A-300: engine failure, bird strike, terrorism or near miss?

Original theory of mechanical failure remains a possibility but analysis of flight recorders opens other possibilities.

Eye-witness reports of an orange light around one of the wings before the A-300/600 crashed into Queens, New York City on Monday, could indicate an explosion. However, the engines do not appear to show any sign of this. Early analysis pointed towards internal failure or a bird strike.

Upon analysis of the flight recorders (the so-called “black boxes”) it appears that the pilots lost control of the aircraft 90 seconds after take-off. Marion Blakey, President of the National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB), confirmed that a Japanese Airlines Boeing 747 had been present in the air in front of the Airbus and that there was a possibility that the turbulence created by the JAL Airliner’s 4 engines had not cleared sufficiently before the A-300 passes in its wake.

The sounds heard on the flight recorder appear to be acceleration or vibrations, which would be caused during turbulence.


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