Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2002





WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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,


"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, 2002, 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, <>.

The entire docket on CD ROM may be ordered from the Board's Public Inquiries

Branch at (202) 314-6551.


NTSB Press Contact: Ted Lopatkiewicz

(202) 314-6100


For questions/problems, contact


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