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NTSB Identification: WAS02RA037
On April 27, 2002, about 0300 local (0900 universal coordinated time - UTC), a DC-10-40F, N141WE, operated by Centurion Air Cargo, Inc, on a flight from San Salvador International Airport (MSLP) to La Aurora International Airport (MGGT) sustained substantial damage during acceleration for takeoff. There were no injuries to the flightcrew of three plus two operator employees-mechanics on board. The flight was a 14 CFR 121 cargo flight, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed and activated. The accident occurred in visual meteorological conditions. The international flight was being conducted under the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration and Autoridad de Aviacion Civil, El Salvador.

About the time of rotation, the flightcrew heard a sound described as a thump or bang. After becoming airborne, hydraulic pressure was lost on the nos. 1 and 2 systems. The flightcrew lowered the landing gear and returned to a landing on the takeoff runway. The airplane was brought to a stop and shut down. Examination found extensive damage in the left wing, above the left main landing gear, that included fractured nos. 1 and 2 hydraulic lines, and fractures or damaged mechanical control cables, pulleys, push rods, and electrical wiring. The no. 5 tire was found blown, and tread on the no. 1 tire damaged, both on the left main mount. Marks of a reverser cascade, identified as coming from a B-727, were found impressed into the runway, and a cascade was recovered in a search of the takeoff runway. Pieces of what appeared to be aluminum and other aircraft debris were also found on and near the takeoff runway.

The investigation is being conducted by the Autoridad de Aviacion Civil (AAC), El Salvador. Two investigators from the NTSB's Office of Aviation Safety (serving as the U.S. Accredited Representative and an investigator from the Aviation Engineering Division) flew to the site to assist the investigator-in-charge (IIC), AAC. An investigator from the FAA's Major Accident Investigation Division (AAI-100) also flew to the site to assist the IIC. The operator was granted party status by the IIC and is assisting in the investigation.

For further information, contact:

Sr. Carlos Lopes
Director of Aviation Safety and Investigator-in-Charge
San Salvador, El Salvador
503 296-66351 / fax -6349

U.S. Accredited Representative:

Thomas R. Conroy
Air Safety Investigator
NTSB Office of Aviation Safety
Regional Operations and General Aviation Division, AS-20
Washington, DC 20594
1 202-314-6314