Fedex MD10 at Fort Lauderdale on Oct 28th 2016, main gear collapse on landing, aircraft on fire

Last Update: August 24, 2018 / 14:01:07 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 28, 2016



Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

A Fedex Federal Express McDonnell Douglas MD-10, registration N370FE performing freight flight FX-910 from Memphis,TN to Fort Lauderdale,FL (USA) with 2 crew, landed on Fort Lauderdale's runway 10L at 17:50L (21:50Z). Tower reported the left hand engine (CF6) appeared on fire. The aircraft came to a stop about 2000 meters/6580 feet down the runway at and beyond the left hand edge with the left main gear collapsed and the left hand wing on a large fire. The airport closed all runways while emergency services responded to put the fire out. The captain received minor injuries, the first officer remained unhurt, the aircraft received substantial damage.

The FAA reported the left main gear collapsed during the landing roll out resulting in a fire.

The aerodrome was closed until about 19:00L (23:00Z), then opened the southern runway with the northern runway remaining closed.

The NTSB dispatched 5 investigators on site and opened an investigation.

On Oct 31st 2016 the NTSB reported that the left main gear failed after landing and during rollout, the left hand engine and left hand wing scraped the runway, the aircraft veered to the left and came to a stop partway off the runway. Both flight crew members escaped through the right hand cockpit window using the escape rope and did not report any injuries. Cockpit voice and flight data recorders were taken to the NTSB lab in Washington for readout. Following documentation of the runway the NTSB returned the runway to the Fort Lauderdale Airport, who is going to repair the runway and decide when the re-open the runway. The NTSB is going to release a preliminary report 30 days after the accident.

On Oct 31st 2016 the FAA reported the aircraft experienced the collapse of the left main gear on landing and caught fire. The two crew evacuated, the fire was extinguished. The aircraft sustained subtantial damage, the occurrence was rated an accident.

On Nov 22nd 2016 the NTSB reported the aircraft had accumulated 84,589 flight hours in 35,606 flight cycles since its manufacture in 1972. The aircraft was converted to a DC-10-10 freighter in 1999 and to a MD-10-10 freighter in 2003. Flight data and cockpit voice recorders were recovered and downloaded, both contained data in good quality. A transcript of the CVR has already been completed. Preliminary data from the flight data recorder suggest the aircraft touched down normally, the aircraft rolled for 12 seconds on the runway until the left main gear collapsed. Following the collapse the left engine and left wingtip contacted the runway surface rupturing fuel lines and the left wing fuel tank. Fuel from the left wing ignited as the aircraft rolled down the runway, the fire continued after the aircraft came to a stop. The fire was extinguished by airport fire fighters. First damage to the runway occurred 3,750 feet from the runway 10L threshold, the aircraft stopped about 6,600 feet past the runway threshold. Both crew members reported that the approach was stable and a normal landing occurred, there had been no problems with the gear retraction or extension during the accident flight. The NTSB identified several parts of the left main gear for further metallurgic examination.

On Jul 18th 2018 the NTSB opened their docket.

On Aug 24th 2018 the NTSB released their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

The failure of the left main landing gear (MLG) due to fatigue cracking that initiated at a corrosion pit. The pit formed in the absence of a required protective cadmium coating the cause of which could not be determined from available evidence.

Contributing to the failure of the left MLG was the operator's overhaul limit, which exceeded that recommended by the airplane manufacturer without sufficient data and analysis to ensure crack detection before it progressed to failure.

The NTSB reported the captain did receive minor injuries during the accident, the first officer remained uninjured.

The NTSB analysed:

The first officer, who was the pilot flying the cargo flight, conducted an approach and landing that were stabilized and within specified limits. Although crosswind conditions were present at the time the airplane landed, the weather did not affect the landing. The application of braking by the flight crew did not initiate or contribute to the landing gear fracture. A review of the status of all applicable airworthiness directives and service bulletins for the airplane, powerplants, and appliances found no discrepancies.

Metallurgical examination of a 3-by-3-inch fragment of the left MLG cylinder and the mating fracture region on the largest piece of the fractured left MLG found indications consistent with overstress fracture having emanated from the air filler valve bore. The overstress features emanated from a small thumbnail crack, located at the radius between the cylinder inner diameter surface and the air filler valve bore surface.

This thumbnail crack was observed on both mating fracture surfaces of the MLG and the 3-by-3-inch fragment, and it exhibited features (such as crack arrest marks) consistent with a preexisting crack that progressed to fracture of the MLG. The observed features in the initiation region of the thumbnail crack were found to be consistent with fatigue cracking, as exhibited by the fatigue striations observed during microscopic examination. Later propagation regions of the thumbnail crack revealed features consistent with mixed mode fatigue, overstress, and intergranular fracture. These findings confirmed that once the crack progressed to a critical length, the left MLG cylinder fractured in overstress due to the loads imposed during landing.

The NTSB analysed that the left main landing gear had last undergone overhaul on Feb 28th 2008, during which an inspection of the cylinder did not reveal any stray plating or crack. Nonetheless, a corrosion repair was completed, it underwent brush cadmium plating as per maintenance instructions. The NTSB wrote:

It was not possible to determine whether cadmium plating applied during the last overhaul did not properly bond to the bore surface, was removed during later maintenance, or wore off over time because there is no routine procedure to effectively inspect this area during on-wing maintenance activities conducted since the last MLG overhaul. To be effective, it is critical that a protective coating be uniform, adherent, and complete when applied in areas known to be susceptible to pitting corrosion. Finite element analysis of this MLG cylinder (conducted using the same method, tools, and format as those used in the investigation of the 2006 event) concluded that residual stress levels at the corrosion pit were sufficiently high to promote crack propagation leading to full fracture of the cylinder barrel. Since the accident, the maintenance facility that performed the last MLG cylinder overhaul has introduced a tank dip method for plating air filler valve bores, which provides improved uniformity, adherence, and coverage over the brush plating method.

Related NOTAMs:
10/120 - TWY A BTN FORT LAUDERDALE AIR RAMP AND EMBRAER RAMP CLSD. 28 OCT 23:42 2016 UNTIL 29 OCT 20:00 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 23:42 2016

10/119 (A1350/16) - TWY Q BTN TWY A AND TWY B CLSD. 28 OCT 23:14 2016 UNTIL 06 NOV 23:59 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 23:14 2016

10/118 (A1348/16) - RWY 10L/28R CLSD. 28 OCT 23:11 2016 UNTIL 06 NOV 23:59 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 23:11 2016

10/113 (A1344/16) - TWY G BTN TWY L AND SHELTAIR RAMP CLSD. 28 OCT 19:20 2016 UNTIL 30 OCT 00:30 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 19:20 2016

10/115 (A1345/16) - AD AP CLSD. 28 OCT 22:12 2016 UNTIL 29 OCT 22:11 2016. CREATED: 28 OCT 22:12 2016

KFLL 282253Z 06012G24KT 10SM FEW022 SCT030 BKN050 OVC250 26/21 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP156 T02610206
KFLL 282153Z COR 05015G24KT 10SM FEW021 FEW026 BKN050 OVC250 26/21 A2998 RMK AO2 PK WND 06026/2132 SLP152 T02560211
KFLL 282053Z 05015G25KT 10SM FEW024 SCT033 BKN041 OVC250 26/20 A2999 RMK AO2 RAB32E41 SLP153 P0000 60000 T02560200 58013
KFLL 281953Z 05017G24KT 10SM FEW030 SCT037 BKN047 OVC250 26/20 A3001 RMK AO2 PK WND 07026/1906 SLP160 T02610200
KFLL 281853Z 06015G22KT 10SM FEW030 SCT060 SCT075 OVC160 27/19 A3001 RMK AO2 PK WND 07026/1840 SLP161 T02720194
KFLL 281753Z 07017G26KT 10SM FEW030 BKN100 OVC220 27/19 A3002 RMK AO2 PK WND 07026/1745 SLP166 T02720194 10278 20261 58014
KFLL 281653Z 06015G24KT 10SM FEW032 FEW040 OVC220 27/19 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP174 T02720194
KFLL 281553Z 06016G24KT 10SM FEW030 BKN150 OVC250 27/19 A3006 RMK AO2 PK WND 08026/1522 SLP179 T02720194
KFLL 281453Z 06011G21KT 10SM FEW030 SCT036 SCT080 OVC150 27/20 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP181 T02670200 51012

Aircraft sliding to a halt (Video: Francisco Rodríguez Grajales/‎
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Oct 28, 2016



Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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