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Airplane Manufacturer Blames Airline For Flight 587 Crash

Mar 27, 2003 | Queens Chronicle Airplane manufacturer Airbus Industrie blamed American Airlines in court papers for “improper” flight operations that caused the crash of Flight 587, killing 265 people in Belle Harbor near Kennedy Airport in 2001.

According to the papers, filed this month in federal court in Manhattan, the airline “failed to operate the aircraft in the manner that was foreseeable and normal or intended by Airbus.”

More than 200 legal actions from victims’ families have been filed against American and Airbus.

“Nothing Airbus did or failed to do caused the accident or any harm or injury to the plaintiffs,” the papers say, referring to the victims of the crash.

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board released its ninth update on the continuing investigation of the crash. The board has not yet determined why the planes rudder began swerving violently, eventually snapping off and causing the crash.

At a hearing in Washington last year, the NTSB presented evidence suggesting that the co-pilot moved the rudder back and forth after encountering turbulence from a jet five miles ahead. The board is still looking into the possibility of a problem with the rudder itself.

An American Airlines spokesman told the New York Post that Airbus’ position was “ridiculous.”

An Airbus A300-600 crashed on November 12, 2001, minutes after taking off for the Dominican Republic. All 260 people on board were killed, as well as five people on the ground in the residential neighborhood of Belle Harbor.

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