Re: DC-10 crash statistic

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Date:         11 Feb 93 01:38:08 PST
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Axel Meierhoefer writes:
>I recently discovered the following DC-10 crash statistic:

First off, there's been a lot of discussion and debate on the DC-10 in
this group as well as several other Usenet groups.  I don't know about
the other groups, but archives of sci.aeronautics.airliners are avail-
able for anonymous ftp from in /pub/airliners.  There are
two compressed files -- archive-1992.Z contains all 1992 articles and
archive-1993.Z contains everything from Jan. 1 up to a day or so ago.
There are also a couple of other files there which may be of some

 *  Before starting up yet another debate on the DC-10 please check the
    archives.  If it's old ground, I'll just reject it.  New material
    is of course most welcome.

Your list, Axel, piqued my interest as it has several crashes which I
wasn't familiar with as well as several others which haven't been
discussed.  It's also a nice summary.  At least two other incidents
come to mind which are at least worth mention:

 *  On Jun. 12, 1972 an American DC-10-10 (N103AA, cn 46505, ln 5) lost
    its aft cargo door over Windsor, Ontario while climbing out of
    Detroit.  While the aircraft managed to return safely the incident
    can be regarded as a dress rehearsal for the 1974 Turkish crash
    near Paris.

 *  Circa 1989 an American DC-10-30 (possibly N136AA, cn 47846, ln 69)
    on its takeoff roll at DFW aborted just before reaching V1.  The
    aircraft was very heavy as it was bound for Frankfurt and overran
    the end of the runway.  While there were no fatalities the damage
    to the airframe was sufficient to result in a write-off.  This
    incident was largely blamed on worn brakes coupled with inadequate
    standards for brake replacement and insufficient consideration of
    the effects of brake wear on overall braking during certification
    testing.  Besides being a hull loss, this incident led to several
    changes in brake standards, both for the DC-10 and other airliners.

>Overseas National Airways lost TWO quite NEW DC-10s in only EIGHT
>WEEKS!!! I think ONA was a small airline. It must have been the biggest
>part of their DC-10 fleet. Or did they only have these two!!!!!?

As of 1982 they had no DC-10s, which consisted of one 707 and thirteen
DC-8s of various series.

>How could this have happened? Does anybody know the reasons for these
>crashes or any other information about them?

Some, such as the World Airways crash (see below) and I believe the
recent Martinair crash, were weather related.  Others could also have
happened as easily to any other airliner, c.f. the American runway
overrun mentioned above.  However, there are at least three that are
real stinkers.  IMO, they suggest significant design flaws, however I
suggest you look over the archives and, if you're serious about trying
to understand the issues, track down a book entitled The DC-10 Case,
published by the SUNY (State University of New York) Press.  There's
also some good material on the subject in The Sporty Game, by John

>I am also interested in the reasons of the Continental, Western,
>World and American Trans Air crashes.

I have a vague recollection of the Continental crash being an overrun
or ground accident or some such.  Can anyone refresh the details?

The Western crash was, I believe, the result of landing on the wrong
runway, perhaps even at the wrong airport.  (If folks send in a fairly
succinct  synopsis of this and the other incidents I'll collect them
and post a summary article.)

The World crash was a runway overrun on landing.  The runways were
very icy and there may have been significant wind as well.  The plane
was unable to brake and ran off the end of the runway and into Boston
Harbor.  As I recall there were only two possible fatalities -- World
was unable to confirm whether or not the two missing passengers were
in fact on the aircraft.

I know nothing of the American Trans Air crash; never even heard of
it.  I find this rather surprising since, as my mailing address might
suggest Chicago, including it's airport, is near and dear to my heart.

Karl Swartz	|INet		
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