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August 7, 2002
 
Airbus Comments In Response to Vanity Fair Article
 
VICTOR TROMBETTAS: I've heard Airbus' reaction to David Rose's Flight 587 article in the September issue of Vanity Fair article is that it is an "irresponsible fishing expedition". Could you please address specific areas where David Rose was irresponsible? Or has Airbus resorted to name-calling? Also, to your knowledge, has anyone proven that wake vortices did indeed travel at close to 40 knots in order to create the 2nd wake encounter? And fell over 1000 feet when then the FAA states that vortices level off at 900 feet. Plus, in the 90 - 100 seconds between the planes ... the vortices did not fall the required distance, much less make up the lateral distance. Are you aware that the crew of 587 called for max power BEFORE the 2nd wake encounter? Are you aware that the crew was proclaiming loss of control BEFORE the rudder data became unreliable? Given these FACTS as we have them today, isn't it "irresponsible" to continue to support (as Airbus does) the wake turbulence/pilot over-control speculations until some tangible facts are released?
 
AIRBUS: It is irresponsible to present as facts a collection of long-ago dismissed (by the investigative authorities which are working directly on the case) opinions and theories by people who have no access to the actual facts of the investigation, when that investigation is ongoing. Safety is the highest priority of all in the aviation community and the NTSB and FAA (and Airbus) have repeatedly stated that if they found any reason to alter operations of the A300-600 they would do so. And they have not.

VICTOR TROMBETTAS: You did not specifically mention a single "long-ago dismissed opinion or theory" that you feel renders David's piece irresponsible. Pick one and rip it apart. Secondly, you did not answer my specific questions. Thirdly, what actual facts are you referring to? The fact that Airbus believes the load limits on the tail were exceeded ... when the NTSB says "we dunno"?? Fourthly, please explain why A320's tails are subjected to ultrasonic scans every 1100 flights and A300/310's only get a visual scan? Why is visual-only not enough for the A320 tail? Maybe I'm wrong here ... maybe this is not the case, but if it is, please explain.
 
AIRBUS: (no reply yet)

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