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March 7, 2002
Critical Portions of Flight 587 FAA Tapes (all in mp3 format)
by Victor Trombettas
1. This is the whole sequence from 1415:51 To 1416:25 on the Local Control Tape. There are no clear communications with AA 587 on this tape in this sequence because they've already been handed off to JFK Departure Control. There are "noises" in this portion that could be from AA 587 as I'll elaborate below.
2. This is the whole sequence from 1415:37 to 1416:11 on the JFK Departure Control Tape where AA 587 had been handed off to JFK Departure Control from Local Control Tower and had made their last clear transmission at 1415:42. Notice the crew member's extended "uuhh" at the beginning of his transmission; as is he is possibly distracted by something. The first lateral movement has already occurred and the airframe rattling has been heard on the CVR according to NTSB data.
3. This sound is from 1415:52 on the Local Control Tape and tagged by the FAA as unintelligible.
It is exactly the same utterance as the first part of this phrase from the JFK Departure Control tape occurring at the same time on both tapes. The FAA calls this phrase "nice game". After careful analysis ... this phrase is a rushed, "try escape". The similar phrase on the Local Control tape is just "try e..". What cannot be denied is that the "try" is on BOTH tapes at the same time and that the pilot(s) who made this call interrupted the Tower. It seemed very rushed. If this is AA 587 and is a sign of trouble, it places their distress even further from the NTSB's focus on the 8 second period. A full 12.5 seconds before rudder failure. Also, "escape" is a rare, but established emergency cockpit maneuver that pilots receive simulator training on once a year. Engaging this maneuver requires the Pilot to literally call it out in the cockpit.
4. At 1415:59, this noise is on the JFK Departure Control Tape. This is the start of the 8 second sequence that ends with the death of the FDR. The plane crashes 10 seconds after that.
5. Next in the sequence, are the 1416:00 to 1416:03 "noises". Here are the ones from Local Control. The FAA's Local Transcript does not even list these noises.
6. Here are the ones from the same time frame, 1416:02 to 1416:03, but from the JFK Departure Control Tape. This is the phrase that many people feel includes the word "control" preceded by "losing" or "out of". Some folks have said the noise that quickly precedes "losing control" is "mayday". Mayday is harder to hear ... but it could fit the noise pattern. Don't try to interpret this sound too hard. Just listen to it. Keep in mind the NTSB has said that at this time on the CVR they have heard the crew making comments about "losing control". So what's the big deal with us confirming it? It begs the question, why the distortions? What has happened to the plane when they haven't yet lost the tail? And even if they did ... why would that so distort their communication when the radios are on a protected electrical bus.
7. The final "noise" possibly from AA 587 ... at 1416:10 (7 seconds before the crash); many have said they hear this as a fast "mayday". Not easy to make out, for sure. However, the FAA's JFK Departure Control Transcript does not list this last noise. But this noise ends a 19 second time frame on the JFK Departure Control tape that had 5 "noises" or "unintelligible" sounds with no communications from Control or other planes. No where else in these transcripts will you find so many noises in so short a time. The mathematical probability that these are noises from AA 587 is very high indeed. Even the NTSB's George Black Jr. found these sounds to be interesting back in November, and he noted they occurred at the time AA 587 was losing control.
Again, the significance is twofold:
1. These noises started at 1415:51 ... 12.5 seconds before rudder failure.
2. What affected and distorted the communications so sharply?
Victor Trombettas

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