Hard Landing, Gear Collapse
Federal Express Flight 647
Boeing MD-10-10F, N364FE
December 18, 2003
NTSB Number AAR-05/01
NTIS Number PB2005-910401
Executive Summary: On December 18, 2003, about 1226 central standard time, Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) flight 647, a Boeing MD-10-10F (MD-10), N364FE, crashed while landing at Memphis International Airport (MEM), Memphis, Tennessee. The right main landing gear collapsed after touchdown on runway 36R, and the airplane veered off the right side of the runway. After the gear collapsed, a fire developed on the right side of the airplane. Of the two flight crewmembers and five nonrevenue FedEx pilots on board the airplane, the first officer and one nonrevenue pilot received minor injuries during the evacuation. The postcrash fire destroyed the airplane’s right wing and portions of the right side of the fuselage. Flight 647 departed from Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK), Oakland, California, about 0832 (0632 Pacific standard time) and was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable causes of the accident were 1) the first officer’s failure to properly apply crosswind landing techniques to align the airplane with the runway centerline and to properly arrest the airplane’s descent rate (flare) before the airplane touched down; and 2) the captain’s failure to adequately monitor the first officer’s performance and command or initiate corrective action during the final approach and landing.
The safety issues in this report focus on flight crew performance, emergency evacuations, MEM air traffic control and aircraft rescue and firefighting issues, and flight data recorder reliability.