NTSB Cites Corrosion In FedEx Accident


Image: NTSB/Dan Bower

A landing gear collapse that caused a FedEx cargo jet to skid off the runway and subsequently catch fire in 2016 was caused by corrosion that led to fatigue cracking, the NTSB said in a report released on Thursday. The accident occurred shortly after the MD-10-10F touched down at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on Oct. 28, 2016.

According to the report (PDF), NTSB investigators found that the failure of the left main landing gear was the result of an undetected metal fatigue crack within the gear. The NTSB also found that the aircraft was nearly a year overdue for an overhaul on its main landing gear. The report states that the oversight was a contributing factor in the accident since the crack in the gear likely would have been found during the overhaul.

After the gear collapsed, the aircraft veered off to the left side of the runway and came to a stop. A fire started, fed by a broken fuel supply tube, and the left main fuel tank exploded. The two flight crewmembers—who were the only people onboard—were able to evacuate with only minor injuries sustained. The aircraft was “damaged beyond economical repair.”