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By: T.D. Ponder, Airline Transport Pilot
E-mail Address: ponder@charter.net

Once again, an aircraft manufacturer, this time the European Airbus Consortium, is attempting to blame pilots for what many╩consider apparent manufacturing design errors in the crash last month of American Airlines FL587, an Airbus A300 that plowed into a New York City neighborhood shortly after departing JFK airport in NYC killing all 260 crew and passengers, plus 5 people on the ground. The Airbus (called the Scarebus by some US pilots) crashed into a residential area after its tail section apparently separated in midair.

Now, according to news reports, Airbus and Boeing seem to be attempting to blame American Airlines' doomed pilots for incorrect rudder usage.

Fact: Aircraft manufactures design and build aircraft.

Fact: The FAA approves design and performance data according to strict regulations and certifies aircraft makes and models as being airworthy.

Airworthy - as in flyable within all normal operating envelopes with normal piloting skills and abilities!

This does not mean that the "tail" should routinely come off if a pilot needs to use rudder deflection fully to its design limits, and that means FAA certified "Design Limits!"

So, here it appears that the aircraft manufacturer is choosing to point toward some alleged pilot input, not especially difficult to do since those pilots were killed, to take away attention from a possible inherent fault with the design and manufacture of its aircraft.

For a pilot, this is unconscionable. Boeing tried it with its defective early Boeing 737 rudder control system, but didn't get away with it. The FAA mandated design changes for the B737 rudder system after two crashes that were believed to have involved╩rudder - related.

It remains to be seen if Airbus is going to get away with an attempt to blame pilots now.╩We can only hope that the FAA in its current investigation will be able to show╩an exact structural nature of this crash.

There are two deceased American Airline pilots who need badly to be exonerated! If Airbus gets away with this one, the trend of always blaming pilots for design defects will just go on an on.

At least one news report stated, "...regardless of how the rudder may have been moved, the tail shouldn't have sheared off the way it did, some pilots and American officials have said."

Amen. Stand up and scream, fellow pilots. We are about to be blamed once again!

Back to Hangar talk


NOTE: Reviews and Opinions do not necessarily represent those of Landings, its personnel and employees.
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