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14th of April 1993

A McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 was operating a domestic flight on this day in aviation history in 1993. Onboard of this flight from Honolulu (Hawaii, USA) to Dallas (Texas, USA) 189 passengers and 13 crew (3 flight crew and 10 cabin crew). During the flight preparation, the crew received weather information for this destination that forecasted the possibility of thunderstorms and turbulence. This information was also shared with the cabin crew.

The aircraft after recovery

After an uneventful flight while inbound for Dallas the crew received weather information from different sources;

  • Airlines Flight Dispatch

  • ATC

  • ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service

  • Aircraft weather radar

During the descent into Dallas crew received regular weather updates from these sources. Approximately 15 before landing the crew remarked that it appeared that the weather radar was not functioning.

Headlines of the weather at the time;

  • Ceiling 1400 feet

  • Visibility 2.5 miles

  • Thunderstorms

  • Rain showers.

While being vectored for an ILS approach (10 minutes before landing at Runway 17L the crew asked ATC for a weather update and asked for a good heading to avoid the weather. To which ATC replied that the good get a good heading but that the whole final approach was covered with bad weather.

The aircraft after the evacuation, before recovery

At 06,56 ATC cleared the aircraft to land at runway 17L. The aircraft flew with ~10º right crab because of the crosswind component. At approximately 50 feet AGL the first officer (pilot flying) called for a Go-Around, to which the Captain replied "No, no, no, I got it" and took control. A short while later the aircraft touched down and drifted to right and left the runway. The aircraft came to stop on the soft ground with the nose landing gear and the left main gear collapsed. A call to evacuate by the flight crew was only heard by 1 cabin crew member, the evacuation signal was reportedly activated by 3 of the cabin crew members, it is unclear who activated this signal) During the evacuation 38 of the occupants received minor injuries. The damage to the aircraft was extensive and was estimated at $35.000.000, Based on the extent of the damage and estimated cost the aircraft was written off as damaged beyond repair. The accident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and they concluded their 178-page report with the following probable cause;

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the captain to use proper directional control techniques to maintain the airplane on the runway."

The full NTSB report is available by clicking here.

The aircraft before recovery

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