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Flight 587 crash probe focusing on the pilots

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NEW YORK (AP) — Aviation investigators probing the November crash of American Airlines Flight 587 are reportedly focusing on the actions of the pilots.

Investigators have found no pre-existing flaw in the jet's tail section, which broke off, and are looking into whether the pilots may have put too much stress on it, The New York Times reported Saturday.

American Airlines spokesman John Hotard declined to comment on the report when contacted by the Associated Press.

National Transportation and Safety Board spokesman Paul Schlamm said Saturday that investigators were still doing tests on the wreckage, and it could be another year before they establish a cause.

Flight 587 crashed in Queens on Nov. 12 moments after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on its way to the Dominican Republic. All 260 people on board were killed along with five people on the ground.

The NTSB has said the tail fin, rudder and two engines fell off the plane before it crashed.

The Times said investigators are exploring whether the pilots — trying to control the plane after it hit turbulence — may have put so much stress on the tail with their maneuverings that it tore off.