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b741
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DC-10 Grounding 1979

Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:22 am

I was wondering how long the DC-10s were grounded for in 1979 following the Chicago mishap? If memory serves correct I am guessing two months but I was only a little kid back then.
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
 
MD11LuxuryLinr
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:45 am

I think it was a matter of weeks, not months. I don't remember the exact time amount, but I'm thinking it was 2 to 3 weeks..
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ltbewr
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:13 am

I know that the DC-10 in Chicago crashed due to a wing engine comming off the a/c, later found to from the improper removal of the engine from the wing without the pylon. What more specificly had to be inspected/changed to ground the a/c until done?
 
isitsafenow
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:15 am

37 days on the grounding.
Start June 6, 1979 ending July 13, according to a DC 10 book in my library.
safe
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IMissPiedmont
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:42 pm

LTBEWR, it was the practice of removing the engine and pylon in combination that caused the problem. Every DC-10 had to be inspected for pylon cracks before the certificate was reinstated. And they were some big cracks.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
752is
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:05 pm

I'll never forget Icelandair had leased a DC-10 a few months earlier and almost ran them out of business due to that crash.
 
DC10GUY
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:34 am

Flight 191 crashed at ORD not just because the engine fell off but because the right side slats blew back and they lost control. The DC-10s where returned to service after special pylon inspections where complete and all defects where corrected.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
MCOtoATL
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:25 am

No doubt the grounding of the DC-10 was in the news a lot then. I wonder what it was like for the average flyer once the 10's returned to service. I wonder if folks would have been nervous to get aboard an airliner that had been criticized in the media. I wouldn't be nervous about it, but I bet it was some sort of stigma for a short while... am I right?
 
exitrowaisle
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:41 am

The DC-10 was/is a great airplane that got a bum rap after the ORD crash. Even after the accident was shown to have nothing to do with the plane itself, people had a phobia about flying in them. A lot of that I think was media hype. I remember soon after the planes went back into service, news reporters would interview passengers at the gate, asking if they realized they were about to fly in a DC-10, and if they were scared. That fear seemed to last for years, all over that one accident. It was so bad that American Airlines actually took the words "DC-10 LuxuryLiner" off their planes and replaced it with "American Airlines LuxuryLiner," which is how it stayed for the rest of the DC-10's career with AA.
 
jeffrey1970
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:42 am

MCOtoATL,

I remember for a while after that crash many people did not feel safe getting on a DC-10.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:50 am

the accident was shown to have nothing to do with the plane itself

Not true at all.

The primary defective problem with the DC10 (which would again rear its head in UA232) was the lack of sufficient redundancy in its hydraulic system.

[Edited 2004-02-26 21:51:42]
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Thrust
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:06 am

ConcordeBoy is right. In addition, the pylons back for the engines of the DC-10 then were vulnerable to being fractured. However, I will agree with the fact that had the engine pylon not been fractured, the accident never would have happened when it did. Improper maintenance procedures were the main cause of the accident, but the flaw with the hydraulics system was that after the engine broke off and rotated over the top of the left wing, it ripped out the hydraulics, and this caused the lifting slats to retract, causing the accident. The DC-10 would have been able to fly without an engine had the hydraulics not been ripped out.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
AA737-823
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:07 am

The DC-10s leading edge slats don't lock into place. THAT is the defect in the design. If they lose hydraulic power, they retract. Normally, that's fine... assuming both wings lose hydraulic power. But in the ORD case, only the left wing lost hyd pressure. The left slats retracts, the right slats remained extended, and thus the right wing developed more lift, sending the plane into a barrel roll which led to its demise.

Unfortunately, this problem was not corrected after the crash. This fact is what led to critics claiming that the DC-10 was an unsafe aircraft. You make your own decision. I didn't mind flying them.
To this day, I understand, DC-10 slats have no locking mechanism.

R
 
isitsafenow
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:11 am

If I remember right without going to research, the primary cause was the lack of hydraulic fluid which in turn keep vital parts from operating. The loss of the engine on take-off did not cause the crash, according to NTSB, but started a rapid chain of events that did...primarily the fluid loss.
CONCORDBOY has a point. The DC 10 has three hydraulic systems, but in a spot either in or near the vertical stab, all three come very close together. If there is a break in that spot, you loose all hydraulics real fast i.e. UAL 232. When the fan disintegrated in number two, it took out all three lines in that spot. Like I posted before, I met Capt Al Haynes in Chicago in 91. We had a short but intense talk about Flight 232. He was very nice yet very professional.
safe
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b741
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:29 am

I remember an uncle flying up to my hometown on a NW DC-10 in Oct.82 and on the way back from the airport all he did was complain about the plane with the engine in the tail. "I don't like flying on them, I was petrified, they are not safe."
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
 
VC-10
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:31 am

To this day, I understand, DC-10 slats have no locking mechanism.

That is not the case. I can't remember the details as it is 15 years since I worked on the 10's but I do remember hyd lock valves being plumbed into the slat hyd lines after the Chicago accident
 
airways6max
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:35 am

The DC-10 was grounded through June and July of 1979, for thirty-seven days. The DC-10 had been having more mishaps and mechanical problems than most commercial aircraft and the crash at Chicago O'Hare on May 25, 1979 was the last straw for the FAA. They ordered all DC-10s in the United States to be grounded until they had been thoroughly inspected for mechanical flaws and had been corrected.
 
tristarenvy
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:39 am

Semi-Dumb question: Did the 10's fly with a small inspection panel over the pylon open for a brief time? (Or did all the disco music from the 70's warp my fragile little mind?!?!?)


I flew National from TPA to IAH in '79, and recall being a might bit nervous during take off in a 10.


If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
VC-10
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:45 am

I think is was the disco music!
 
tristarenvy
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:47 am

And all the polyester... Smile
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
b741
Topic Author
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:56 am

I think the 10 pilots must of been nervous for a while. But then maybe not, pilots are a special breed of people. No fear!!!
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
 
FDXmech
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:06 am

>>>The DC-10s leading edge slats don't lock into place. THAT is the defect in the design. If they lose hydraulic power, they retract. Normally, that's fine...<<<

In the pre Chicago crash, if the hydraulic systems lose pressure the slats won't retract, they are hydraulically locked. But if the lines rupture between the control valve and actuator the applicable slats would be blown back.

>>>The left slats retracts, the right slats remained extended, and thus the right wing developed more lift, sending the plane into a barrel roll which led to its demise.<<<

The left wing stalled.

>>>Unfortunately, this problem was not corrected after the crash.<<<

That problem was corrected. Balanced pressure relief valves were installed on the slat actuators to trap hydraulic pressure in the actuators should the "extend" hydraulic line rupture, thus locking the slat actuator and slat extended.

>>>The DC 10 has three hydraulic systems, but in a spot either in or near the vertical stab, all three come very close together. If there is a break in that spot, you loose all hydraulics real fast i.e. UAL 232. When the fan disintegrated in number two, it took out all three lines in that spot.<<<

Yes though this wasn't the problem with the AA 1979 crash. The same scenario occured to a JAL 747 and an Eastern L1011 escaped such an event by a whisker.

[Edited 2004-02-26 23:08:42]
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oznznut
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:46 am

One major item is being overlooked. The DC10 in question could have flown away, even with the asymetric slats, but the AA manual and training for a loss of an engine was to climb out at a V2 speed of 153 knots. The aircraft was already at 172 knots 9 seconds after liftoff. The first officer, who was flying the plane, raised the nose to slow to 153. Unfortunately the stall speed of the left wing with the slats retracted was 159 knots. When the aircraft slowed to this speed, the left wing stalled, thats what caused the roll to the left and the crash. After the crash, investigators determined that if the plane had stayed at 172 and had gone around a safe landing could have been made. It would have been tricky at that high speed, but manageable. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and the flight crew did not know they had lost the left slats, nor did the stall warning stick shaker activate. The crew did as their training dictated. One change that came about was to raise the engine out climb speed to V2+10. However as mentioned, the root cause was bad maintenance.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:57 pm

Yes, the aircraft could have been flown away, but that knowledge was gained form the investigation. Hindsight is great at times.

Though the DC-10 is, and was a great aircraft, it had other problems. THY had a slight incident 30 years ago because it was easy to jam the latch on a belly cargo door causing a blowout under pressure. And THY was joined by, at least AA in this regard.

Kudos to McDD for the fix though. I think the DC-10 has proven itself safe despite the tradgedies.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
Trident
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:48 pm

"Slight incident"? It was the worst avation disaster in the world at the time!

The 30th Anniversary is next week, I think.
 
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rg828
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:02 pm

I believe the pilots of the ORD crash were totally unaware an engine was torn off the wing... as far as could be ascertained they thought they had just lost power on #1, and were performing the required engine-out climbout drills.
I dont think there is such a thing as a "engine jettison" indicator light, is there?

Anyway, being a window-seat traveler myself I cant help but imagine what went through the minds of those passengers who witnessed the engine flip away over the wing, tearing structure away, see the fuel gush out, see the slats retract and finally roll and slideslip to destruction.
Absolutely terrifying.

There's a short recording somewhere of ORD tower's reaction after AA 191's tookoff.
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BillElliott9
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:15 pm

One topic overlooked is that (as I recall) AA was using an unapproved technigue to remove the engine and the pylon from the wing at the same time during maintenance t save time and this led to the stress?

This is not intended to be a flame against AA.
You can fight without ever winning but never really win without a fight.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:17 pm

Trident said:
"Slight incident"? It was the worst avation disaster in the world at the time!
The 30th Anniversary is next week, I think."

2004-1979= 25
Tenerife was far worse.



Rg828 said:
"I dont think there is such a thing as a "engine jettison" indicator light, is there? "

It's right next to the "unruly passenger jettison" light...



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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rg828
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:42 pm

The "unapproved" method of removing engines was utilized by by several DC-10 operators, if i recall correctly one of them was Continental.

"Unruly pax jettison switch."
There's an idea! Could be useful in an A380, some sort of "dump chute" located aft!
I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
 
ord
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:45 pm

>>>The DC 10 has three hydraulic systems, but in a spot either in or near the vertical stab, all three come very close together. If there is a break in that spot, you loose all hydraulics real fast i.e. UAL 232. When the fan disintegrated in number two, it took out all three lines in that spot.<<<

>>>Yes though this wasn't the problem with the AA 1979 crash. The same scenario occured to a JAL 747 and an Eastern L1011 escaped such an event by a whisker.<<<

I may be wrong, but I thought I read once that the DC-10 had all hydraulic lines together throughout the plane, whereas the 747 and L-1011 were separate (meaning some lines went under the passenger floor and others through the ceiling).
 
isitsafenow
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RE: DC-10 Grounding 1979

Sat Feb 28, 2004 3:33 am

TRIDENT
We are in agreement on using the word slight to describe what happen to the Turkish Air DC 10. The aircraft struck the woods at just over 420 MPH at almost a level position. There was over 38,000 human body parts seconds after the plane crash, according to a publication on the disaster. Slight it wasnt.
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.

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