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AA 587 - Crash theories

Reader comment on item: Why Did American Airlines 587 Crash?

Submitted by Thom Olsen (Norway), Sep 3, 2004 at 09:30

Dr. Pipes,

I very much agree with Dave K in his comments 30 Aug 2004, except for the conclusion that the separation of the tail fin was the initial cause of the accident.

Airbus Company says in its submission to NTSB that even so with aggressive rudder inputs tail fins have never broken neither befor nor ever since in similar insidents.

The tail fin was broken by airpressure only but eywitnesses have seen what they call an explosion in front of the wing area close to the main body. The explosion itselves could not have broken the tail fin. But what kind of explosion was it ?

No traces of explosives are found so it was most probably a fuel ignition. That leaves us with the question : What event could possibly lead to that the tail broke off by airpressure and both engines separated from the aircraft before the rest of the fuselage impacted more or less intact ?

If the left engine reversed and flipped over the wing like TWA experienced during take off some years ago that would have forced the aircraft to spin around its vertical axis and a given a tremendous airblast on the opposite tail side, enough to break it. At the same time the engine destroyed the wing tanks and ailrons and spoilers in wing area. A massive outfall of fuel followed and ended up in Jamaica Bay. The hot engines and/or broken electric wires ignited the fuel which looked like an explosion from the ground. Due to the contradictory engine power both engines was torn loose and separated. The aircraft rolled over and/or went into a spin which led to captain Ed States last words on the CVR : "Get out of it, get out of it".

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