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NTSB releases more details about MD-10F fire at Fort Lauderdale

A fire that engulfed the wing of a FedEx Boeing MD-10 Freighter at Fort Lauderdale in October ignited after the aircraft's wing scraped the runway and ruptured the fuel system, according to US accident investigators.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in a 22 November investigation update, says the aircraft's landing was normal until roughly 12s after touchdown, when the left main landing gear collapsed.

"They reported a stabilised approach to the airport and no anomalies with the gear retraction or extension during the accident flight," the crew reported, according to the NTSB.

"After the left gear collapsed, the left engine and left wingtip contacted and scraped the runway, rupturing fuel lines and the left wing fuel tank," adds the agency. "Fuel from the left wing ignited as the airplane rolled down the runway. The fire continued to burn after the airplane came to rest, resulting in fire damage to the left wing."

The accident happened on 28 October, forcing the shutdown of runway 10L at Fort Lauderdale. The aircraft came to rest on the side of the runway and the two crew members safely evacuated.

The aircraft, registration N370FE, was operating FedEx flight 910 from Memphis to Fort Lauderdale and had accumulated 84,589h of flight time and 35,606 cycles at the time of the accident, says the NTSB.

The agency is now conducting metallurgical examination of several parts of the left main landing gear, with particular focus on "fracture surfaces", says the NTSB.

The aircraft was manufactured in 1972, converted to a DC-10F in 1999 and modified to an MD-10F in 2003, says the NTSB.

It had accumulated 84,589h of flight time 35,606 cycles at the time of the accident, says the NTSB.

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