26 January 2002

Pilots in Airbus protest

By Philip Delves, Broughton in New York

A group of American pilots is lobbying to have all Airbus A300s grounded until investigators learn why American Airlines Flight 584 crashed in New York last November.

The plane, an Airbus 300-600, fell into a residential area shortly after taking off, killing 265 people. Shortly before it crashed, its tail came away.

More than 70 pilots have signed a petition saying there is no satisfactory way of testing the Airbus tails. Airbus Industrie, the French-based manufacturer, has said that the current inspections were effective at spotting problems.

American Airlines, the only US passenger fleet to use the Airbus 300s, said it saw no need to ground its planes.