American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300, crashed into the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens; a borough of New York City in New York, United States, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on November 12, 2001. This is the second deadliest U.S. aviation accident to date, after American Airlines Flight 191.
With 260 fatalities on board and 5 on the ground, this accident has the third highest death toll of any accident involving an Airbus A300. Both Iran Air Flight 655 and China Airlines Flight 140 had higher fatalities.
The accident took place two months after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Several factors, such as the date, aircraft size, airline, and location in New York, raised concerns that the crash was caused by another terrorist attack. Al-Qaeda listed the attack among their successes, and a Canadian militant cooperating with authorities suggested that it had been brought down with a shoe bomb. Nonetheless, 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.
On November 12, 2001, about 09:16 eastern standard time, American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus Industrie A300-605R delivered in 1987 and powered by two General Electric CF6-80C2A5, N14053, crashed into Belle Harbor, a New York City residential area, shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York. Flight 587 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight to Las AmÃ©ricas International Airport, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with 2 flight crew members, seven flight attendants, and 251 passengers aboard the plane. Ed States served as the captain, and Sten Molin served as the first officer.
The plane's vertical stabilizer and rudder separated in flight and fell into Jamaica Bay, about 1 mile north of the main wreckage site. The plane's engines subsequently separated in flight and fell several blocks north and east of the main wreckage site. All 260 people aboard the plane and 5 people on the ground died, and the impact forces and a post-crash fire destroyed the plane. Flight 587 operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident.