Re: Reuters Story On Peru Boeing 757 Crash and DR

Date:         11 Nov 96 01:50:37 
From: (Don Stokes)
Organization: Victoria University of Wellington
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <>,
Pete Finlay  <> wrote:
>In article <airliners.1996.2287@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Paul Nixon
><> writes
>>McD-D knew about the difficulty with this door design because of an
>>earlier loss of such from an American Airlines DC10. But that doesn't
>>change the fact that the ground crewman was the one who was responsible
>>for making sure the door was properly closed.
>the American Airlines DC-10 crash was nothing to do with the cargo door;
>it was the failure of one of the wing engine pylon hinge brackets, which

Different DC-10.  The one being referred to above didn't crash; the
aircraft was lightly loaded and had plenty of altitude when the door
popped, even so the pilot had to bring the aircraft down without any tail
controls.  The THY aircraft was still in climb -- apparently the aircraft
was nearly level when it ran out of altitude.

>Philosophically speaking (!), both accidents were the results of human
>error more than an aircraft fault. The American Airlines one at Chicago
>was caused by poor maintenance procedures (they changed the engine using
>a fork-lift truck and cracked the bracket in the process), and the
>Turkish one was caused by the idiot that was responsible for closing the

As others have notied, it wasn't entirely the handler's fault that the
doors popped -- it was pretty hard to tell the difference between the
door locking correctly and the mechanism folding up inside.

What is a common theme in the AA & THY door failures, the AA engine loss
and UA232 is the amount of collateral damage suffered by control
systems when some other part of the aircraft falls off; in the door
episodes the tail controls were disabled; in the AA crash at Ohare, the
loss of the engine pylon took out not only the leading edge devices but
the systems that would have alerted the pilots to the asymmetric slat
configuration as well -- if these had functioned the pilots would almost
certainly have been able to take action to save the aircraft.

It's as if McDD never sat down and asked, for each door, window, engine,
pylon, control surface etc, "what happens if this breaks?"  Engines
break.  Even doors occasionally pop if mishandled -- witness the UAL 747.
The UAL 747 came back to HNL minus the cargo door, a chunk of the
fuselage, 9 passengers and with two dead engines, but it came back.
Other aircraft have survived uncontained turbine failures without even a
danger of losing all hydraulic systems -- turbines blowing themselves to
bits or even falling off, although not common, is hardly in the "can't
happen" category.

Don Stokes, Network Manager, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. +64 4 495-5052 Fax+64 4 471-5386