Associated Retired Aviation Professionals


-October 26, 2004

NTSB Watch Challenges Safety Board's Conclusions

Regarding AA Flight 587

Contact: Tom Stalcup, E. Falmouth, MA, (774) 392-0856

Today, NTSB Watch is challenging the conclusions of the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the November 12, 2001 crash of
American Airlines Flight 587. The NTSB dismissed the most relevant
eyewitness accounts, failed to account for wreckage seen sinking to the
bottom of Jamaica Bay, and has yet to adequately account for various sounds
and vibrations recorded by one of the aircraft's black boxes before its
tail separated.

The NTSB is apparently poised to blame the crash on air turbulence, pilot
error, or a combination thereof. Citing the NTSB's own reports and witness
interviews, NTSB Watch is today, filing a series of Freedom of Information
Act requests to get at the data and information the NTSB has not adequately

Witness and video evidence: The NTSB's witness report is incomplete,
missing important statistical analyses of the relevant observations.
Independent groups have determined that most of the witnesses watching
Flight 587 early on saw an explosion on the aircraft before its tail
separated. Some said an object left the fuselage and struck the tail,
causing it to separate. The NTSB's copy of a toll-booth video is not
original and is apparently missing the most crucial, early crash segment.

Black box evidence: The NTSB's "Sound Spectrum Study" of Flight 587's
Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) does not cover the most crucial moments of the
flight. In order to rule out or confirm whether or not the eyewitnesses
were correct about the breach of the fuselage prior to tail separation, the
study should compare the sound spectrum with that from similar incidents,
such as the 1989 United Airlines Flight 811 incident, where pilots
successfully landed the aircraft after a cargo door latch failed and a
large hole was blown out the side of that wide body jet.

NTSB Watch's FOIA letters to the NTSB will request eyewitness and video
evidence, as well as CVR recordings from both AA Flight 587 and UL Flight 811.


For more information go to


 © 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004

  Robert E. Donaldson.  All rights reserved