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History Repeats itself. How the DC-10 Earned a Dangerous Reputation - Events striking similar to current 737Max8

How the DC-10 Earned a Dangerous Reputation - Having the FAA pull its Type Cert. after a major crash, grounding it and causing mayhem for Airlines and Passengers. This would be the beginning of the end for McDonald Douglas. History Repeats itself.. Striking Similar to the current 737Max Issues. Link is to a short video. ( More...

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This is the second design problems with the 737's. The first was the Rudder Power Control Actuators that had the valves that got of alignment and reversed the flow of the actuators. Left rudder pedal movement gave you a right rudder. Right pedal movement gave you a left rudder. As for the DC-10's it was the Aft Cargo Doors that depressurized the aircraft. Like the De Havilland Dash-8's or Bombardier Q400's are doing now. The second problem for the DC-!0's was American doing engine changes with the pylons and a forklift. Less wiring and hose connections.
lecompte2 3
The DC 10 was created in a few months to compete with the L1011 that took years to produce, sound familiar, shortcuts don't work in aviation.
Dennis Rhodes 1
Except there are DC 10s still flying and all the L1011 are in the bone yard
James Nicol 3
Lockheed Tristar advanced technology – the avionic systems. The AFCS (Avionic Flight Control system) of TriStar included autopilot, speed control, a flight control system, a navigation system, stability system and a direct lift control system. But the cherry on top was the CAT-IIIB Autoland system. One of the main selling features of Lockheed - the system was able to land the plane automatically. Even in bad weather conditions. It flew hands-off from LA to London, take-off through landing, under CAT IIIB conditions.

Lockheed had a goal to develop a system, that would land the aircraft as if it was a human landing it. On 25th of May, 1972, the TriStar completed a fully automated flight and even now, more than 40 years later, the technology seems ahead of its time. It was a revolutionary 4-D system that could manage flight time using the auto throttle system to arrive at the airport at its designated arrival time.

All of this with 1960-early 70 technology without GPS and other advanced sensor systems. In the 1980s the Lockheed advanced and first of its kind, F-117A Stealth Fighter, the Nighthawk, used the L-1011 avionics system concept and some components for its innovative 4-D navigation system.
lecompte2 1
I was lucky to fly this bird
The L 1011 was technologically superior to the DC 10 for it's time but maintenance wise was too expensive to maintain.

lecompte2 1
Yea but safe
david harris 5
the 10 crash was caused BY AA doing engine changes the wrong way where as the max is a computer problem the 10 went on the be a very safe a/c id still fly on a 10 today
william baker 7
They were also referring to the rear cargo door issue i believe too. There were what two incidents regarding the rear door. Turkish airlines over europe and AA over the states.
Brian James 1
the Turkish Airlines DC10 went down and killed 346 passengers. The AA plane managed to land safely.
linbb -7
And they are not the only ones ome commuter/biz turboprop earned one too, at a certain point while landing there is a time where airspeed enters into a deadly area for that one and if something power wise or airspeed goes wrong a crash will and has happened.
Exactly. Love the DC-10 and the MD-11 in its current condition isn't too shabby either.
James Simms 2
N306FE still flying after FedEx Flight 750 incident.
Apparently just came out of an overhaul as I hadn’t seen it in a while.
James Simms 2
Oops, 705
william baker 2
That was a miracle with there injuries that they overcame there attacker and landed safe. I heard they put many g’s on that plane that it was never tested for. I also heard that the tail was destroyed due to the g forces and the barber pole on the plane.
airuphere 1
True.. wasn’t a computer issue was mainly the cargo door fiasco.. in the disc I meant in regards to how they handled the tech issues and the fallout. The video goes on to say, the 10 needed up on par with the other wide bodies in terms of safety due to the sheer volume of aircraft bought once... once the cargo door issues and others were ironed out.
ian mcdonell 3
What exactly is strikingly similar???????????????????????????
airuphere 1
Not the tech problems themselves but how BOTH manufactures dealed with the FAA at first then after a second crash were forced to ground both planes... causing mayhem for airlines and passengers.. the issues of the dc10 were found in testing and covered up, and many accuse Boeing of the same. the DC10 went on to be the beginning of the end for McDonald Douglas. To be 40 years apart it’s makes it’s remarkable how they tow the same line..
Justthefacs 2
L 1011 was a far superior product. Biggest problem was changing the tail engine. The 10's always rattled and you would wonder when something would fall from the cabin ceiling. The 10 was not a Boeing product, but rather McD. Other than el cheapo approach to selling over the L-10 it was functional. The 10's and MD11's make great freighters.
Mark Henley 1
D.A. Deterly has it pegged pretty well. The 1011 was be far a better airplane, just too late to market. DC-10 engineering for things like redundancy, avoiding single -point failures, thrust asymmetry, etc. really sucked. Those things are the real cause behind the accidents -- not some A&P mechanic that didn't follow a checklist exactly. THAT's par of why good safety engineering was intended to allow for stuff like that.
Dolf Brouwers 1
relocation of the engines on the Max changed the flight characteristic of the AC , combined with only one AOA sensor it created problems
stratofan 0
History is NOT, repeat, Not quite repeating itself. While the "Diesel 10" did have a few shortcomings, it was not what could not be corrected. Case in point, the United incident at Sioux City IA was a great example. Capt Al Haynes used both experience & CRM to overcome an impossible situation. Not to mention that a fan separation in the engine combined w/ a triple failure in hydraulics had to be dealt with. He could have just given up like the two crews on the two 737MAX flights did. Just because something is new in technology does not mean it is to be feared. Learn from mistakes, and move forward. Oh, by the way, you still have to fly the D**ned airplane!
lecompte2 2
With the engines close to the cabin and directly in front of the wing in the 737 Max what do you think would happen in an event comparable to Sioux City, where the engine falls apart.
Robert Cowling -4
The distinction, as I see it, is that the cargo door issue was a somewhat honest engineering mistake. They didn't latch 100%, 100% of the time.

The 737 was 'fixed' by a company that knew it was enough of a problem that they needed to 'fix' it, and tried to hide the 'fix' so that people didn't start thinking it was a bodge, a kludge, using bailing twine and duct tape to 'fix' the problem. Boeing KNEW they had a severe control and flight issue. They KNEW it enough they came up with a 'fix' that they tried to, to use an aircraft analogy, 'fly under the radar', but it no pun intended, blew up in their faces.

So, the DC-10 issues aren't in the same league as the deliberate mess the 737-MAX is. In a different country (China) the upper management would be jailed at the least, and executed at the most.
airuphere 2
Except McDonand Douglas DID know about the cargo door as it happened DURING testing and they bargained with the FAA to keep it a service bulletin to keep it quiet.. until the two big crashes happened..
I was not aware of that. I had read that the latch issue was caused by repeated issues where baggage loaders and airport tarmac employees had repeatedly not verified that the latch was properly latched before finalizing the closeout. It was partly a design issue, and an execution issue.
Ken McIntyre 3
There was more to it than that. The connections for the flags for the door dogs were able to be bent. In other words, the door looked like it was safely latched to the ground personnel, but the door was unsafe.
airuphere 2
I was unaware too until recently .. it’s crazy the decisions they make for profit sometimes.. scary actually
James Simms 1
Just like the Ford Pinto
A root cause of the cargo door failures was the "straight-through" cargo doorway design in the DC-10 airframe, rather than the industry-standard tapered "plug" doorway. The plug design makes door failure very difficult, if not impossible, when the hold is pressurized. The straight-through doorway saved airframe weight and cost, but it removed a basic safety mitigation (the "plug"), leaving only the latch mechanism as the sole safety design mitigation. As Ken points out, the latch mechanism had several design flaws, including slack and bendable members, allowing baggage handlers to force the handle until they got the "green" fully-closed indication in the indicator window, while the latch pins were not actually all the way seated in the door frame. When pressurized during climbout, the inadequately seated pins failed and nothing stopped the door from blowing out.
airuphere 2
Totally.. I agree. To boil it down tho, they knew about this during testing.. this being the overall perpetuity for the door not to latch, for whatever reason., before the plane entry to service, and covered it up.
airuphere 0
Watch the video it’s short..
d. thayer 1
No they wouldn't!
Dave Mills -1
With respect, the comparison and video are shallow and misleading. Indeed, the McDonnell Douglas mindset was similar to the Boeing mindset in 2011. The similarity was a race to market against a competitor and at any cost. McDonnell himself, obsessed with cost overruns, issued the edict that they were unacceptable "even at the cost of safety." The DC-10 was rushed to market ostensibly as an enlarged DC-8.

Yes, the cargo door issue was primary. However, there was also insufficient venting between the pax cabin and cargo hold in the event of a blowout, resulting in the collapse of the cabin floor and severing of control cables contained therein.

The MAX is a different animal. Boeing, over the objections of its engineers, insisted on an aerodynamically-unstable design they insisted could be addressed - as with a fighter jet - by software. As MCAS developed, however, the FAA lost two of it's most experienced lead engineers at the Seattle office who'd have overseen testing. I suppose, too, we could address the outsourcing of software design. Also, in a profit-driven move, Boeing made conflict alert for the AOAs an expensive option.

Apples to oranges, imo.
s20609 2
Aerodynamically Unstable?
All airliners require stability systems that manage smooth flight and efficient fuel management. Airbus has experienced fatal accidents resulting from faulty flight systems.
The MAX system flaw derives from incomplete implementation of a flight management system using a, single AOA sensor, lack of cockpit messaging to pilot, and lack of awareness and training to Pilots.
ray hughes 0
The huge difference between the DC10 and the 737 Max, as far as I comprehend this.. is the the 737 Max is inherently unstable and relies on software to intervene to balance out the flight aerodynamics - The implications of this was poor software design was fatal.
I for one, no matter how many assurances Boeing has given. will never fly the 737 max unless it has a complete redesign.
The DC10 had issues with the rear cargo door and maintenance issues certainly, but it was Aerodynamically stable
Attykeith 0
the dc 10 and the max 737 had very different issues...I remember the dc 10 well as I flew on them frequently and worked flights with that aircraft..the dc 10 at one time had compression issues with cargo doors flying open, and that was fixed..the issue that caused serious grounding was a maintenance issue where bolts holding an engine on a wing came was a comfortable aircraft to fly on as a passenger,and the only issue with working it was having the jet bridge aligned properly...
trentenjet -2
The DC-10 was a good aircraft American Airlines did terrible maintenance that caused the crash In Chicago you can’t compare the two the 737 MAX Is a poorly engineered aircraft that kills people It’s the end of the Boeing 737 they need to start designing a new aircraft
Brian James 4
The issues with the rear cargo door not properly shutting and the under design of the cabin floor were manufacturing issues, not maintenance issues. 346 people died on the Turkish Airline Dc-10 that went down in France because McDonnell Douglas did a lousy design job.
Frederick Cahn -1
Not true.


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