Re: UAL Carago Door Mishap

Date:         06 Jan 2000 01:26:14 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>> Aloha,    The UAL incident had nothing to do with wiring.

>What was the cause of the UAL mishap?

>From the NTSB summary (http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/DCA/89A027.htm) of
the accident report, the probable cause was as follows, though as noted
below I believe this is obsolete:

   The sudden opening of the improperly latched forward lobe
   cargo door in flight and the subsequent explosive decompression.
   Contributing to the accident was a deficiency in the design
   of the cargo door locking mechanisms, which made them
   susceptible to inservice damage, and which alowed the door to
   be unatched, yet to show a properly latched and locked position.
   Also contributing to the accident was the lack of proper
   maintenance and inspection of the cargo door by United Airlines,
   and a lack of timely corrective actions by Boeing and the FAA
   following a previous door opening incident.

This page references report NTSB/AAR-90/01, however.  My copy of this
report, dated 16 Apr 1990, states in section 1.12 that the cargo door
had not been recovered from the ocean floor.  I know that the door was
subsequently recovered, and that the report was substantially revised
as a result of that evidence, exonerating United Airlines as I recall,
but possibly placing partial blame on the electrical closing mechanism
of the cargo door.  Hugh's comment may be based on the earlier version
of the report.

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com		http://www.chicago.com/~kls/
		|Work	kls@netapp.com		http://www.netapp.com/
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