DC-10 cargo door Woes (was Re: Reuters Story On Peru Boeing 757 Crash and DR)

Date:         15 Nov 96 12:25:39 
From:         David Loveall <dloveall@erols.com>
Organization: Erol's Internet Services
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jaded@earthlink.net wrote:
>
> Pete Finlay <pete@meads.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >In article <airliners.1996.2287@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Paul Nixon
> ><khobar@paloverde.com> 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
> >caused the engine to detatch, which ripped out the hydralic and
> >pneumatic lines on that side. This, in turn, caused the L/E slats on
> >that side to be blown back by the forward air pressure, and that flipped
> >the aircraft onto it's back. BTW, I am assuming you are talking about
> >the American Airlines DC-10 that went in at Chicago.
>
> I may be wrong but I seem to recall reading of an American DC-10 that
> lost a cargo door departing San Francisco?... the pilot was able to
> turn around and land the plane by varying the thrust from the 3
> engines (the hydraulics to the control surfaces being severed when the
> floor bucked)...
>
> I think...

The AA DC-10 reference is not to the 1979 Chicago AA DC-10 crash, but
instad to what Stanley Stewart calls in his book "Emergency! Crisis in
the Cockpit" (ISBN 0-8306-3499-1) the "Windsor Incident".

12 June 1972: AA DC-10 flight 96 lost an aft cargo door at 11,750 ft near
Windsor Ontario on a Detroit - Buffalo leg of a LA - LaGuardia flight,
resulting in major flight control damage. (Loss of tail engine thrust,
rudder jammed full left, and loss of three out of four elevator panels.)

Bryce McCormick, R. Paige Whitney, and Clayton Burke landed the plane
essentially using asymetric thrust inputs from the wing engines.  Extremely
providentially, Captain McCormick had practiced in the DC-10 simulator
control of the DC-10 using asymetric thrust.  Also providential was the
light weight loading of the floor in at its collapse point (a coach bar -
remember those?) leaving partial elevator control. (Control cables were
routed and damaged under the areas of collapsed flooring.)

Almost two years later, a Turkish Airlines DC-10 also lost an aft cargo
door, this time over the French countryside, however on this occasion the
collapsing floor (and cabling underneath) was loaded with passengers
instead of a bar. Complete loss of the tail engine and tail flight controls
led to a loss of control and loss of the airplane and all 346 people
aboard.

A number of books have explored why the THY DC-10 disaster occurred, even
after the AA DC-10 near-disaster, so there is no need to re-hash them
here.

I'm curious, though: When the flight control conditions that AA 96 had
faced are replicated in simulation, how often can the plane be successfully
landed?  Or after the THY flight control damage for that matter?

Dave Loveall