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Accident description
Last updated: 23 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 5 September 1996
Time:05:54
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10CF
Operator:FedEx
Registration: N68055
C/n / msn: 47809/191
First flight: 1975
Total airframe hrs:38271
Cycles:17818
Engines: 3 General Electric CF6-6D
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Newburgh-Stewart Airport, NY (SWF) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 150 m (492 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Memphis International Airport, TN (MEM/KMEM), United States of America
Destination airport:Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS/KBOS), United States of America
Flightnumber:1406
Narrative:
En route from Memphis to Boston, flying at FL330, the warnings indicated smoke on cargo areas 7, 8, and 9 on the upper deck. A rapid emergency descent was carried with full speed brakes and at maximum speed during the descent, no. 6 and no.10 smoke warning lights also illuminated.
An emergency landing was carried out 20 mins. later at Newburgh runway 27.
The aircraft was taxied onto a taxiway and evacuated immediately. The captain had some trouble opening the side window, because the aircraft was still pressurized. Visibility suddenly went to near zero as the cockpit filled with smoke. The cockpit crew exited the aircraft using a rope. The jump seat crew exited via the right emergency slide.
Firefighters were not able to reach the source of the smoke due to the cargo arrangement. But 40 minutes after landing, the fire increased and burned through the fuselage. The aft fuselage structure was weakened by the fire, causing the tail section to separate. About 4 hours after landing, the fire was extinguished.
The DC-10, named 'Chandra Renee' had accumulated 38271 hours and 17818 cycles.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "An in-flight cargo fire of undetermined origin."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-98-03
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Cargo fire/smoke
Forced landing on runway

Sources:
» Business & Commercial Aviation Sept. 1997 (140-146)
» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/97 (#26)
» After Smoke Detected in Cargo Compartment Crew Lands DC-10, Then Fire Destroys Aircraft


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 10 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10CF N68055
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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Memphis International Airport, TN to Boston-Logan International Airport, MA as the crow flies is 1819 km (1137 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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