In the tale, the Applegate Memorandum, I described the difficult birth that McDonnell Douglas had with the DC-10 when it’s safety record was permanently marred by a cargo door design flaw that plagued its introduction.  Sadly, this wasn’t the only issue that was going to discredit the aircraft in the eye of its passengers and they would ultimately condemn the world’s first 3 engined wide body as a dangerous failure.  Although the aircraft’s problems with its cargo doors could be firmly laid at the feet of McDonnell Douglas, the next disaster that the aircraft would have to cope with was not of the manufacture’s making, but of some operators who took it upon themselves to shorten engineering procedures.


Then incident aircraft N110AA


Cutaway showing the configuration of the wing mounted engines


The DC10 cockpit


The last moments of American Airlines Flight 191


The aftermath


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the Dale Coleman, Jyra Sapphire, Jon Proctor, the Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives, the NTSB, the US Gov and American Airlines.