Airbus, American Airlines Joust Over Blame for Flight 587 Crash

[P][SPAN class=headline][A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/021030/1854001068_2.html][FONT size=2]Airbus, American Airlines Joust Over Blame for Flight 587 Crash[/FONT][/A][/SPAN][/P]
[P][SPAN class=headline][SPAN class=headline][A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/021031/airlines_american_newyork_1.html][FONT size=2]American/Airbus dispute over 2001 crash heats up[/FONT][/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][/P]
 

KCFlyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 11/1/2002 9:33:38 AM MileHighGuy wrote:
[P][BR]AA will do everything possible to blame Airbus for this disaster.  Why?  Because if it's proven that the pilots pushed the rudder past it's operational limits (and I think that's what the data recorder will show at the end of the day); AA will be liable for some HUGE lawsuits.  Think about it for a second.  Can you imagine AA admitting that 587 crashed due to pilot error?  It will never happen!  [BR][BR]AA will blame everyone except themselves for this one.  I'm pretty sure that Carty has a very big fund set up to influence an AA friendly verdict.  Let's see what happens when the fat lady sings. [/P]----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]Considering most lawsuits are of the coulda, shoulda, oughta variety, I can see both AA and Airbus being at fault. Pilot error? Fine, but Airbus shoulda designed a system that would not permit rudder deflection past it's operational limits. I'm not a pilot, but I've got a real problem with a dead guy taking the blame for an unfortunate accident. He's not there to defend himself. And the typical human being will be to try everything, particularly when things are going to hell in a handbasket up front, and they may not be thinking now don't push the rudder beyond it's operational limits. He just tries to recover the aircraft. So, the argument could be made that the rudder systems shoulda had a system to prevent that from happening. After all, the A320 has systems that will not allow a pilot to overstress the aircraft....one has to wonder why this technology wasn't retrofitted into the A300. NOt defending or blaming anyone here, but that's the view from afar. [/P]
 

MileHighGuy

Member
Oct 14, 2002
61
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[P]AA will do everything possible to blame Airbus for this disaster. Why? Because if it's proven that the pilots pushed the rudder past it's operational limits (and I think that's what the data recorder will show at the end of the day); AA will be liable for some HUGE lawsuits. Think about it for a second. Can you imagine AA admitting that 587 crashed due to pilot error? It will never happen! [/P]
[P]AA will blame everyone except themselves for this one. I'm pretty sure that Carty has a very big fund set up to influence an AA friendly verdict. Let's see what happens when the fat lady sings.[/P]
 
Think about it. If it turns out that Airbus had a inadequate design, they stand to lose a lot of future business, as well as lawsuits from customers who will undoubtedly have to perform some serious airworthiness modifications to A300 and A310 aircraft.

But it certainly shows a lack of class on Airbus's part. They could have easily denied responsibility without trying to place blame.

When I saw this originally, my first thought was that Boeing would never try to push the blame to the pilots if there was any chance that a design flaw could be a cause. In the US Airways and UAL rudder incidents, I don't recall them ever questioning the pilots.
 

ITRADE

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Aug 19, 2002
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DCA/IAD US2
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[P]Just think back to the United and USAir 737 rudder crashes if you want to sample the rancour between the airlines and the manufacturer.[/P]
[P]Boeing argued that the USAir pilot must have suffered a seizure to force the rudder to hard over.[/P]
[P]Never mind the Eastwind Airlines incident a couple years later.[/P]
 

AAmech

Veteran
Aug 22, 2002
766
1
There's no excuse for Airbus (and Boeing) to be selling aircraft that can catastrophly come apart by merely operating a flight control. Also why is the FAA and the JAA certifying aircraft when they are apparently aware that a rudder deflection can cause such a disaster?
 

G4G5

Advanced
Aug 21, 2002
164
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Agreed. Bottom line, the tail snapped.

Airbus will fight to the bitter end, not because they are right but because of the A380. The A380 has a composite tail and for the first time a composite wing. The last thing thay want to hear is any bad press about composites, we are talking about the future of the company(the A380). Any recall or admitance to guilt would kill the global economy, can you imagine what would happen if they grounded every A300, 319,320, 321, 330 and 340(while I do realize the A300 tail is different then the 320's companies like UAL have found problems with their tails)?

It's much easier and cheaper to blame the pilot.
 

KCFlyer

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[P][BR]Mile high guy...first - I don't look thru AA glasses...I don't work for them. Nor am I implicating Airbus with my shoulda comment. Perhaps this example might help. Junior is riding around in the minivan back in 1990 and mom gets in an accident. Junior wasn't belted in, and took a nasty hit to the head in the accident. Mom and dad sue the automaker because the car shoulda had an airbag. So, the carmaker pays out a boatload of money to mom and dad, and they start putting airbags in all their cars. 10 years later, juniors little brother is sitting in the front seat and mom gets in another accident, and juniors brother is injured by the airbag. Mom and dad go back to court and say This accident coulda been prevented if the manufacturer woulda put a placard in the car that warned me not to let junior sit in the front seat. They shoulda known better. [BR][BR]All I'm saying is that with the litigious society we live in here in the good old USA, many a lawsuit is filed because of what some experts will say the company shoulda done. [/P]
[P]FWIW, the FAA approved Boeings to operate with the spoilers deployed but without an automatic override to stow them if power is brought up to full power (coulda prevented the Cali accident). They approved Douglas aircraft hydralic systems that depended on the pilot to manually switch to a higher setting to allow them enough power to lower the landing gear. If they woulda had an automatic system in place to increase them when the landing gear was to be lowered, it might have prevented the Continental jet from landing gear up in IAH several years ago. [/P]
[P]Bottom line, the FAA has approved several systems for several manufactures that in hindsight might have been better if a little more thought was put into things. It took accidents to bring them to light. Perhaps that's the only good thing about all the litigation.[/P]
 

RDU Jetblast

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
819
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North Carolina
I'm ignorant in this matter. I'm not a pilot but I have argued to family and friends that a tail just should not fall off. If I were in that pilot's seat and did not get the expected response from the rudder, I would certainly try pushing harder. If I still got nothing, I would certainly try going the other way.

Again, I'm ignorant here, but could that wake turbulence have been severe vibrations from a tail loosening before coming off? Is this the first guy to rip a tail off in the history of aviation? Help me understand this.
 

MileHighGuy

Member
Oct 14, 2002
61
0
[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 11/1/2002 9:57:06 AM KCFlyer wrote:
[P][BR][BR]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]Considering most lawsuits are of the coulda, shoulda, oughta variety, I can see both AA and Airbus being at fault.  Pilot error? Fine, but Airbus shoulda designed a system that would not permit rudder deflection past it's operational limits. [/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P][/P]----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]Airbus shoulda designed a better system? What are you talking about???[/P]
[P]Why did the FAA then give Airbus a clean bill of health for the A300? If Airbus designed and delivered the A300 with operational limits on the rudder & the FAA, JAA, etc., approved it; then who should be held responsible for the crash? ThE FAA? I don't think so!!![/P]
[P]The data recorder will show that the pilot(s) went past the operational limits on the rudder. Airbus will show that this design was given the FAA seal of approval. Airbus will also show that the arlines that got the A300s (including AA) were aware of the rudder limitations, but accepted the aircraft anyway since they would train the pilots & warn them about the rudder limitations. [/P]
[P]So if you are the judge (and please don't look at this through AA tainted glasses), where would you assign the blame? Airbus? FAA? AA pilots? Who?[/P]
[P] [/P]
[P] [/P]
6.gif']
 

Phantom

Newbie
Aug 30, 2002
8
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/2/2002 7:40:56 PM MileHighGuy wrote:

The data recorder will show that the pilot(s) went past the operational limits on the rudder.
----------------
[/blockquote]

That's not true. The flight data recorder just shows the rudder displacement measured from the pedals. There is no way to know if the displacement was caused by Sten Molin or the aircraft's computer. There are several documented cases of A-300's having uncommanded rudder inputs made by the computer. Your conclusion, as well as some in the media (liberal arts majors acting as instant experts in aviation engineering and aerodynamics) that the pilot flying initiated a rapid series of rudder reversals goes against all pilot training and the comments made by Ed States and Sten Molin on the cockpit voice recorder.

Your conclusion is premature, and to predicate the remainder of your remarks upon it renders them baseless.

Have a nice day.
 

Striker

Member
Aug 20, 2002
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[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 11/2/2002 8:34:25 PM Phantom wrote:
[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]the pilot flying initiated a rapid series of rudder reversals goes against all pilot training and the comments made by Ed States and Sten Molin on the cockpit voice recorder.[BR][/P]
[P]----------------[/P][/BLOCKQUOTE][/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]I agree that the kind of rapid rudder movement displayed in the [A href=http://www.ntsb.gov/Events/2001/AA587/NTSB_reconstruction587.wmv]FDR recreation [/A]is against every bit of pilot training I've ever had, and in my opinion is a very unnatural response to a wake turbulence encounter. However, what do you have to say about the reports that American Airlines had actually instructed these techniques to recover from unusual attitudes? [/P]
[P] [/P]
 

MrMarky

Advanced
[P]I have done rapid full rudder deployment back and forth many times at a variety of speeds, just for the fun of it in small aircraft. It should be a perfectly safe maneuver in any aircraft, regardless of size or complexity. I cannot imagine a situation in real flight where such an action would be appropriate. Wake turbulence would not cause vibration, just bumping around like any other turbulence, with the exception that the wingtip vortices from the plane sending the wake turbulence to the receiving plane, could and probably would cause the receiving aircraft to want to roll. Correction for the rolling effect should be handled by opposite aileron input. The rudder shouldn't even be a factor.[/P]
[P]The recovery procedure for the 737 rudder actuator problem is immediate full opposite rudder, if I remember correctly. An engine failure calls for substantial opposite rudder input, and quickly, in every aircraft I'm aware of. I don't know what VMC (minimum controllable airspeed with asymmetrical thrust) is on an A-300, but it's probably not a helluva lot less than that aircraft was flying at. [/P]
[P]I don't know why a pilot would react to wake turbulence with a rapid series of back and forth full rudder deflections--I'm not familiar with the A-300 operating procedures but it sounds like nonsense in any airplane. The yaw damper would concievably do this if activated, but the inputs should be well less than full deflection or anything close to it. The rudder input limiter is of faulty design in my opinion if it still allows sufficient input to exceed 150% of design limitations (FAA standards) at any airspeed. [/P]
[P]As far as I know, no commercial aircraft has ever lost a vertical stabilizer in flight. I'm not an expert and I'm not involved in the investigation. But I am also not an idiot and I would have to conclude based upon the evidence presented thus far, that the A-300 is a pile of crap.[/P]
 

Phantom

Newbie
Aug 30, 2002
8
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/3/2002 12:45:16 AM AA D2 TW SP wrote:

Tharseo rears his ugly head again.[/P]
----------------
[/blockquote]

I challenge you to refute any aspect of what I wrote as untrue, incorrect or not factual. That you don't like my political affiliation is immaterial. However some might actually learn something, and others might just make fun of what they don't understand.

Since all you can do is name-call, you have pitched your tent in the latter camp, that's the one that doesn't know how to dig a latrine too.

 

Veritas

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
882
148
www.usaviation.com
[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 11/3/2002 12:31:37 AM Phantom wrote:
[P]This is going to go into more detail than our democratic poster needs to explain my answer. However, I am going to do it to provide some information to the non-pilot that frequents this board.[BR]
[P][/P]----------------[/P][/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]Tharseo rears his ugly head again.[/P]
 

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