Related Accidents / Incidents

Turk Hava 981, Paris. DC-10. 3 March 1974 and American Airlines 96 Windsor-Locks, Ontario, Canada, DC-10. 12 June 1972

In both cases while climbing through about 11,000 feet the aft cargo door blew open. The resulting decompression buckled the passenger floor, damaged primary control systems that ran beneath it and caused loss of control of the airplane. The American crew recovered and landed safely. The Turkish airplane crashed into a forest killing everyone aboard. The cause of both accidents was determined to be the incorrect engagement of the door latching mechanism before takeoff, its subsequent failure in flight, and a separation of the cargo door. Loss of the door led to decompression of the cabin, floor collapse, and damage to control cables. In the case of the Paris accident, the control cables were severed (as opposed to partially buckled in the case of the American Airlines DC-10 incident), which resulted in a loss of control, and the accident.

View American Airlines Flight 96 accident report.

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Alaska 60, Ketchikan, Alaska, 727-100. 5 April 1976

During rollout following an unstabilized approach and a long, fast touchdown on a wet runway, braking action was poor, and the crew elected to perform a go around. The thrust reversers had already been deployed. The pilots were unable to command full thrust because the thrust reversers were not fully stowed. The crew reapplied reverse thrust and braking, but departed the runway at significant speed.

View accident report.

Pacific Western 314, Cranbrook, BC, Canada, 737-200. 11 February 1978

The airplane crashed after losing control during an attempted go-around after touchdown Reverse thrust was selected on both engines upon touchdown, then immediately cancelled because of a need for a go-around in order to avoid collision with a snow removal vehicle on the runway. The aircraft lifted off and cleared the vehicle. However, the thrust reverser stow sequence was interrupted at liftoff, leaving the reversers in a partially deployed position. By design, hydraulic pressure used for the thrust reverser deploy/stow cycle was shut off as the aircraft became airborne. The thrust reverser on the right engine stowed fully and regained forward thrust, while the reverser on the left engine failed to fully stow and, following liftoff, gradually deployed fully due to aerodynamic loads. The resulting thrust asymmetry caused a loss of roll control, and the subsequent crash.

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United 811, Honolulu, Hawaii, 747-100. 24 February 1989

United Airlines (UAL) Flight 811 experienced an explosive decompression at about 22,000 feet after the forward lobe cargo door suddenly opened in flight. After the door was recovered from the bottom of the ocean, it was discovered that the cargo door latches had been powered to the nearly open position, overriding and deforming the latch sectors. The investigators determined that this powered open command most likely occurred following a normal door closure but prior to an engine start. It was concluded that this "powered open" command most likely was the result of a latent failure of a power isolation switch (S2) in combination with an electrical short in a wire harness. As a contributing factor, the NTSB cited 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following a previous door opening incident.

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Lauda 004, Thailand, Bangkok, 767-300. 26 May 199

A Boeing Model 767-300ER, powered by Pratt and Whitney PW4000 engines and operated by Lauda Air, experienced an uncommanded thrust reverser deployment of the left engine during climb out from Bangkok International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. The reverser deployment resulted in loss of airplane control and subsequent in-flight break up, killing all 223 passengers and crew.

It was later determined that the engine thrust reverser's efflux pattern associated with high airspeed and high engine power caused significant airflow disruption over the upper wing surface. It was also established that this potentially catastrophic lift loss issue was not limited to the Model 767-300, but was common to many other similarly configured airplanes.

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Luxair 9642, Luxembourg, F27. 6 November 2002

On November 6, 2002, a Fokker F27 Mk 050 turboprop-powered airplane, owned and operated by Luxair and registered as LX-LGB, departed Berlin as Flight LG 9642/LH 2420 to Luxembourg. Inadequate landing visibility was reported at the destination airport and remained throughout the approach. The crew attempted an approach, but visibility remained inadequate, and a go-around was initiated. Shortly after initiation of the go-around, ATC reported that visibility had improved to above the required minimums. The captain aborted the go-around and attempted to capture the glide slope from above. In attempting to capture the glide slope, the captain moved the power levers below the flight idle detent. Moving the power levers below the flight idle detent in flight was specifically prohibited by the Airplane Flight Manual. Upon landing gear extension, a design defect momentarily released the secondary mechanical low pitch stops and allowed the propellers on both engines to transit into the reverse pitch (beta) range.

The captain recognized that reverse pitch had been attained, and moved the power levers back into the forward thrust region. However, the pitch on the right propeller continued to reduce and eventually went fully into reverse. In response to the effects of increased drag, loss of lift, and thrust asymmetry, the captain chose to shut down both engines in an attempt to maintain control. After shutdown, the left propeller feathered, but the right propeller remained in full reverse.

The airplane touched down near the edge of a highway 3.5 km short of the runway, bounced over the highway, broke up, and caught fire. Of the 19 passengers and three crew members on board, only the captain and one passenger survived.

The complete accident module for this accident may be found in this Lessons Learned from Transport Airplane Accidents library. 

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