Air Crash Investigation. Queens.
November 12 2001 years. For staff New York's John Kennedy Airport this is the usual busy working day. On board the flight 587 company "American Airlines» 260 passenger. The crew conducts a standard preflight check. Commander - Ed jersey states former military pilot. He came to the «American Airlines» 16 years ago. The co-pilot - Sten Molin. They were coordinated by the crew, and nothing no signs of trouble.
A few minutes later the crew received permission to taxi. They are second in the queue. Flight 587 flight plan - to fly over New York Bay, Jamaica, and then keep heading south, to the Dominican Republic. All passengers likely want to change the cold November weather in the hot climate of the Caribbean. One passenger on that flight has more reasons to enjoy life than all the others. 2 months ago, 11 September Held Major survived the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. She worked on the first floor, when terrorists crashed two airliners into the twin towers and killed more than 2500 people.
Expert: 11 September - a day that will not be able to forget any resident of New York City. That day changed not only the city, but the whole world. All experienced great shock, which lasted for many months.
Air Crash Investigation Discovery video.
Before takeoff the pilots receive a warning from the manager of vortex turbulence. Their band was released and they began to taxi. The co-pilot asked the distance to the recently taken off the aircraft. The commander says that the eight kilometers in front of them. The aircraft accelerates on the strip and take off without problems. Pilots are allowed to climb.
At this time, the inhabitants of the New York district of Queens hear the familiar sound of aircraft. For them it is a common thing, because every 45 seconds close to them take off or landing aircraft.
During the climb gets 587 flight turbulence. The pilots try to stabilize the situation. However, at an altitude of 700 meters above the ground there is terrible. The plane loses height and starts to fall to the ground. On board 31 ton of highly flammable fuel. Pilots do not understand what is happening. But the plane continued to fall directly on the houses.
Witness: At first the sound was heard a normal flying aircraft. I lay in bed and was in a state of half asleep. Then the sound became louder, and I felt a slight vibration. Our house was shaking with terrible force. Everything happened very quickly.
Despite the attempts of the crew to bring the aircraft out of the dive, he falls for the land. Because of the fuel breaks out a huge fireball, which covers several houses.
Eyewitness: The plane crashed somewhere in the end of our street and exploded. From the window I saw a bright orange light. All around screaming. Dad and I ran out of the house. The whole street was in flames, and rose high into the sky of black smoke.
In a quiet area of the raging fire. And the city has not yet come up after the recent terrorist attacks, again plunged into fear and panic. A terrible scene seemed to echo the people 11 September. 260 killing all people on board the aircraft, as well as 5 people on earth.
The story of one plane crash
After reports of the crash in Queens action of New York Rudolph Giuliani calming the public. The city reinforce security measures and closed airports. Departures of aircraft delayed. Thousands of frightened passengers can not fly. Everyone thought that it was a terrorist attack. I could not believe that the plane may simply fall off.
Fearing the worst, the FBI immediately sends a group to investigate the agents. But they do not work alone. Above all, this plane crash, and the investigation leads National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). At the crash site comes a group of experts. In front of them a very difficult task. Destroyed plane and 4 home. Both agencies are searching for clues.
Investigator: This was the most complex investigation that I conducted. I would like to begin any investigation with an open mind, but we are all humans. This happened immediately after the crash tragedy 11 September. We jump to conclusions, and we had to go back to the evidence and their scrutiny.
Wreckage was a mixture of fragments of houses and aircraft. To separate one from the other - a daunting task. Parts of the aircraft were collected and loaded into boxes.
The accident occurred in a densely populated area, and hundreds of people saw the plane falling from the sky. Everyone wanted to tell what they saw. But eyewitness testimony was very contradictory. Some said they saw the plane broke in half still in the air. Others claimed that they saw in the sky a fireball. Investigators understand that if this terror attack, among the debris should have been left traces of bomb.
Expert: The experts conducted a physical inspection of the wreckage for dents or offsets, which would indicate an explosion inside. But such evidence was found.
Also, investigators take samples from the wreckage and sent them for analysis for the presence of explosive materials.
Expert: We did a lot of other things. To come back to the airport, ask questions, porters and airport employees. They asked if they noticed something suspicious in respect of passengers of the flight.
Soon both agencies were able to get the answers you need. Less than a day, they found the voice recorder from the cockpit flight recorder and flight data. So far from the flight recorders download data, investigators continued to search for clues. However, not all of them were in Queens. Vertical stabilizer (keel) of the aircraft was found a few kilometers from there. It was discovered in Jamaica Bay, between the airport and the crash site. Its location has said that he looked up when the plane was still in the air. It was the first serious evidence.
Expert: The horizontal and vertical stabilizers is like feathers for dart. They support a predetermined direction of flight. Without them, the fly is not possible. The aircraft is required to fall and nothing can be done.
Nakhodka Keel tells investigators that the cause of the accident is not terrorism. It would be very difficult to organize an explosion, which would have looked at only the vertical stabilizer. Specialists in a hurry with the investigation. If it is not a terrorist attack, possibly Airbus A300, one of the most popular aircraft in the world, it has a defect. And this is a frightening prospect.
They have high hopes for the black boxes. It was only the beginning of their study, notice something strange.
Investigator: With the flight recorder, we learned that the rudder several times quickly moved back and forth, and the reason was not known. Perhaps this is a reaction to pilot something.
Air crashes and accidents
Investigators are intrigued. Apparently the pilots had problems with management over the past 30 seconds of flight, and a few seconds later the plane suddenly went into a steep dive. This meant that at this moment the tail broke away from the aircraft. It's time to listen to the voice recorder from the cockpit. Investigators are listening as pilots discussing what got in the vortex trail of another aircraft. On the recording heard various clicks, noise, but not a sound bomb. In addition, laboratory studies suggest that no traces of explosives in the wreckage.
Investigator: No trace of incendiary substances. No suspicious activity at the airport and was not among the passengers. Besides, no one has claimed responsibility for the incident.
After receiving confirmation that this is not a criminal case reserves FBI investigation in the hands of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Experts from the NTSB disturbing question: how could the vertical stabilizer off.
Investigator: At that time I was in the NTSB about 20 years and I have never ever seen. It was completely unexpected.
They study the vertical stabilizer, which is caught in Jamaica Bay. They need any tips that will help to explain why he fell off. Carefully examining the place of separation of the stabilizer from the aircraft, they make a strange discovery. Although the stabilizer is made of a special composite material, which is stronger than steel, fitting (attachment of the keel to the hull) simply uprooted. This is the first time that has fallen off a large part of the composite. Investigators check the records of the manufacture of fallen Airbus A300 and found disturbing information about how to install the stabilizer.
Investigator: Study the early production of records relative to the vertical stabilizer found that after the initial inspection it was found that there is considerable delamination. The material started to delaminate.
However, Airbus has corrected the problem before delivering «American Airlines» plane. To ensure that the composite did not disappoint again, his sample is sent to a lab for closer examination. The result shows that no indication was not a composite bundle. Trying to find the cause of the separation of the stabilizer investigators with the company Airbus check its fasteners. The result is again negative. Fasteners withstand the stated load 45 tons-forces and even more. The experiment showed that the hardware breaks down under load 90 tons-forces.
At this point, investigators from the NTSB found that the tail stabilizer 587 flight looked under pressure on him in 90 ton-forces. But with such force Airbus A300 It should not normally encounter.
Was vortex turbulence which hit the plane, so strong, that would cut off the tail of the aircraft? Pilots are trained to move away from vortices emanating from the front of the aircraft flying, staying at a safe distance. Thinking that the pilots approached too close to the front of an airplane, the investigators plan to correlate movement with a distance between the aircraft. Everything was OK. The data show that they were flying at a safe distance and vortex wake was not a threat.
Investigators returned to the main clues - an unusual movement of the rudder.
Investigator: We have seen how the steering wheel is very, very quickly deflected the most. So several times. We do not know why this happened. But astonishment climbed eye on his forehead.
Could extreme steering movement to create an aerodynamic force sufficient for what would tear off the keel? To find out, created a computer simulation Airbus A300. In the process of simulation steering wheel is deflected back and forth three times 11 degrees.
Investigator: With every turn of the steering wheel on the tail of the load increases, and the tail could not resist.
That was the reason. Movement control pedals resulted in damage to the structure. But investigators did not understand why the co-pilot began Dunno so much movement? What would you get out of the zone of turbulence. The conversation with the pilots who previously flew with Stan Molin revealed that he used to adequately respond to the vortex turbulence. Surprisingly, the pilot followed the instructions received during training. It turned out that the training was implausible. Based on them, the pilot learned that vortex turbulence can lead to catastrophic consequences. However, the exercise data has been exaggerated and not true.
Investigator: We found that the pilots, though without malice, not trained properly. This suggests that Stan Molin too sharply reacted to the situation.
The investigation concluded that the co-pilot, fearing the effects of vortex turbulence, overdone with pedals. He did not allow the aircraft to align in the same position. His actions were loaded keel until he had broken off.
When it became aware of the negative impact of such training, American Airlines has adjusted the program to prevent such errors in the future. Pilots trained not enjoy driving at high speed.
Unfortunately, this lesson was given a very high price. The crash was the second flight 587 mortality plane crash in US history.
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