Airbus Hasn't Fixed its Vertical Stabilizer
American Airlines Airbus A300 Vertical Stabilizer
being lifted out of NY harbor
After some investigation and a great deal of looking the other way, aviation authorities blamed the dead pilot for over correcting, using too much rudder peddle during turbulence, and decided not to fix the obvious structural problem with ALL Airbus A300 aircraft. Grounding the fleet to correct a major structural defect would be very expensive and politically incorrect. See Wikipedia Article on Flight 587
It is generally unacceptable for an airplane to come apart in mid flight from air turbulence. It is unacceptable for an airplane to come apart in mid-flight from pilot over controlling the rudder. It is especially unacceptable when the structural failure kills 265 men, women, and children.
The tail structure of the Airbus A300 is made of carbon fiber and plastic. Its structural and fatigue characteristics should be classified as “experimental.” The death of 265 people in Queens, NYC, on November 12, 2001 demonstrated clearly to anyone with half a brain that the plastic tail of the A300 is not strong enough to be trusted with the lives of passengers.
Instead of redesigning and strengthening the plastic vertical stabilizers, Airbus used the same design on its enlarged A330 model. If the vertical stabilizer is not strong enough for the A300, it clearly is even more dangerous on the enlarged A330 mode. But fixing bad design costs money and its only the lives of passengers that is at stake. Airbus got away with it until last week.
Air France A330 (note paint on tail)
On May 31, 2008, Air France Flight 440, an Airbus A330, ran into some turbulence en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France. Wikipedia Article The vertical stabilizer broke off. Flight 440 was traveling at high altitude and high speed when it lost all directional control. When the plane turns sideways at high speed, wind forces rip it to pieces. It dumped bodies and shreds of cabin with floating insulation over a wide area. Once again, the broken vertical stabilizer has been found floating some miles away. This time only 228 people were killed. See Yahoo Story: Crews find vertical stabilizer in Air France crash
Brazilian Navy recovers Air France vertical stabilizer from Atlantic.
If you read the Yahoo article or any other major media report you understand that they KNOW the plane is not structurally sound. In the Yahoo report they say that an error such as a minor data input glitch fed to the computer can cause major structural failure which kills all the passengers. They KNOW that the structure is not strong enough to survive turbulence and/or computer error or pilot error. They programmed the computer to limit pilot access to rudder control, but they did not make the plane strong enough to hold together when anything goes wrong. They KNOW that a small error will cause the structure to fail with loss of all life on board. That is just not acceptable.
The Airbus A300 and A330 design has an obvious structural flaw that comes apart and kills all the passengers when mid air turbulence is encountered. They are constructed out of cheap light weight plastic parts that are only strong enough to survive in calm air. They save money on every flight, but risk killing the passengers and crew whenever turbulent air is encountered. The Airbus A300 and A330 is UNSAFE to fly.
In the mean time, if you are planning to fly anywhere,
Update June 11, 2009
News stories all focus on inconsistent speed data from the 3 pitot tubes. Automatic trouble transmissions for the ill fated A330 began with notification of inconsistent air speed readings. Bob notes that airplanes tend to turn sideways, or spin horizontally, after the vertical stabilizer breaks off. Pitot tubes on an airplane going sideways, or in a flat spin, will give wildly changing data. There is a human tendency to blame the instruments when they don't give the reading we want to see. Three separate pitot tubes are unlikely to all fail at the same time. Rather than blaming the pitot tubes, the investigative authorities should look at what causes perfectly good pitot tubes to transmit strange speed readings. The answer is that pitot tubes only work well going frontward. When you turn the plane sideways, the air currents on each pitot tube will vary according to the angle of motion and its place on the plane. Turning sideways will also cause the wings to come off and the cabin to break up dumping passengers into the night sky to fall into the ocean. The pitot tubes worked properly, they gave accurate data from an airplane turning sideways.
In the mean time, if you are planning to fly anywhere,
Update June 12, 2009
Bob has found other sources who also demand a through review and repair of the Airbus A300/A330 airframe. Here is a site which was unsatisfied that nothing had been done to address structural failure of the vertical stabilizer after AA flight 587 after 5 years.
Here is another web site detailing the near crash of another Airbus A300. On May 12, 1997, American Airlines A300-605 was involved in a near-crash near West Palm Beach, FL. On that occasion the plane's vertical stabilizer delaminated near the attachment bolts that keep it fastened to the rest of the airplane. On flight 903 the vertical stabilizer began to delaminate (fail) from high stress near the attachment points, but the stress backed off before it failed entirely. The pilot managed to recover from a stall and land safely. That delamination should have been a big red flag for air safety officials.
In 2003 USATODAY published this article and complained that American Flight 587 would have been prevented if safety officials had learned the lessons of the structural problems found on Flight 903 in 1997. Now we have a 3rd similar failure, hundreds more dead people, and still they won't even talk about it. Is money more precious than hundreds of dead?
The FAA, NTSB, European authorities, Airbus and even pilot unions turn the other way because fixing the problem would be expensive, and therefore a political hot potato. Its only dead passengers after all, and then only a plane load every few years. Air safety authorities knew or should have known after flight 903 in 1997 that the A300/A330 vertical stabilizer is unsafe to fly. They have looked the other way while passengers die. They continue to point every direction but the structural defect that is killing so many people.
Update July 1, 2009
A crashed Yemeni Airbus A310 ran into air turbulence as it approached its destination, the island of Comoros in the Indian Ocean east of Africa. The death toll is 152 passengers -- only a teenage girl apparently survived. The flight originated in France with a stop in Yemen.
News media quote air safety officials cautioning us not to notice the man behind the curtain. See Washington Post report.
It is too soon to get photos of the wreckage from the plane. Bet on the vertical stabilizer falling off.
Bob has learned that an Air New Zealand Airbus 320 Crashed into the Mediterranean on a test flight last November 27, 2008, killing the pilots and engineers on board. Once again the apparent cause was the common vertical stabilizer shared by the A300/A310/A320/A330.
Airbus 320 tail from NZ plane.
Airbus knows exactly why their planes are falling out of the sky killing all on board. Transportation safety officials know too. But they do nothing about it. It is politically incorrect to blame Airbus for their unsafe design.
Reports on the NZ Airbus crash are here.
Times On-line story on the NZ Airbus. Blame the pilots. Read between the lines of the official story. The vertical stabilizer comes off. The plane skews sideways and begins a dutch roll into the ocean. Pilots scream as they die.
A list of the dead pilots and engineers is here
Do not fly on an Airbus A300/A330 until and unless the tail structure is corrected.
Update May 28, 2011
The flight recorders from Air France flight have been recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic. The flight data recorder reveals a lot of strange stalls and pilots trying desperately to control the stricken airplane. All the data is consistent with a plane turning sideways and going into a classic swept wing stall. When wings angle aft, any yaw causes one wing to square up and increase lift, while the other wing turns parallel to the wind and loses lift. Once the vertical stabilizer fell off, there was nothing that the pilots could do about the pending crash. It took 4 minutes for the terrified passengers to die when it hit the Atlantic.
UPDATE July 30, 2011
International "safety" authorities do their job of protecting financial profits of Airbus by blaming the dead pilots for the crash of Flight 447. “Pilot error” is the “official” excuse for another plane load of passengers killed by the known structural defect of the Airbus A-3xx vertical stabilizer.
Airbus excusers want us to believe that Air France pilots were so incompetent, and "poorly trained," that they pulled the nose up after a stall warning rather than nosing down. Putting the nose down to recover from a stall is just about the first thing EVERY pilot learns. The training is repeated in every certification and recertification. It is impossible to believe that any two pilots would put the nose up rather than down. What is apparent is that pitot tubes and flight data from a plane flying sideways and fluttering is confused. Air speed and stall data is wrong. Once the vertical stabilizer breaks off the nose goes up, down, and sideways, and there is nothing at all the pilots can do.
LA Times recites offical excuses.
Pilot error blamed in Air France crash
The pilots could have saved Flight 447, which killed all 228 aboard when it plunged into the Atlantic two years ago, but lacked sufficient training, a French air investigation concludes. Air France defends its crew's actions.
Bob is not the only voice who will tell the truth about serious structural failure of the Airbus A-3xx that kills plane loads of passengers when the vertical stabilizer falls off. All the pilots and airline industry officials known the truth.
Read Christian Science Monitor article
Rudder could be cause of Air France crash, pilots and experts say
There's been a pattern of irregularities linked to the tail fin, but Airbus says it's too soon to know
By Alexandra Marks, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / June 19, 2009
New York: As they work to unravel the mystery of Air France Flight 447, aviation analysts and pilots are now urging investigators to focus attention on the plane's tail fin, known as the vertical stabilizer, in addition to the design of the Airbus's computerized flight controls.