Re: O'Hare Accident

Date:         08 Aug 97 05:41:15 
From:         Michael Davias <>
Organization: Cintos Systems
References:   1
Followups:    1
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jdobyns wrote:
> My understanding is that modern jetliners have the ability to take off
> safely even if one engine fails on takeoff.  If so, did they ever figure
> out why the one flight leaving Chicago in the late 70's crashed after an
> engine fell off?

The American Airlines DC10 involved in the accident you are referencing
actually had three engines, but that did not help.

During an engine refurbishment prior to the accident, maintenance
workers removed the engine along with its mounting pylon, instead of
removing the engine from the pylon first.  This improper activity
overstressed the pylon mounting bolts, which subsequently failed in a
catastrophic manner during full-throttle takeoff.

The engine and pylon rotated forward and then over the wing, severing
control lines to that wing's control surfaces.  The immediate result was
that flaps on that wing began to retract.  This put the aircraft into an
unbalanced lift situation, and it rolled to a wings-vertical position as
it rapidly lost altitude.

It had been suggested that if the crew reacted quickly enough to retract
the other wing's flaps, the crash could have been avoided. I find that
suggestion to be a long (cheap) shot by armchair pilots.

[Moderator's Note: Not to mention that simply retracting the other
flaps would have caused *both* wings to stall.  In any case, lots
has previously been said in sci.aeronautics.airliners about this
crash -- see for the
group's archives.  -- Karl]

Michael E. Davias                   
146 High St. #304                         Milford, CT 06460