The McDonnell Douglas Company, manufactures of the DCIO aircraft which crashed near Paris in early March killing 346 passengers, has attributed the cause of the disaster to a missing reinforcing plate on a rear cargo door.
GV Plane crash scene (3 shots)
CU & GV Cargo door closed (4 shots)
SV & CU Mechanic looks through small window to check if door securely closed
GV PAN & GVs DCIO on tarmac (3 shots)
SV TILT DOWN & CU Cargo door on DCIO (2 shots)
MV Mechanic opens cargo door
Initials AE/20.14 AE/20.29
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Background: The McDonnell Douglas Company, manufactures of the DCIO aircraft which crashed near Paris in early March killing 346 passengers, has attributed the cause of the disaster to a missing reinforcing plate on a rear cargo door.
The company said the rear cargo door probably flew off leading to rapid decompression of the aircraft, and the subsequent crash.
The preliminary findings were announced in California by the airline's President, Mr. John Brizendine, on Monday (25 March) amid contradictory claims of negligence.
In his announcement Mr. Brizendine said the absence of a reinforcing plate on the cargo door had so far not been explained. He said it was possible it had not been installed by the company at the time of manufacture or it could possibly have been removed by the aircraft's owners, Turkish Airlines, after delivery.
Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that McDonnell Douglas resisted a Federal Aviation Administration request for a new analysis of the airliner's safety requirements.
The New York Times reported that McDonnell told the F.A.A. in a letter, that it did not possess the manpower for such a project, and suggest that the F.A.A. pay for the analysis.
However, the American National Transportation Safety Board said the F.A.A. had failed to follow a Board recommendation that compulsory safety modifications should be made to the DCIO's cargo door, until after the Paris disaster.
SYNOPSIS: Ermenonville Forest, north of Paris, where three-hundred-and-forty-six people died in the world's worst air disaster early in March. Now, the aircraft's manufacturers, McDonnell Douglas of California, say the disaster was almost definitely caused by a missing reinforcing plats on a rear cargo door.
At a press conference at the company's headquarters on Monday, the President, Mr. John Brizendine, said company investigators had been unable to find any evidence that the rear cargo door had been fitted with the support plate. The modification was ordered after a near-disaster in Canada in 1972 when a DCIO almost crashed in similar circumstances to the Paris disaster. Mr. Brizendine said it was Possible the plate had not been fitted at the company's plant or it could have been removed after the aircraft was delivered to its owners, Turkish Airlines. Meanwhile a three-cornered argument has begun over responsibility for the crash. The New York Times claimed the Federal Aviation Administration had requested McDonnell to begin a new analysis of the DCIO's safety requirements but was rebuffed. However, the F.A.A. in turn came under criticism for allegedly failing to agree to mandatory safety modifications to the DCIO suggested by the Transportation Safety Board. The modifications were only made compulsory after the Paris disaster.