A FedEx Express McDonnell Douglas DC-10/MD-10 freighter was substantially damaged on 4 April when the low-pressure turbine of the General Electric CF6-6D engine on its right wing disintegrated mid-flight.

The aircraft, a Series 10F (N386FE), was operating as FedEx flight 597 from Memphis, Tennessee to Seattle when an emergency was declared. It is understood the aircraft was climbing through flight level 300 (30,000ft /9,150m) when the No 3 engine failed.

GE says a significant part of the engine’s low-pressure turbine landed in a rice field in northeastern Arkansas. The location is defined in a US Federal Aviation Administration preliminary accident report as Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, 130km (70nm) northwest of Memphis.

The aircraft is reported to have suffered substantial damage, mostly to its right wing, but the crew were able to execute a safe return to Memphis without further incident.

US National Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating the incident.

According to Flight’s ACAS database, the aircraft entered service in 1974 as a DC-10-10 with United Airlines, and was transferred to FedEx in 1997. It was converted to an MD-10-10F in 2001.


Source: Flight International