…Airbus Accused Of Not Sharing Information


American also suggests that Airbus knew before the accident about the rudder peculiarities and failed to let the airline or government agencies know about it. “Unfortunately, this accident never should have happened and could have been prevented if Airbus had disclosed to American, the FAA, or the [National Transportation] Safety Board what it knew about the propensity of the flight control inputs that could cause structural damage to the vertical stabilizer,” American said in its submission. The airline claims Airbus had known about the potential problems for 12 years but didn’t tell anyone and continues to regard its internal communications on the topic as confidential. “The significance of Airbus’s decision not to share safety-of-flight information cannot be overemphasized,” the airline said. The airline and pilots also made recommendations aimed at preventing further accidents of this nature. American wants the FAA to do a detailed review of the A300-600’s design-and-certification evaluations of its handling and flying qualities. It also wants the agency to force all manufacturers to develop FAA-approved upset-recovery procedures for their aircraft. It further urges the FAA redefine the term “maneuvering speed,” since the accepted definition didn’t apply in this case because the airframe failure occurred below the speed designated for this aircraft.