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Featured Map for 12 June 2012:
AA 96: Explosive Decompression of DC-10 Near Windsor, Ontario

 
Forty years ago, the second of three accidents involving the aft cargo door of the DC-10 took place near Windsor, Ontario. While climbing through 11,750 feet out of Detroit on the second segment of AA 96, an LAX-DTW-BUF-LGA trip, American Airlines DC-10-10 N103AA suffered an explosive decompression after the improperly latched aft bulk cargo compartment door separated from the aircraft. The decompression caused the failure of the cabin floor over the bulk cargo compartment, damaging control cables for the elevators, rudder, and number 2 engine. Fortunately, the aircraft was was able to return to Detroit and land safely, with no serious injuries to the 56 passengers and 11 crew.

The first such accident had occurred during an air conditioning system test on 29 May 1970, exactly three months before the first flight of the DC-10, and there were no injuries. Unfortunately, a third accident involving the DC-10's aft cargo door occured on 3 March 1974 when TK 981 crashed 37 km northeast of Paris, while flying ORY-LHR, killing all 346 passengers and crew.

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