Transcribed from Eugene Register-Guard, Eugene, OR, January 15, 1963, p. 1:
CAB Blames Jet Crash on Short Circuit
WASHINGTON (AP) — A short circuit–caused by the improper use of tweezers in binding up wires–was the most likely abnormality that sent a jet and 95 persons to their doom last March, the Civil Aeronautics Board said Tuesday.
The American Airlines plane plunged into Jamaica Bay shortly after take-off from New York’s Idlewild International Airport.
The CAB report said the wires, part of the automatic pilot system, lead to the rudder boost control mechanism–called the rudder servo.
Federal Aviation Agency inspectors, the CAB said, determined that the damage was the result of improper use of tweezers in tying wire bundles and backed up the conclusion by finding similarly damaged units in the manufacturer’s production line.
The board said that after the difficulty was discovered, the FAA issued an order for inspection of generator motors for damaged wire bundles.
The Bendix Corp., a division of which in Teterboro, N.J., makes the servo control unit, issued a denial that the unit was defective.
The CAB conceded that an FAA theory made public last June — that a small bolt may have dropped out of the automatic control system — was one of several things that could have happened.