NARRATOR: Caught on a toll booth camera these are the last moments of Flight 587. It's a clear day, weather is beautiful, not a lot of wind. Normally the rudder is only used when a plane is very close to the ground as a powerful control to counteract side winds. According to investigators, Molin tried to steady the aircraft using pedals that control the rudder, a large flap on a plane's tail. Something or someone had clearly caused the tailfin to break off Flight 587. And when the investigators re-examined an earlier incident, the suspicion only increased. American 587 Heavy - New York. the papers. Sten Molin was one of American Airlines' 12,000 pilots. The flight to the Dominican Republic was his favorite because of the schedule involved, his father said. But according to Airbus, this error was compounded by another factor. First the two at the front, then the middle ones, and finally the back two. He pushed the rudder pedal. But this only meant that there must be another reason why the tail broke off. It all seemed to be happening again. BOB TAMBURINI: That's the wake turbulence encounter. NARRATOR: On that November day a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 had taken off just two minutes in front of Flight 587. It's so routine. Tamburini has been asked to respond to the wake turbulence exactly as the data suggests Sten Molin did on flight 587. Ultimately it broke off. For Molin had done more than move the rudder its maximum distance, he had done something it was not designed to do. NARRATOR: The Airbus A300 Jet with 260 passengers and crew made a normal takeoff to begin its 4 hour journey down to the Caribbean. CONTROL [to AMERICAN 587]: American 587 Heavy - Kennedy Ground - runway 31 Left for departure - taxi left on Bravo - hold short of Juliet. The Associated Press contributed to this report. But it has already been recognised that flying should never be the same again. NARRATOR: On November 12th Jose Lora was due to return to law school in Santo Domingo. "Max power," Molin said, in what is described as a "strained voice." Molin, whom colleagues described as a smooth, accurate and above-average pilot, was just doing what he had been trained to do, and under circumstances in which he and all other pilots believed that nothing they did could possibly hurt the airplane. "Sten Molin was an above average pilot" Captain Delvin Young, American Airlines. handbook, no simulator curriculum and no FAA publication Airlines Airbus brought the airplane down on Long Island Molin, whom colleagues described as a smooth, accurate and The effect of alternating rudder It was the astonishing speed of the disaster that made these four American airlines pilots so nervous. In addition, he is survived by 3 grand-children: Casey, Hunter and Abby Parsons, as well as many cousins. "He was certainly very fast tracked and was hired by American Airlines in his early 20s, which was quite unusual," he said. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. pilots believed that nothing they did could possibly hurt But to American Airlines it is simply incredible that any error by Sten Molin, or their training programme could have caused the tail to break off the plain in just 7 seconds. He now has to face the terrible possibility that an error by his son could have brought the plane down. boundary. "Certainly that was a great injustice," he said, criticizing the board for its handling of the investigation. NARRATOR: This is flight 587's tailfin. NARRATOR: But on the Airbus A300, as the plane takes off and the speed increases, the amount of pedal travel to move the rudder to its full limit decreases to just 1¼ inches. The pilot was the last link in a chain of causes that made But the arguments began and the investigation turned into an almighty row. Besides, the FAA explicitly supported it. NARRATOR: On one side was Airbus, the world's biggest aircraft manufacturer. The question for the investigation was who, or what, had done it. The plane encountered turbulence caused by a Boeing 747 that took off just ahead of it. Their worry was simply that the tail of a modern airliner just should not fall off after a few rudder movements. "They are not going to spend any more time or money on this issue. The real cause of the accident was a conspiracy of AMERICAN 587: Position and hold 31 Left - American 587 Heavy. The wake itself was nothing deadly, but the first officer of flight 587, Sten Molin, who was at the controls, overreacted, rapidly and repeatedly moving the widebody jet’s rudder from side to side, to maximum deflection.

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