Ten years ago today, American Airlines Flight 587 bound for the Dominican Republic took from the JFK Airport. Turbulent air led the co-pilot to use the rudder to keep the plane up, but the rudder broke off. All 260 people on board—251 passengers and 9 crew members— and five people on the ground were killed when the plane crashed into the quiet residential neighborhood of Belle Harbor Queens. This morning, Mayor Bloomberg will be joining hundreds to remember the victims at the Flight 587 Memorial 17 blocks from the actual crash site.
The crash occurred just two months after the 9/11 attacks, and immediately there were fears that it was another terrorist attack. When the memorial was being planned, some criticized that it was being built away from the actual site, but now homes damaged from the crash were rebuilt and the memorial is closer to a subway station. There is a marker at the crash location, Beach 131st and Newport Avenue.
The crash is still the "second deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil."