American Airlines Flight 587 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from John F.Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Santo Domingo's Las Américas International Airport in the Dominican Republic.
It is the second-deadliest aviation incident in New York state; the second-deadliest aviation incident involving an Airbus A300, after Iran Air Flight 655; and the second-deadliest aviation accident to occur on U. The location of the accident and the fact that it took place two months and one day after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan initially spawned fears of another terrorist attack.Terrorism was officially ruled out as the cause by the National Transportation Safety Board, which instead attributed the disaster to the first officer's overuse of rudder controls in response to wake turbulence, or jet wash, from a Japan Airlines Boeing 747-400 that took off minutes before it.According to the NTSB, this aggressive use of the rudder controls by the co-pilot caused the vertical stabilizer to snap off the plane.The plane's two engines also separated from the aircraft before it hit the ground.Flight 587, circled in white, can briefly be seen in this video still moving downward with a white streak behind the aircraft.
This video, released by the NTSB, was recorded by a toll-booth camera located on the Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.
was an Airbus A300B4-605R delivered in 1988, with a seating configuration for 267 passengers (16 first-class seats and 251 economy-class seats); it was powered by two General Electric CF6-80C2A5 engines.
The accident flight had two flight crew members, seven cabin crew members and 251 passengers.
The flight crew consisted of Captain Ed States (42) and First Officer Sten Molin (34), who was the pilot flying. It taxied to Runway 31L behind a Japan Airlines Boeing 747-400 bound for Tokyo. As the JAL flight climbed, the tower contacted Flight 587's pilots and warned them about potential wake turbulence from the 747.
At , the A300 was cleared for takeoff on Runway 31L.
The aircraft left the runway at , about 1 minute and 40 seconds after the JAL flight.