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Airbus A300 In Flight Separation of Vertical Stabilizer

This report explains the accident involving American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus Industrie A300-605R, N14053, which crashed into a residential area of Belle Harbor, New York, USA following the in-flight separation of the airplane’s vertical stabilizer and rudder. The safety issues discussed in this report focus on characteristics of the A300-600 rudder control system design, A300-600 rudder pedal inputs at high airspeeds, aircraft-pilot coupling, flight operations at or below an airplane’s design maneuvering speed, and upset recovery training programs.

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