By: T.D. Ponder, Airline Transport Pilot
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 - 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 -
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
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!
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