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American Airlines Flight 191, DC-10, Chicago

Figure 1 - Witness photograph of American Flight 191 Chicago DC-10 just prior to crash.

The crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in Chicago was a watershed commercial aviation accident in terms of several factors:

  • It crossed a variety of disciplines.
  • There was a basic lack of an airplane level awareness in the events leading up to this accident.
  • There were design and certification issues that were, in retrospect, bad ideas.
  • There were catastrophic, unintended effects that arose, in part, as a result of deviation from Service Bulletin instructions, and poor safety assumptions regarding the use of a forklift to remove/replace the engine/pylon assembly.
  • When the problem occurred in flight, the flight crew did not get some critical information that would have helped them to fly the plane.

The photo on the right was taken by a witness just prior to impact.

Let's take a look at a summary of the facts about this accident. Select Next to continue.

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