NTSB Identification: CHI97IA134.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. TWA )
Incident occurred Thursday, May 15, 1997 in SAINT LOUIS, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Lockheed L-1011-385-1, registration: N11003
Injuries: 187 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

About 28 minutes after takeoff, while climbing through FL290, the flight crew heard a loud bang of short duration. A check of the airplane was performed with no abnormalities discovered, except for a slight vibration near the left wing area. Postflight examination of the airplane revealed the left main landing gear strut door had separated from the airplane. Also under-wing damage was noted in that area. There was evidence that initial failure of the door mounting points occurred when the crew heard the loud noise, but final separation of the door occurred during final approach for landing. The door landed in downtown Saint Louis. During examination of the door's lower forward mounting bracket, rounded threads were found on the mounting eyebolt, and associated hardware was missing. The missing hardware consisted of a spacer, washer, castellated nut and cotter pin. All other mounting points had signs of overload fractures. Maintenance was last performed in this area on 5/7/97.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

failure of company maintenance personnel to properly install a mounting eyebolt (and associated cotter pin, washer, spacer and castellated nut) on the lower forward bracket of the left main landing gear strut door.

Full narrative available

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