Flight 587: A New Look At The Pilots

When the tail fin of a seemingly fine aircraft rips away on a clear morning, as it did in the Nov. 12 crash of American Airlines Flight 587, you'd think blame might lie with how the plane was built. New evidence, however, suggests a problem may also have been in how it was flown. According to a blunt 1997 letter obtained by TIME, safety officers from Boeing and Airbus, the plane's builders, had warned American that its pilot training relied too much on the rudder to recover in turbulent situations, which can "lead to structural loads that exceed the design strength...

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