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Bill Uher
Langley Research Center
(757) 864-3189, (757) 344-6811 cell

RELEASE NO. 01-116a

For Release:   Nov. 30, 2001

NASA Langley to evaluate Flight 587 tail assembly

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has asked NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., to aid in the ongoing investigation into the November 12, 2001, crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, New York.

Components from the tail section of the Airbus A300 are being shipped to NASA Langley for extensive evaluation.

The parts are now due to arrive at 10:00 am, Tuesday, December 4. At that time, a NASA Langley spokesperson will be available for interviews outside the main gate.

The vertical stabilizer and rudder parts are made of a carbon fiber reinforced epoxy, a composite material. The Safety Board is attempting to determine why these components separated in flight.

NASA Langley was chosen by the NTSB because of its recognized expertise and extensive experience with composite materials and structures for civilian and military aircraft and spacecraft applications.

Due to security policies and the nature and sensitivity of this investigation, NASA Langley will not comment on the testing methods and any findings. All questions about the investigation should be directed to the NTSB at (202) 314-6100.

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