ji tElje <3uhtana (gazette NATION Wednesday, October 30, 2002 — Page 15 Recorder reveals pilots' struggle By LESLIE MILLER Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — During the final moments of American Airlines Flight 587, the pilots struggled in vain to keep the plane aloft after encountering turbulence from another jetliner's wake, a taped transcript shows. The cockpit voice recorder captured the conversation between Capt. Edward States and co-pilot Sten Molin during the 103-second flight, which ended when the tailfin broke off and the ( plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in New York City on Nov. 12,2001. AH 260 people aboard the Airbus A300-600 died, as did five in the Queens neighborhood where the aircraft crashed. It was the second- deadliest crash on U.S. soil. "Hang onto it! Hang onto it!" States implored as the plane hit turbulence from a Boeing 747 flying five miles ahead. "Let's go for power, please," Molin said. A second later came a loud bang, which investigators believe was the tailfin snapping off. Then came the roar of air rushing against the aircraft and alarms sounding in the cockpit. "What the hell are we into (inaudible)?" Molin said. "We're stuck in it." States' last recorded words came Five seconds later: "Get out of it! Get out of it!" The National Transportation Safety Board released the transcript Tuesday, the start of a four-day public hearing on the crash. Investigators also revealed two videotapes of the flight, one from a construction crew and one from a security camera at a toll booth. Members of the victims' families, sitting in the hearing room, were stunned to see die videotapes. One showed the plane taking off and, later, smoke billowing from the crash in the distance. The other showed a tiny, grainy image of the plane as it descended from the sky, developing into a light smudge along its trajectory- Robert Benzon, NTSB investigator in charge, said the smudge could have been misting fuel, smoke or Carol Carmody, National Transportation Safety Board acting chairwoman, presided over a hearing at the NTSB in Washington Tuesday, investigating the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in November 2001. (AP photo) flame that spread from the plane after the engines broke from the wings. Most of the passengers were flying home to-the Dominican Republic. An examination of die accident sequence showed the rudder's movements were consistent with pressure on the pedal that controls the rudder, the movable element of the tail- fin. Investigators believe a series of sharp rudder movements caused the plane's tailfin to snap less than two minutes after takeoff from John E Kennedy International Airport, according to Benzon. Whether the rudder movements were caused by pilot action or by an anomaly in the rudder system is a focus of the inquiry, he said. Rudders help to keep a plane on course duringlanding or taking off in crosswinds and in case of engine failure; they're rarely used at higher .speeds in flight. The NTSB has found that very slight pressure on the rudder pedal of the European-made Airbus A30Q- 600 can cause severe rudder movements when flying at high speeds. It's unclear whether the Flight 587 pilots were aware of this. The safety board urged the FAA in February to make sure pilots are trained that moving the rudder back and forth may be dangerous even at low speeds previously thought to be safe. The crash was the first of an Airbus aircraft in North America. It also was the first that involved the failure of a major structural component made of composite materials — the tailfin. Most tailfins are made of metal. Hazmat spill closes 1-80 WHITE HAVEN, Pa. (AP) —A hazardous materials spill closed a portion of Interstate 80 in Luzerne County for most of Tuesday. A tractor-trailer wrecked at ahout 5:30 a.m. near the White Haven interchange, spilling methyl acrylate and closing the road in both direc- tions between the Mountain Top/Hazel ton interchange and White Haven. The flammable liquid spilled into the soil, and needs to be excavated before the roadway can reopen, authorities said. The road remained closed Tuesday night. MARK YOUR CALENDAR PAGE, THURSDAYS magic mist Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning - WATER & FIRE DAMAGE & RESTORATION STEAM & DRY SYSTEM - DRIES IN 1 HOUR New! Tile & Grout Cleaning CALL 1-8OO-452-33O6 Wellstone memorial service turns into political rally By PATRICK HOWE Associated Press Writer MINNEAPOLIS — Tears gave way to foot-stomping and cheers at a memorial service for Sen. Paul Well- stone as friends and relatives urged Minnesotans to honor his memory by putting a Domocrat in his seat. The entreaty came as former Vice President Walter Mondale, who attended the service, prepared to become Wellstone's replacement on the ballot. During a 3'/2-hour tribute at a University of Minnesota sports arena Tuesday night, more tHari 20,000 people cried and cheerecT'for Well- stone, his wife, daughter and five other victims of a plane crash last Friday. For the first two hours, speakers remembered the eight with poignant anecdotes. But when Weltstone's friend and longtime campaign treasurer Rick Kahn took the stage, he adopted the late senator's fiery speaking style and abruptly demolished the leaky dike that had held back most political speech since the accident. "If Paul Wellstone's legacy in the Senate comes to an end just days after this unspeakable tragedy, our spirits will be crushed, and we will drown in a river of tears," Kahn said. "We are begging you, do not let this happen." Four large screens then showed Mondale in the crowd. Mondale, 74, is expected to take Wellstone's ballot spot after a Democratic party meeting this evening. Party sources said Mondale would speak to the gathering, and was expected to file formal paperwork either today or Thursday. Mondale, a Minnesota senator before going to the White House with President Carter, quickly emerged as the consensus choice of Democratic elders concerned about holding Wellstone's seat, one of a handful of races around the country that will determine which party controls the Senate. Wellstone's sons, David and Mark Wellstone, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D- lowa, one of Wellstone's closest friends in the Senate, also stoked the crowd, to fight for Mondale, though none of them mentioned him by name. Republicans quickly criticized the partisan tone of the memorial. "I was frankly stunned. It was over the top," said Sarah Janecek, a Republican consultant. Even some Wellstone supporters in the crowd said they were a bit uncomfortable. "I think Kahn probably crossed that line," said Tom Moore, a University of Minnesota employee. "He can be forgiven, though. He was basically preaching to the choir and the choir needed to hear it." Added Sharon Rezac, attending 'with a Democratic women's group from Park Rapids: "With Paul, you can't separate the personal from the political, and this was his night." The event marked an end to the public mourning and a resumption of the campaign, which has just six days remaining before Tuesday's election. Coleman, who suspended his campaign after Wellstone's death, planned a statewide flyaround starting early today. It appears he faces an uphill fight. A new Minnesota Poll by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis showed Mondale with a comfortable 47 percent to 39 percent lead over Coleman. Tuesday night's service was packed with national political figures. Former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton entered in the midst of an ebullient rhythm and blues performance, drawing a huge cheer from the crowd. They were followed by former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Gov. Jesse Ventura, among others. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson represented the Bush administration. An overflow crowd of thousands gathered outside the arena to watch on giant video screens, and many more watched and listened on statewide TV and radio to the ceremony for Wellstone; his wife Sheila, 58; his daughter Marcia WeUstone Markuson, 33; and campaign staffers Mary McEvoy, 49, Tom Lapic, 49, and Will McLaughlin, 23. The plane's two pilots, Richard Conry, 55, and Michael Guess, 30, were also remembered. Health agencies need to cooperate WASHINGTON (AP) — Government agencies are moving in the right direction to improve health care quality, but they should share information and coordinate their efforts, the Institute of Medicine said today. The institute, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, said federal agencies can help improve Americans' health care by setting a good example. "In the absence of strong federal leadership to address safety and quality concerns, progress will be slow," said Dr. Gilbert Omenn of the University of Michigan, chairman of the panel that prepared the report. In the wake of reports of medical errors across the country, Congress asked the institute to review the health quality efforts of Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Defense Department TR1CARE programs, the Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service. The panel concluded that the agencies have begun redesigning their programs and are moving in the right direction to reduce medical errors and improve quality. But the efforts are not coordinated, the committee said. It suggested that the agencies work together to develop common ways to measure performance and make comparative quality reports available to the public. Measuring performance will require agencies to set up computerized patient records, the committee said, an area where it commented the health care industry has lagged behind. In addition, private insurers should be encouraged to add their performance data to a national health care database, as long as the privacy of individual patients is protected. The committee concluded that Congress should consider tax credits, subsidized loans or grants to encourage development of a national health information system. The National Academy of Sciences is an independent organization chartered by Congress to provide advice to the government on scientific issues. (On the Net: National Academy of Sciences: www.nationalacademies. org) NOW'STHETIMETO GET INTO SHAPE! ONE MONTH FREE* "30Minute Fitness & Weitfltl IMSS Centers" •Quickfit: A complete workout designed for women, that only takes 30 minutes. •On-Site weight loss guidance •Fast »Fun •Fitness CALL TODAY: 724-463-2287 • 4% S. Ben Franklin RiL, Indiana * Front Entrance of Sharon's School of Hance 1 -800-711-BANK • www.fcbanking.com • FCB Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender When it comes to answering all your financial needs, we not only talk the talk, we walk the walk. Providing you with a wide range of products and services - from banking and trust services to insurance and financial planning. Because if the shoe fits, wear it. Banking / Insurance I Trust / Financial Management I Investments Commonwealth Financial solutions. For life.
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