FedEx MD-11 crash at Newark

Date:         31 Jul 97 18:57:34 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.NOSPAM.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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FedEx flight 14, operating TPE-ANC-EWR, crashed today (July 31) at
approximately 1:35 am EST while landing on Newark's runway 29.  The
initial impact was only 200 yards from Terminal B, and the burning
wreckage blocked the runway, EWR's shortest.  The other two runways
at EWR were open for departures only by 8 am, and for arrivals by
11:30 am.

At least one witness reported seeing flames coming from the aircraft
before it landed and flipped on its back.  A small part of the cargo
consisted of hazardous materials -- less than 400 pounds out of a
total of 125,000 pounds -- and the wreckage continued to burn hours
after the crash.  A hazmat team was at the scene in addition to the
regular fire fighters.

Both pilots and all three passengers -- two FedEx employees and an
employee of another airline -- escaped via cockpit windows.  The were
treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital and released.  A
number of fire fighters were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

This was the first MD-11 hull loss.

Less than a year ago, on September 5, 1996, FedEx flight 1406, a
DC-10-10CF flying MEM-BOS, made an emergency landing at Stewart
International Airport in New Windsor, NY, after warnings of smoke in
the cabin.  There were no fatalities in that accident, either, but
after landing an uncontrolled fire near the center of the cabin
burned through the fuselage.  The NTSB has not issued a final report
on that accident (NTSB accident number DCA96MA079) but reportedly
hazardous materials were involved.

Cargo-only operations have fewer restrictions on hazardous cargo than
do passenger operations.  Still, after the other FedEx accident and
ValuJet 592, it will be interesting to see what happens if hazardous
material turn out to be the cause of this accident.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills