wo months since the 11 September, 2001 attacks, the event remained fresh in the minds of Americans. At John F. Kennedy Airport, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300-600R, leaves on a three hour flight to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Shortly after take-off, it encounters turbulence from a Japan Airlines Boeing B-747 that took off from the same runway 30 seconds earlier, causing it to violently tilt back and forth. The pilot repeatedly steps on the rudder back and forth to stabilize the plane, but his overuse of the rudder breaks the tail from the fuselage. Without the tail to support the aircraft, it spins out of control and crashes into Rockaway, Queens, killing all 260 people onboard and 5 on the ground.
Continental Airlines is a United States certificated air carrier. Based in Houston, Texas, it is the fourth-largest airline in the U.S. and the fifth-largest in the world by revenue passenger miles. Continental's marketing slogan, since 1998, has been Work Hard, Fly Right.