Photos by MJ Klein
I was exactly one year ago today that I took this famous photograph:
I think it’s safe for me to say that I do not accept the results of the official investigation: “pilot error.” In every photograph where the position of the rudder is able to be determined, it is in the same position: “left.”
Even in this smaller size, the rudder is very clearly in the left position in this photograph. The problem is, the base where they needed to get to is to the right. The next few photographs also confirm that the rudder did not move. The very last few photographs in the series show the same rudder position.
This shot, taken next in series from the one above shows the left rudder and right ailerons. Ask your pilot friends about this combination of control positions and see what they have to say. Clearly the pilot was trying to bring the right wingtip down and he couldn’t do it because the rudder is jammed left and he lost power.
Draw your own conclusions, but personally I still feel sad and angry about this situation, even after a year has passed. I love the house we live in but every time I’m up on the roof I see those artifacts and think about the 2 heros….