DC-9-50 Nearly Loses Engines On Hard Landing

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On Sept. 26, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 operated by Aeropostal landed at Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, with enough force to crack both engine pylons at the airframe, leaving them dangling at the rear fuselage sides. None of the five crew and 125 passengers were seriously injured and all were evacuated onto the runway after the aircraft was stopped. The jet, registered YV136T, is more than 35 years old. The flight, VH 342, according to the Aviation Safety Network, had operated from Caracas and landed at Puerto Ordaz in a manner that has been described as "very hard." This is one you really have to see to believe. We expect your letters, anyway.

A passenger told El Nacional that the impact with the runway had been hard and that afterward there was a slight burning smell in the aircraft. Passengers were reassured by the crew and aided with evacuation. The aircraft was later towed from the runway. It was a regularly scheduled domestic flight. No local weather reports were immediately available. According to El Universal of Caracas, the investigation is being initiated by the JIAAC, the local civil aviation accident investigation agency. The incident aircraft was fitted with Pratt & Whitney JT-8D-17A (HK3) engines. It was first operated commercially by Finnair from October of 1976 through March of 1984 and has since served with Alisarda, Linea Aeropostal Venezolana, and Aeropostal.

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