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DC10 And The Famous Cargo Doors.  
User currently offlineDakotasport From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 232 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9427 times:

I was wondering something. The THY incident in the '70s and I believe there was also a AA DC10 that experienced the problem with the cargo door opening in flight. My question is, how is it possible that an un-pressurized section of an a/c (cargo hold) could cause a rapid decompression as in these two incidences when the door comes open during flight????

Thanks in advance.


9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9390 times:

On all the transport category aircraft I know of, the cargo holds are pressurized.

User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined exactly 12 years ago today! , 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 9308 times:

On all the transport category aircraft I know of, the cargo holds are pressurized.

Agreed, just read in a book about FedEx 1406, DC-10-10, September of 1996. Some of the cargo caught on fire, and the crew depressurized the cargo hold while descending.

Bad part is, they forgot to depressurize the Cockpit, and couldn't get the doors open until they did so. Fortunately, they were able to get out.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14968 posts, RR: 61
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9211 times:

On the original DC-10 cargo doors it was possible to move the locking lever into the locked position without having the (electrically operated) latches fully engaged.
After the accident the door latching mechanism was redesigned. It is now impossible to push the locking lever down if the latches are not in their end position, due to a cam as part of them, which has to move out of the way for the locking bars. The position of the locking bars can (and has to be checked) through small windows inserted in the cargo door. The same door is in use on the MD-11. There have been no more problems since them.
Since the pressure differetial pulled down the floor over the aft cargo hold and pulled on the control cables, causing the flight crew to loose control over their plane, there have been several blow out panels incorporated in the cargo hold ceiling and sidewall panels, which will permit a controlled equalisation of pressure if there should be a decompressation either in the cabin or cargo holds.

BTW, the 747 had a similar problem with a cargo door opening in flight, killing several people (United Airlines). Only the fact that the control cables of a 747 run above the cabin (due to it´s cockpit in the upper deck), prevented a similar loss as the Turkish Airlines accident. The lock and latch mechanism of the 747 was redesigned as well, with similar inspection windows and a change of the material of the locking cams from aluminium to steel.


Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
User currently offlineBroke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1325 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 9100 times:

On the American DC-10-10 incident. The plane took off out of Detroit and was climbing out over Southern Ontario when the cargo door opened. Due to the transient pressure differential between the cargo compartment and the passenger compartment, the floor partially collapsed, jamming several empennage flight control cables (rudder and elevators) that are routed through the lightening holes in the floor beams.
The crew controlled the airplane by the use of the rudder and elevator trim tabs and the stabilizer trim. One of those incidents, most people never hear of, that could have been a major disaster except for the skill of the flightcrew. The contents of the cargo compartment and the lounge above were lost. At that time there no passenger seats in that area and no serious injuries or fatalities occurred.
A change to the cargo doors was made via service bulletin and a production change on the line. There was an error in the production records and 2 airplanes were registered as being modified and they were not. One was a National Airlines DC-10 and the other was the THY DC-10 that was later lost coming out of Orly. It is still the greatest loss of life by a single airplane crash in aviation history. Hopefully, that is a record that will not be broken.

User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1747 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 9073 times:
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In the THY incident, and as discovered on the National DC-10 and also another DC-10 after the THY crash, both airplanes had not been modified. The paperwork showed these modifications required after the AA incident had been installed, but in fact were not.

The investigation found that the mechanic who was assigned to install this modification just signed the paperwork off as installed, but never did the work. Also the inspector who was required to inspect the mechanic’s work and sign it off never went out to the airplanes to inspect the job but also signed it off as installed.

Both the mechanic and inspector were arrested and charged with criminal negligent homicide. I do not know of the outcome of the trial.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17649 posts, RR: 65
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9037 times:

It is still the greatest loss of life by a single airplane crash in aviation history.

IIRC, the single greatest loss of life in a single plane crash was the Japan Airlines 747 domestic with 524 dead, 3 survivors.

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDakotasport From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks ago) and read 8931 times:

Starlionblue, you beat me to it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rear pressure bulkhead on that Japan 747....remember???

User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 8689 times:

As has been correctly stated the THY & AA aft bulk cargo doors blew out because of a bad design that was know about and covered up etc. But the reason the THY plane crashed and the AA plane almost crashed was because there was inadequate pressure equalization between the upper and lower compartments. When the door blew out the floor crushed the control cables for the rudder and elevators .... Very sad. If the AA plane was fully loaded like the THY was it most likely would have crashed too.

Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1747 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8559 times:
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IIRC the AA DC-10 was at a lower altitude than the THY DC-10 so the force of the explosive decompression was less. On the AA -10 it severely buckled the floor jamming the control cables.

On the THY –10, the floor above the cargo compartment completely caved in and some passengers sitting above the collapse area were sucked out of the airplane. The found these passengers still strapped into their seats in a field near were the cargo door landed away from the main wreckage area.

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