Topic was archived but I have to comment on this one!
When I was stationed over in Keflavik Iceland, the US Government used Rich as "The Rotator" aka the plane that got us off the island. When their DC-8-62 started serving us, we were in for several surprises. On one flight, the lighting/airconditioning/stewardess call assembly broke loose in the aft cabin in flight. A cloud of nasty dust, some of us held it in place while the engineer popped it back in place. This was not all that happened. The port side rear door locking mechanism was held in place with a coathanger. Once, while we sat one cold February evening in Philly (temps below zero) the pilot and crew decided to rev up the engines to full throttle while we were still parked to the jetway. Flames coming from the engines....what a sight! Talk about problems! This was after a 9 hour delay, since the FAA didn't like the flight hours of the crew (they were flying beyond the regulation time, whatever it was).
A few months later, after Rich International was grounded by the FAA for some of the same reasons posted in this commentary, Rich made Sixty Minutes. The infamous true story about how they lost some navigational equipment and "found" their way across the Atlantic by following the jet streams of intercontinental traffic; the use of 1967-69 ford pickup trucks for ground maintenance; the one-too-many incidents of landing at Keflavik NATO base in 45 knot shears when they were told to try again....the flameouts of nrs. two and three while we took off on one incident, the two known incidents of runway rolloffs/aborted takeoffs; the unforgettable incident when the starboard wing started leaking fuel like a sieve; and that unforgettable lurch to one side..all of these incidents scared me to the point that whenever I see one of those DC-8 dragons lift up into the air, I wish/hope I have my camera ready just in case!
Finally, it was good to see that airline get grounded not a moment too soon!