Event Details

Title:Explosive decompression, American Airlines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, N103AA, Near Windsor, Ontario, Canada, June 12, 1972
Micro summary:On climb, this McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 experienced an opening of a cargo door, explosive decompression, and a main cabin floor collapse, disrupting the flight control system.
Event Time:1972-06-12 at 1925 EST
File Name:1972-06-12-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-73-02
Site of event:Climb, 11750' MSL
Departure:Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan, USA
Destination:LaGuardia Airport, New York, New York, USA
Airplane Type(s):McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
Flight Phase:Climb
Operator(s):American Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:11
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:An American Airlines, Inc., McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, was damaged substantially when the aft bulk cargo compartment door separated from the aircraft in flight at approximately 11,750 feet mean sea level. The separation caused rapid decompression, which, in turn, caused failure of the cabin floor over the bulk cargo compartment. The floor partially collapsed into the cargo compartment, disruptingv arious control cables which were routed through the floor beams to the rear engine and to the empennage control systems.

The separated door caused minor damage to the fuselage above the door opening and substantial damage to the leading edge and upper surface of the left horizontal stabilizer.

There were 56 passengers and a crew of 11 aboard the aircraft. Two stewardesses and nine passengers received minor injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the improper engagement of the latching mechanism for the aft bulk cargo compartment door during the preparation of the airplane for flight. The design characteristics of the door latching mechanism permitted the door to be apparently closed, when, in fact, the latches were not fully engaged and the latch lockpins were not in place.

As aresult of the investigation of this accident, the Safety Board made two recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administrator.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Rapid Depressurization
Systems - Flight Control System
Other - Certification
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
Consequence - Flight Attendant Fatality - Injury


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