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AirDisaster.Com News
Discuss this story in our forums! Posted: 21 March 2003, 12:05am ET (0505 GMT)

Airbus blames American in November, 2001 jet crash.
Associated Press
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The tail fin of American Airlines flight 587 is recovered from Jamaica Bay, New York in this 2001 file photo. (File Photo/AP)
NEW YORK - Airplane maker Airbus Industrie blamed American Airlines in court papers for "improper" flight operations that it said caused Flight 587 to crash in 2001, killing 265 people.

The papers, filed this month in federal court in Manhattan, said the airline "failed to operate the aircraft in the manner that was foreseeable and normal or intended by Airbus."

"Nothing Airbus did or failed to do caused the accident or any harm or injury to the plaintiffs," the court papers say, referring to the victims of the crash.

An Airbus A300-600 crashed on Nov. 12, 2001, minutes after taking off for the Dominican Republic, killing all 260 people aboard and five people on the ground in Queens.

More than 200 legal suits from victims' families have since been filed against American and Airbus.

American Airlines spokesman John Hotard told the New York Post, which reported on the court papers Thursday, that Airbus' position was "ridiculous."

The National Transportation Safety Board is still examining why the plane's rudder suddenly began swerving violently, causing the tail fin to break off and the plane to crash.

At a Washington hearing last year, the NTSB presented evidence suggesting the co-pilot moved the rudder back and forth after encountering turbulence from a jet five miles ahead. But it is also investigating whether there was a problem with the rudder itself.

It said it may reach some conclusions by this spring.

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