2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 16, 2001
Doomed jet was jolted by turbulence
, NEW YORK (AP) - The rudder of American Air-
lines Flight 587 began shifting erratically and the air-
liner careened sideways before taking a sudden
nosedive seconds after it was jolted by turbulence from
another jumbo jet, according to flight data.
With their inquiry focused on why the tail fin and
rudder sheared off cleanly before the crash, investiga-
tors with the National Transportation Safety Board
said yesterday they are looking closely at the final eight
seconds of the doomed jet's flight data recorder.
After the Airbus A300 experienced the second of
two turbulent "wake encounters," the rudder stopped
sending usable information to the flight data recorder,
the jetliner shook violently and then went into its steep
dive. "We have eight seconds we're going to be look-
ing at in extreme detail," said Tom Haueter, the
NTSB's deputy director of aviation safety. Monday's
crash killed all 260 people aboard the jet bound for the
Dominican Republic and five more .people on the
ground in Queens.
Experts are looking closely at several factors that
could have contributed to the tail failure, including the
tail's composite structure, turbulence from a Japan Air-
lines jumbo jet and the pilots' reactions. The JAL 747
left from the same runway at Kennedy Airport less
than two minutes earlier.
Marion Blakey, the NTSB chairwoman, stressed at
an evening news conference that wake turbulence is
commonly experienced by pilots.
"We are looking at the question, therefore, of what
other kinds of factors may have contributed," she said.
Investigators said both of Flight 587's pilots had com-
pleted a course in how to handle wake turbulence.
Within eight seconds of the second wake encounter,
Flight 587 began banking hard with its left wing down
before heading into a nosedive. The flight data recorder
cut off 20 seconds before the voice data recorder. Inves-
tigators said they hope to gain more information from
the voice recorder on the flight's last seconds.
NTSB investigator George Black Jr. said investiga-
tors were almost certain the tail broke off before the
jetliner's twin engines did. While cautioning that inves-
tigators are not ready to rule out sabotage, he said the
tail "doesn't appear to have been sabotaged in any
Black also said the pilots of Flight 587 were proba-
bly unaware its tail fin had broken off as they struggled
to control the plane. "They don't have a rearview mir-
ror;" he told The Associated Press. "They have no idea
they've lost a tail."
In Washington, the Federal Aviation Administration
was preparing to order inspections of Airbus A300s,
focusing on the tail. The order would cover 90 of the
European-built planes used by three U.S. companies
- American, FedEx and United Parcel Service.
American has already agreed to do voluntary inspec-
tions of its 34 remaining A300s.
NEWS IN BRIF
Fedswilltae over airport security
Airport screeners would become federal employees under a compromise aviation
security bill aimed at restoring the confidence in flying unhinged by the terrorist
After weeks of impasse, House and Senate leaders said yesterday they
planned to vote on the legislation today, sending it to President Bush for
his signature in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest fly-
ing times of the year.
"Safety comes first," Bush said, announcing in a statement that he would sign the
measure. He had balked at making airport screeners federal employees.
The goal, said Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, who helped craft the com-
promise, is to give Americans "peace of mind when they get on airplanes across the
country, especially as we approach Thanksgiving."
The votes will come a little more than two months after the hijacker attacks on
the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
While travelers will see few immediate changes, the long-term effects of the bill
are substantial. It will take permanent steps to fortify cockpit doors; increase air
marshals on flights, upgrade screening technology and ensure that all checked bag-
gage is inspected.
Bush, Putin can't agree on missile defense
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin couldn't resolve their dis-
pute over U.S. missile shield plans yesterday but pledged on a harmonious final day
of summitry to fight terrorism and deepen U.S.-Russian ties.
"Our differences will not divide us," Bush told hundreds of students and towns-
people in a high school gym.
"We have a difference of opinion," the president said at a question-and-answer
session with students. "But ... our relationship is strong enough to endure this differ-
ence of opinion."
Putin reaffirmed his opposition to anti-missile tests that would violate the 1972
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. But he also said that, no matter what Bush does,
"under no circumstances could it lead to any tension in the relations between Russia
and the United States."
U.S. officials said they viewed the remark as a signal that Putin won't try to stand
in the way of upcoming missile tests. That understanding, however, fell far short of a
formal deal to make the ABM flexible enough to allow testing, which was Bush's
HAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip
Israeli raid into camp
results in one death
Israeli troops raided a Gaza Strip
refugee camp and a West Bank village
early yesterday, killing a Palestinian
and wounding'14 in a firefight and
demolishing two homes.
The incursions came despite repeat-
ed U.S. demands that Israel stay out of
Palestinian-controlled territory. The
Israeli military said yesterday raids
came in response to persistent Pales-
tinian shooting attacks on Israelis.
Yesterday marked the 13th anniver-
sary of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's
unilateral declaration of independence, a
day Palestinians observe as a national
holiday even though they don't have a
state. The mood was subdued.
In the West Bank townof Ramallah,
several hundred Palestinians attended
an independence day rally where
speakers said the uprising against
Israel, now in its 14th month, must
Students in KKK
Auburn University said yesterday
it has indefinitely suspended 15 stu-
dents who wore Ku Klux Klan cos-
tumes and blackface to fraternity
The school said the students vio-
lated its harassment and discrimina-
They could face additional disci-
plinary action - including expul-
"The continued presence of these
students in the university communi-
ty poses an immediate threat to the
well-being of the university, and
we're taking that action," Auburn
President William Walker said.
The suspended students include
five from Delta Sigma Phi fraterni-
ty - one who wore blackface with
a noose around his neck, another
dressed as a policeman and three
more who dressed as hunters.
Brits' new invasion:
'Potter' opens today
Better show up at the theater early, or
you'll have trouble finding a place to
park your broomstick.
"Harry Potter and the Sorgerer's
Stone" hits theaters in a colossal way
today, with nearly one-fourth of the
nation's movie screens tuning in to the
boy wizard's adventures.
Eleven-year-old Chris Baum of Pitts-
burgh plans to see "Harry Potter" at an
after-school showing today with his par-
ents and about 50 classmates and their
families. He's most excited to see the
quidditch match - a sport Harry and
other students at Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry play on flying
"I think that will probably be the
hardest for them to do - lots of people
flying around at intense speeds," Chris
The year's most anticipated film
opens in 3,672 theaters.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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