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NTSB: FedEx MD-10 main gear collapsed after normal landing in Fort Lauderdale accident
22 November 2016
The MD-10 a day after the accident (photo: ilikerio / CC:by-sa)

The MD-10 a day after the accident (photo: ilikerio / CC:by-sa)

The NTSB issued an investigative update on the FedEx MD-10 landing gear failure accident at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stating the left main gear collapsed 12 seconds after a normal landing.

FedEx flight 910, an MD-10-10F experienced a left main landing gear collapse and subsequent fire in the left wing after landing on runway 10L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida, on October 28. The airplane came to rest on the side of runway 10L. The two flight crew members evacuated the airplane via the cockpit window and were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The cargo flight originated from Memphis International Airport, Memphis, Tennessee.

Initial findings include the following:

  • The airplane was manufactured in 1972 and configured for passenger service. It was converted to a DC-10-10F freighter in 1999 and further modified to an MD-10-10F in 2003. It had accumulated 84,589 total flight hours with 35,606 total flight cycles at the time of the accident.
  • Investigators retrieved the flight data and cockpit voice recorders shortly after arriving on scene. The recorders were transported to the NTSB recorders lab for download. Both recorders contained good quality data. The CVR Group convened last week at the NTSB recorders lab and completed a draft transcription of the event’s audio recording.
  • Preliminary information from the flight data recorder indicates the airplane’s touchdown appeared normal and the airplane rolled on the runway for about 12 seconds before the left main landing gear collapsed.
  • After the left gear collapsed, the left engine and left wingtip contacted and scraped the runway, rupturing fuel lines and the left wing fuel tank. Fuel from the left wing ignited as the airplane rolled down the runway. The fire continued to burn after the airplane came to rest, resulting in fire damage to the left wing. The fire was extinguished by airport fire and rescue personnel.
  • The NTSB, with assistance from investigative party members and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport personnel, documented runway damage and debris on the runway. The first damage to the runway occurred about 3,750 feet from the runway 10L threshold. The airplane came to rest about 6,600 feet from the threshold.
  • Both flight crew members were interviewed in the days following the accident. They reported a stabilized approach to the airport and no anomalies with the gear retraction or extension during the accident flight.
  • Investigators completed the examination of the airplane and identified several parts of the left main landing gear for further examination. Those parts were transported to the NTSB lab for metallurgical examinations focusing on detailed characterization of the left main landing gear fracture surfaces.

The NTSB team completed their on-scene work and will continue further examinations of recovered parts and recorded information at the NTSB laboratories in Washington. The FAA, FedEx Express, the Air Line Pilots Association, and Boeing are parties to the investigation.