The following is a research paper on American Airlines Flight 587 that after losing its horizontal tail rudder crashed into a residential area of Belle Harbor, New York shortly after takeoff from John F Kennedy Airport. I will discuss the characteristics of the A300-600 rudder control system design, A300-600 rudder pedal inputs at high airspeeds, rudder composite structure, aircraft-pilot coupling, and wake turbulence, and the NTSB summary of what caused the crash of flight AA587
A Research Paper on American Airlines Flight 587
The History of flight AA587
On November 12, 2001, at 0916 eastern standard time, American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus Industry A300-605R, N14053, crashed into a residential area of Belle Harbor, New York, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Jamaica, New York. Flight 587 was a scheduled passenger flight to Las Americas International Airport, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with 2 flight Crewmembers, 7 flight attendants, and 251 passengers3 aboard the airplane. The airplanes vertical stabilizer and rudder separated in flight and were found in Jamaica Bay, about 1 mile north of the main wreckage site. The airplane’s engines also separated in flight and were found several blocks north and east of the main wreckage site. All 260 people aboard the airplane and 5 people on the ground were killed, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. Flight 587 was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The accident airplane was delivered new to American Airlines on July 12, 1988. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 37,550 flight hours and 14,934 cycles. History of Airbus A300
The development of the A300 airplane began in May 1969, and the first flight of an A300 occurred in October 1972. The A300B2 and A300B4 models entered service in May 1974 and June 1975, respectively. The development of the A300-600 series airplane (a derivative of the A300B2/B4) began in December 1980, the first flight of an A300-600 occurred in July 1983, and the airplane was certificated in March 1984. Before the accident, 242 A300-600 series airplanes were in service worldwide. The A300-605R is one of several variants of the A300-600 series airplane. The “5” refers to the type of engine installed on the airplane and the “R” refers to the airplane’s ability to carry fuel in the horizontal stabilizer. (National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB], 2004, p. 14) First Officer Information
The first officer, Stan Molin age 34, was hired by American Airlines in March 1991. He held an ATP certificate and an FAA first-class medical certificate dated October 18, 2001, with a limitation that required him to wear correcting lenses while exercising the privileges of the certificate. The first officer received a type rating on the A300 in November 1998. According to American Airlines records, the first officer had flown Shorts 360, Beechcraft 99, and DeHavilland DHC-6 airplanes in commuter and regional operations under 14 CFR Parts 121 and 135. He had accumulated 3,220 hours total flying time in commercial and general aviation before his employment with American Airlines. American Airlines records also indicated that the first officer had accumulated 4,403 hours total flying time, 26 including 1,835 hours as an A300 second-in-command. (National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB], 2004, p. 11) Rudder Structure
The A300-600 vertical stabilizer and rudder were constructed with composite materials, that is, mixtures that contain two or more distinct materials that are unified into one combined material. (NTSB, 2004, p. 15) Composite materials
Carbon fiber is a form of graphite in which these sheets are long and thin. You might think of them as...