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DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Fri Mar 24, 2000 1:25 pm

Personally, I don't see why people hate DC-10s so much. Could someone clue me in? I haven't had problems with them before. I have ridden on them several times with NWA, although Northwest isn't my choice airline, and the planes weren't anything special as far as niceness goes (most likely the airline). Why does everyone hate them?
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Fri Mar 24, 2000 1:48 pm

Another case of the "Old planes are bad planes" theory.
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Fri Mar 24, 2000 1:57 pm

There's nothing wrong with them. Had some (major) problems with the cargo door in the early days. A safe plane now. I prefer the Tristar, but would board a DC-10 without apprehension.
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That Was Then...

Fri Mar 24, 2000 2:30 pm

As TWA717_200 said, I'd rather board a TriStar which was a much safer aircraft. I say this because it's suicide on this forum to say it is. Anyway, the DC-10 is indeed a fine airliner today, it just had, as an American Airlines pilot phrased it, 'a checkered beginning'. The initial design had a lot of flaws, but the terribly flawed ones are all gone (...) or fixed. But yes, as BH346 said, it does have to do with age. They're getting on in age. I don't fly on Douglas aircraft for moral reasons far beyond logic, rationality, or definition, so you can't ask me why I hate them unless you want a novel.
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Fri Mar 24, 2000 2:32 pm

I don't hate them, though there are many planes I favor over them. If I had a choice between most narrow bodies and a DC-10 I would choose the DC-10 to fly in. They just tend to be a little old and outdated.
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Fri Mar 24, 2000 8:55 pm

Wait a minute. Nobody has said the DC-10s are unsafe because of age. The L-1011 and 747-100/200 are just as old. It has only to do with its spotty history, including the history of the MD-11.

Boeing 777, why did you ask this question? If you read on the forum that there are many who dislike the DC-10, why didn't you read those threads in full so that you would have the answer to your own question, instead of posting this question yet again to the forum?

I wish people would learn how to use the search function. It's the same questions over and over and over again...never any research!

An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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Hmmm. What's Wrong With B777question?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 1:02 am

And whats wrong with 777 ask that question?
For that is the forum,isn't it? For the people opinions..
Unless that they were "perfect" like you..
So,Go ahead b777
"For Us, Sky is not the limit.. Its Ground" / L-1011Alpha.

RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 2:36 am

McDonnell Douglas cut corners designing the aircraft to get it into service before the rival L-1011. There have been numerious accidents attributed to it's design such as the cargo door, where a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed outside Paris killing all aboard. A similar accident almost occured to an American Airlines DC-10 over Windsor Ontario where a faulty cargo door caused the floor of the plane to collapse severing the control cables to the rudder. The pilot was able to land the plane safely. Then we have the hydraulic systems, where all 3 of them are side by side rather than being in separate areas of the aircraft so if one system fails you have the others to keep you in control. This caused the United 232 Sioux City accident where the tail engine came apart in flight severing all 3 lines where the crew could not control the aircraft. It also doesn't have a slat locking system like the L-1011 and 747 have which could have prevented the American Airlines crash at O'Hare in May 1979, where if it had a locking slat system the slats on one of the wings would not have retracted causing the plane to roll over and crash from losing an engine.
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 2:53 am

The DC-10 is not a bad airplane! Yes, it did have a difficult beginning and then there was the THY crash in France (cargo door) and the AA crash in Chicago which was an AA maint oversight, not an inherent flaw in the design. The UA crash in 1989 in Iowa was also something that was the fault of the GE engine with the flawed fan blade, that engine could have been on a 747 just as easily.

If you want to talk about about a questionable beginning lest talk about the 727 which has never been considered an unsafe airliner. There were a number of accidents with fatalities in the early years because the type was so different to fly than what pilots had become use to. I suppose at the time there was bad press but I wasnt around back then, what I do know is that people dont seem to be terrified of the 727.

And while we are on the subject, the 737 must be about the most unsafe airliner around considering that it has suffered several major accidents that remain officially unsolved (uncommanded rudder deflection). But we know that it isnt, nor is the MD-80 which has a very good overall safety record until ONE high profile accident that could be attributed to both a design flaw and shoddy maint. by Alaska Airlines.



Sat Mar 25, 2000 6:46 am

Yes, Woodsboy I agree that the GE CF6 engine that was on that United DC-10 was partly responsible for causing the accident, but it was because of it's poor design of where the hydraulic lines were that was the culprit. The hydraulic lines should have been in separate areas of the aircraft and not together side by side. I should have mentioned that after the Sioux City accident, McDonnell Douglas incorporated on the DC-10 a system that was around since the 50s called one way check valves. They prevent any great loss of hydraulic fluid by sealing the line where the leak is so there is enough fluid to keep the aircraft under control. These were also added to the 747 after a Japan Airlines accident in the mid 80s.
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RE: Woodsboy

Sat Mar 25, 2000 8:24 am

Yes, I should have mentioned the placement of the hydraulic lines as I remember that was an issue after the Iowa incident. Definitely a poor design choice but perhaps one that doesnt become apparant until there is accident. I suppose this could also be said about the MD-80 and the jack-screw that seemed like it was working for many years until a total failure then they find that there were many jack-screws that were low on lubrication, had stripped tynes and other damage similar to AS 261 (N963AS). Because of the AS accident there are now new mx proceedures on lubrication and inspection that didnt exist before. Its tragic that an accident had to occur to bring these flaws to light.
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 8:54 am

I'm not too big of a fan with DC-10; First their past record wasn't as good as the other aircraft flying. On top of that most DC-10s still flyin are 2-5-2 configuration. It's horrible especially when you are between two people in a craped 17 inch economy seat like Northwest a.k.a Northworst. I hate all planes with 2-5-2 seating. The DC-10 would be much better if it was 3x3x3 like the seating on Continetal or British Airways 777-200. The had the same number of seats. But the airlines have this messed up seating plan.

RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 4:24 pm

I have flown British Airways 2 times with the DC10-30 .... DFW to LGW, and back... the planes has a terrific cabins, and very nice looks on the outside.... ... Like I said... Nothing is wrong with the DC10  

For my airlines, I would choose the DC10 30 & 40 series... !!!!!!

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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 8:01 pm

The design of the DC-10 has to be put into the context of the time in which it evolved. Douglas felt that they were starting from behind compared to the Tristar and I think a number of design short-cuts were taken in order to catchup. Lockheed for their part knew that if the Tristar failed, they would be out of the airliner business for good, consequently they tried to steal a march on Douglas by opting for the new Rolls Royce RB211 engine with revolutionary carbon-fibre fan blades. Unfortunately, the RB211 proved the weak link in the initial design and the collapse of Rolls Royce set back Lockheed badly, allowing Douglas to catch up and eventually surpass Lockheed. Indeed, Lockheed were correct, the L1011 never really recovered from its early setback and Lockheed did pull out of airliner manufacturing.

The DC-10's weak link is the hydraulic systems. Most of the disastrous DC-10 accidents have ultimately been due to loss of hydraulic pressure caused by the initial failure of something totally unconnected (cargo door falling off, engine falling off, fan disintegration).

Although one 747 loss (Japan Air Lines 1985) can be attributed to hydraulic failure, on the whole the 747 shows an inherent design superiority over the DC-10 in that its hydraulic lines are routed through separate parts of the aircraft, not all running through the cabin floor. In 1971 (I think) a Pan Am 747 landed short of the runway and struck the approach lights, the support beams of which ripped through the underside of the aircraft and tore out hydraulic lines. The pilot was able to perform a go-around an make an emergency landing.
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RE: DC-10s, What's Wrong With Them?

Sat Mar 25, 2000 10:56 pm

Are you talking about the accident in SFO where there was some miscommunication about runway length and the F/O didn't set the "bugs" correctly, runway too short for taking off with the weight load? The aircraft took off, ran through some posts and antennas, poking through the cabin floor, taking out three out of the four hydraulic systems.

RE: Woodsboy

Sun Mar 26, 2000 12:08 am

Hi again, about the jackscrew on the MD-80, was at Knoxville TN last week. I over heard someone saying that the jack screws were manufactured in China. McDonnell Douglas (at the time MD gave the Chinese a license to build MD-80s), also gave them the contract to build the jack screws. If this is true it would suggest the Chinese produced inferior quality parts which may have contributed to the jack screws being defective.

No Problem With DC-10s!

Sun Mar 26, 2000 2:46 am

I've flown DC-10-30 with Canadian, CPAir and Air New Zealand(that was about a year before the crash in '79). And there never were any problems with those planes on those trips I took. I felt just as comfortable on the DC-10 as on an L-1011 TriStar. Although, I wish that they'd taken better care of their interiors more often - on one flight, my folding tray came off suddenly. Thankfully, meals and drinks weren't being served at that time. In short, I wouldn't have any problem with flying on those planes.

However, my parents are a different kettle story altogether. My mom has told me that flying on a DC-10 makes her nervous, and my dad once booked a flight a few years ago from LAX to SYD on an Air New Zealand 747-400, to avoid being stuck on a DC-10 from YVR to SYD via HNL.(CP used to fly these all the way down to SYD until the mid-90s. Later, it was just to HNL, with the HNL-SYD run beig codeshared by a Qantas 747-200)

No, I'm not the same "Boeing 777" who initially posted this topic(compare the user profiles if you wish). I initially posted my username over a month ago, completely unaware that there was another user with the same username, as he hasn't posted nearly as much as I have.

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