ACCIDENT OF N68055 (47809/191)
September 5th 1996, time: 18:00

NTSB report / statistics

Synopsis:About 0554 eastern daylight time, on September 5, 1996, a Douglas DC-10-10CF, N68055, operated by the Federal Express Corporation as flight 1406, made an emergency landing at Stewart International Airport, Newburgh, New York, after the flightcrew determined that there was smoke in the cabin cargo compartment. The flight was operating under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a cargo flight from Memphis, Tennessee, to Boston, Massachusetts. Three crewmembers and two nonrevenue passengers were aboard the airplane. The captain and flight engineer sustained minor injuries while evacuating the airplane. The airplane was destroyed by fire after the landing.
The remains of N68055 - photo by Michael Mantoudis

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was an in-flight cargo fire of undetermined origin.

Safety issues discussed in this report include flightcrew performance of emergency procedures, undeclared hazardous materials in transportation, dissemination of hazardous materials information, airport emergency response, and adequacy of aircraft interior firefighting methods. Safety recommendations concerning these issues were made to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation, and the Research and Special Programs Administration.

Total airframe hrs: 38271 hours
Cycles: 17818 cycles
Crew: 0 fatalities / 3 on board
Passengers: 0 fatalities / 2 on board
Total: 0 fatalities / 5 on board
Location: Newburgh-Stewart IAP, NY (USA)
Flight: Memphis IAP, TN - Boston-Logan IAP, MA (Flightnumber 1406)

Source: NTSB

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 20mins. 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 jumpseat crew exited via the right emergency slide. Firefighters were not able to reach the source of the smoke due to the cargo arrangement. But 40mins afer 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 4hrs after landing, the fire was extinguished. The DC-10, named 'Chandra Renee' had accumulated 38271 hours and 17818 cycles. PROBABLE CAUSE: "An in-flight cargo fire of undetermined origin." (NTSB/AAR-98/03).

Source: Aviation Safety Network