American Airlines Flight 191

It was during May 25, 1979 where American Airlines Flight 191 crashed after takeoff with everyone on board, 258 passengers and 12 crew, dead with addition to two people on the ground. This accident is the most deadliest commercial airline crash in United States history.

                                                         

The aircraft McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 had been in flight for over seven years with two experienced pilots. Captain Walter Lux with which he had logged over 22,000 flying hours, First officer James Dillard had logged 9,275 hours. The sequence of events started with the takeoff. Flight 191 was cleared for takeoff as maintenance crews did not notice anything unusual about the plane. As the plane reached takeoff speed, Robert graham, supervisor of maintenance for American Airlines, noticed vapor or smoke at the edge of the wing of the aircraft. According to Robert, the engine was bobbing up and down and came off the plane and into the runway. The severed no.1 pylon engine ripped out all the hydraulic lines which resulted in a pressure leak. Air Traffic Controller tried to get a hold of the situation informing them that an engine has fallen off but it was after the engine separated where it disabled the Captain's control panel. The aircraft slowed down and eventually crashed in a field not far from the runway.

                                                         

The blame for this is the faulty engine that fell out of the aircraft. During a maintenance service, the pylon that held the engine in place, was damaged. The accident investigation also concluded that the design of the pylon and adjacent surfaces made the parts difficult to service and prone to damage by maintenance crews. The cause for the crash was its severed hydraulic lines which caused one wing was pulling up and the other wing was pulling down which made the plane turn 90 degrees.

In response to the accident, slat relief valves were mandated to prevent slat retraction in case of hydraulic line damage. On June 6, 1979, the FAA suspended the type certificate for the DC-10, thereby grounding all DC-10s under its jurisdiction. It also enacted a special air regulation banning the DC-10 from U.S. airspace, which prevented foreign DC-10s, not under the jurisdiction of the FAA, from flying within the country.

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