Aircraft accidents are a tragic thing however many people may argue that all are avoidable. When considering that all are avoidable, one must always remember there is an element that is in all accidents, Humans. Humans are involved in every aspect of flight such as, design, maintenance and as mentioned earlier piloted by. As long as humans are in 100% control of an airplane there will be accidents. However, a good side to an accident is it is thoroughly investigated and researched by the NTSB. (National Transportation and Safety Board). From a majority of the accidents, something can benefit aviation in general such as re-design, increased/specialized training, or as in this situation, re-evaluating current limitations to a safer level.
The focus of my project is going to be on a particular accident that took place on July 19, 1989 when a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 (Ref fig 1) aircraft crashed in Sioux City, Iowa. Not only the accident and why it happened but to delve into the root cause of the accident, the failure of the number two engine and why it happened. This particular type of aircraft, at the time of the accident, had been in production for about 18 years. The United Airlines jet was bound for Chicago when the tail-mounted engine a GE CF6-50C (ref figure 4) failed and managed to escape the engine containment case and severed the aircrafts main hydraulic lines. Without hydraulics, the aircraft wouldn't be able to maneuver and landing would be another difficult task. This meant trouble for United Airlines flight 232 with 285 passengers and 11 crew- members on board.
On July 19,1989 a United Airlines DC-10-10 passenger plane took off Stapleton International Airport in Denver Colorado. The plane was scheduled to make a quick stop in Chicago, Illinois and then continue on to Philadelphia, PA. After an uneventful hour of flight a loud thump was heard, followed by a violent shaking of the aircraft.