American Airlines, and Allied Pilots Association.
Also on the first day of the hearing, the Safety Board will open its public docket on the investigation, which will include hundreds of pages of factual reports and supporting documentation. Factual reports from the docket will be available on the Board's website, www.ntsb.gov. The entire docket on CD ROM may be ordered from the Board's Public Inquiries Branch at (202) 314-6551.