The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it will conduct laboratory tests on several parts of the left main landing gear that collapsed on a FedEx Express Boeing MD-10 freighter after landing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., on Oct. 28.
The two flight crewmembers evacuated through a cockpit window and were not injured in the accident, which substantially damaged the airplane.
The NTSB said its accident investigators have interviewed the pilots, who said there had been no problems with landing gear retraction or extension during the cargo flight, which originated in Memphis, Tennessee.
During their initial examination of the airplane, investigators “identified several parts of the left main landing gear for further examination,” the NTSB said. “Those parts were transported to the NTSB lab for metallurgical examinations focusing on detailed characterization of he left main landing gear fracture surfaces.”
Preliminary information from the 44-year-old airplane’s flight data recorder indicated that the touchdown was normal and that the airplane rolled down the runway for about 12 seconds before the left main landing gear collapsed. After the collapse, the left engine and left wing scraped the runway, causing the fuel lines and left wing fuel tank to rupture. The resulting fire damaged the left wing before it was extinguished by airport rescue and fire fighting personnel, the NTSB said.