How This Plane Earned A Dangerous Reputation: The DC-10 Story

Publisert 28. sep.. 2018
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The DC-10’s story begins in the early 1970’s, at a pivotal time when air travel was undergoing a revolution. A new generation of wide-body airliners like the Boeing 747 introduced for 1970’s increased passenger capacity at a time when air travel was becoming more affordable.

In 1971, McDonnell Douglas introduced their first airliner wide-body airliner, the DC-10. But few months later, rival aircraft builder Lockheed introduced their new wide body airliner, the L-1011. The DC-10 and L-1011 were similar aircraft aimed at similar segments of the market. The DC-10 incorporated many existing narrow body technologies from earlier DC-8 and DC-9’s. Focusing on simplicity and reliability, McDonnell Douglas took a technologically cautious approach in an era of rapid technological change, and this helped accelerate the DC-10’s development. This design approach, in part, helped McDonnell Douglas beat rival Lockheed to the market and the DC-10 was soon outselling the L1011.

But after just a few years in service, the DC-10 would go from being pride of airlines, to a plane some people thought twice about flying. A series of accidents during the 1970’s, some of which were attributed to the plane’s design, shrouded the DC-10 in controversy. McDonnell Douglas found itself facing extraordinary accusations that it had rushed the plane’s development, leading to inadequate, even negligent design decisions. Damage to the DC-10’s reputation would peak in 1975, after the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily suspended the DC-10’s Type certificate.
It would take years for the DC-10’s reputation to recover, and by the 1980s, McDonnell Douglas was facing even bigger challenges. The market had really only been big enough for one tri-jet and that ensured that neither would become a true commercial success. Despite its troubled start, the DC-10 would fly for over 40 years serving with some of the world’s largest airlines. In spite of tragic early accidents statically the DC-10’s safety record would go on to be comparable to other wide bodies of the era.

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  • Last year we covered the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar ( this year we take a look at the DC-10!

    • @joseph hardwicke DC-10 was copied on French caravelle


    • I think that a 777 video would be cool

    • L-1011, The only wide body that Ive flown on. She was a BEAST.

    • One dc10 is fighting wildfires in California and another one is a flying hospital

  • I was wandering around Mumbai international airport with the authorities permission, I am an aviation student. I don't know how, I could see an Air India DC 10, Completely wrapped, but the doors were taken out, I went inside it closed my eyes for a few seconds, I could imagine how it was in its golden years!!!!

  • Im gonna go ahead and point to this vudeo when people tell me cancel culture is a new issue, the plane was mostly sound and it's issue caused by improper handling but its reptuation was ruined forever because of public opinion

  • 4:15 do you mean at the time beacue im pretty sure there has been worse plane crashes in america

  • Competition kills people sometime, Reminds me of Boeing 737 max Vs Airbus A320 neo.

  • The battle between the DC-10 and the L1011 was not won by anyone. The real winner is the A300.

  • luckley it wasent the L1011, i really like the L1011 more than the dc-10

  • I flew on the DC 10 from Turkey to London . As I was boarding the plane I could see repairs on the side of the fuselage ! Anyway, got there safely ! 😃

  • Damn, McDonald Douglas, Lockheed, now Boeing.. does anyone build safe aircraft. LOL

  • 2:50 - “The world’s most spreads its wings. advanced jetliner to cut fuel costs.” 😆

  • I've seen this plane in a Saudi Arabia plane museum

  • The last DC-10 was decommissioned from Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

  • "Grounded on tarmacs." Do you even know what tarmac is? It's not a place planes park. It's MacAdam...gravel mixed with petroleum tar, used to pave roads and highways. Airport aprons and runways used to be paved with this stuff many years ago, but it's all concrete these days.

  • And I really thought the Lockheed L1011 TriStar was a piece of junk. Thankfully I never had the opportunity to fly on a DC10.

  • So, it seems part of McDonnell Douglas culture survived Boeing merger and resurfaced as 737 Max. Or did I get it wrong?

  • Now, that's how you advertised an ad.

  • U make those videos i like

  • DC stands for Death Call

  • “Long distance flying, once reserved for the wealthy, opened up to the Middle Class” Poor people tho… go f_ck Urselves

  • Dangerous reputation? Deadly i would say

  • We place a lot of trust and faith into American aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities such as the FAA, yet, time and again both fail the public miserably, as if run by 3rd world tinpot dictators and their cronies, to the tune of billions of dollars wasted and countless lives lost. To date, not a single executive has bee charged and jailed for their gross negligence and leadership distinguished by corporate greed, that killed hundreds, even thousands of people. The Boeing 737 MAX is the latest casualty. May it never fly again. It's the Yugo of the aircraft industry.

  • do you animate this?

  • Meanwhile in aeronautica (User) got DC-10ed

  • American aircraft manufacturer covers-up a known flaw, killing hundreds. Sound familiar?

  • Boeing 737 max top them all.

  • The funny thing is, I flew on the DC10, as well as the L1011, by Douglas and Lockheed resp. They were the two best flights I'd ever had with stability like a ship on a calm sea. Now they're both gone. The DC10 was done in by the superior market power of Boeing and the failure to ensure the ground maintenance of the crucial engine pods, which resulted in many problems thereafter...

  • "Is there a secret drinker at the back?" So what they're saying is the DC-10 was flying drunk... well that would explain a lot.

  • DC 10 is my favorite one cause Bangladesh airlines operates it for long time without any bad experience

  • The damaging heart critically tip because instruction happily jam without a detailed butane. observant, industrious nigeria

  • Because of DC-10 Concorde was destroyed too :(

  • Anyone else here binge watching mustard videos?

  • I was scheduled to fly out of Newark NJ to Los Angeles the day the DC-10 was was the 4th of July weekend and we didn't find out about the grounding until we got to the airport. They trotted out a bunch of old 707's that had been retired from trans-oceanic service and had very narrow seats,to allow a 3+4 row seating,And packed us in like sardines. We boarded then sat at the gate for an hour and a half while they worked on the plane. When we finally got to LA we had to circle for over an hour due to the traffic stacked up waiting to land..because of all the extra flights that had to be added to handle the passenger load. Of course I missed my connection so they put me up in a cheap hotel for the night because there were no connecting flights, to my destination, until the next day....most miserable flight of my life. I always enjoyed flying on the DC-10... comfortable seating throughout...great plane..I never worried about flying in it....just my two cents..

  • is that messi 0:21

  • flew on one twice as a kid....never a problem

    • @Aaron Lee I mean yeah, it was a good plane, but it was still dangerous

    • @SN15 didn’t mean to imply that they were wrong about the DC10

    • I was hit by a car once as a kid... guess we don't need those traffic laws as I survived

  • Back in the day, my dad's brother - "Uncle Dan" - was an Eastern Airlines captain (based in Miami), and told us that the DC-10 was a "killer airplane" - and NOT in a good way. EA bought the L-1011s instead of the DC-10s - due in large part to his, and other Eastern pilots', recommendation (based on several of his Eastern Airlines-sponsored test flights of the DC-10). He told them (and us, his family) that the DC-10 was the most unstable, unpredictable, dangerous aircraft he'd ever flown, but that the L-1011 was "a pilot's dream" to fly. He couldn't say enough good things about it. He called it a "perfect and beautifully handling aircraft." On his strong warning, I refused to fly on a DC-10 and would only fly British Airways L-1011s or 747s on my Miami-Heathrow (and return) flights during post-grad school days in London during the mid-1970s.

  • what toy model did you use in 2:23 ?

  • In 1979 there wasn't just the O'Hare disaster but also Western Airlines Flight 2605 and Air New Zealand Flight 901. All were the same aircraft in the same year.

  • 737 Max: I'm am the 2nd gen of DC-10.

  • Flew them with Eastern Airlines

  • The TriStar is one of my favorite airliners made

  • Airlines choose death over Lockheed.

  • thnak you mr musrard!

  • I've been fortunate enough to have flown on a DC-10 many years ago and it remains one of my favourite planes to this day. The DC-10 has had its share of faults and accidents but it's thanks to the sensationalist media and willfully ignorant people (like many in this comment section) that the plane's reputation is what it is. People who actually flew the DC-10 know that its reputation is undeserved.

  • The dc 10 means death chamber 10

  • Its "apron" not "tarmac"

  • This story always makes me a little angry. I love the DC10 and I love the MD 11 even more. The downfall of MD started with the DC10 grounding in the 70s and utlimately made sure that only very few MD 11 were ever build. I'm not saying that the groundings of the DC 10 were wrong (the second one was questionable though) but up until the 737 max disasters Boeing aircraft were never grounded. The 747 had the same issue as the DC 10 with the cargo door, no grounding The 737 had a rudder hard over that caused 2 crashes and one almost crash, no grounding... It always seemed to me that the FAA had its head up Boeings arse forever while it tried to make life for MD as hard as possible. It's a shame

    • The 747 cargo door issue never caused one to crash though. And the 737‘s rudder failure was only truly uncovered after the 3rd incident and remained undetected after the 1st and 2nd crash, so it would‘ve been totally unjustified to just ground them. The 727 though had problems from the start with its incredibly high sink rate. Inexperienced pilots would often make very hard landings as a result of that. After 3 planes crashed in less then three months, it was nearly grounded but after it was discovered that it was mainly pilot error and poor training, the calls fell silent.

  • just sayin u should see the flight 901 it is crazy

  • I wouldn’t get on DC-10 if I could avoid it. Being that MD’s management of Boeing has destroyed that company, I think I was prescient in doing so.

    • It is easy now. DC-10s are long retired from passenger service.

  • This plane was so bad, if you had another type of plane crash, you'd think: "I bet a DC10/MD11 caused this."

  • DC-10 you saved our country towns twice over here in AUS . A fire so huge and out of control the towns were deemed unsavable, watching you fly into gullies releasing your loads and climb up and out of places where I'd fear for small aircraft was just beyond belief. No matter what anyone else thinks, says or imagines your OK with me. Absolutely amazing aircraft.

  • I liked DC-10-MD-11..

  • Safe & reliable? Don't bounce it on landing!

  • "A labor incident" in Iowa? Parts of a fan blade came apart.

  • 737 Max 👉🏼

  • Of all my 62 years. I've only fly one time. That was on a DC10 flight.

  • Yes I am once a passenger of DC 10 in the late 80's and I am worried in the sound of it's engine on rear tail of the airplane !!

  • So you're telling me an airplane lost all of it's reputation because of idiotic ground crew. Cool.

  • Fact: Mcdonnell Douglas team were shocked to the core after knowing that airline maintenance crew didn't even know the function of small window on the cargo door

  • Sorry Mustard, this video is very poorly made…. Very little details about dc-10’s problem is being discussed, more like a mixture of historical clips

  • I flew on a DC 10 twice. It was the mid 90’s, and AAA was doing air charters to Washington for a package day trip. It was very inexpensive, and was an ideal way to fly to DC, ditch the travel group, take the shuttle into the city, do what we wanted for the day, return to the airport before the flight, and fly back home. The only detail I didn’t know until we arrived at DTW was the aircraft used for the trip was a rather old DC 10. I had never flown one before and didn’t let my friends who were on the trip with me, know that I was a bit nervous. Even though it was a charter, there were assigned seats. We were a group of 5, 4 in the middle row, and 1 on the aisle in the first row of coach. As we were seated, I noticed how old the plane was because of the numerous cracks in the bulkhead areas. My friend pointed these out and I just told him to keep quiet. As the flight lifted off, the cracks were flexing noticeably. It was that way the whole flight to DC and back to DTW. I’m glad we flew round trip in this antique wide body without incident. I wish there were someway to find out how old the plane was because I swear it looked like the first one ever produced.

  • My grandpa almost died on one and never flew on a plane since... plus it made the tristar never take off. I hate this plane

  • Ya don't forget it was a part falling off a dc10 that caused the Concorde crash in Paris

  • Meanwhile the L1011 is over against the wall, never asked to dance. She was the one!

  • 1 1 8 8|07990

  • CNET0

  • øB ANK'

  • so mcdonnell douglas designed the 737 max the same as the dc 10

  • That’s why I reside with the md-11

  • My first ever flight was on a DC10 from Scotland to USA in 1989. Loved the interior of the plane. At that time I hadn't heard of DC10

  • The DC-10: a plane so bad that it wasn't satisfied with destroying itself. It had to take down Concorde with it.

    • @Shanghai You do understand that the fuel tank was hit and not the engine directly? The Concorde consumed so much fuel that it made it impossible to have small fuel tanks or less no:s of them.None of the earlier tire bursts were fatal either

    • @Declan Newton it wasn't a concorde's fault things fell out of a dc10

    • But it did expose some flaws in Concorde though.

    • Solid anti competition strategy if i heard of one...

    • DC - Death to Concorde. It told early.

  • Literally the most used plane/plane design in the world the 747. The 747 reminds me of the Honda Civic!

  • McDonnell Douglas's garbage didn't go anywhere they scooted on over to Boeing, and the result is the Boeing 737 MAX, and some other rubbish.

  • 🥱

  • It was a beautiful looking plane. I flew (in) it in 1977. Airline manufacturing is highly competitive and cutthroat business. Rival manufacturers to this day are quick to stoke negative publicity to their competitors through the media. Be skeptical about anything you read, see and hear.

  • The story of the DC-10 is really a testimony to how the press has the power to damage a fine product's reputation, with little to no accountability. The press called the plane a "winged coffin" after the 1979 Chicago crash, without actually knowing what went wrong on the flight. It was later determined that poor maintenance on American Airlines part had caused the plane to crash, but the press had already slaughtered MD's name. This and more are discussed in Michael Crichton's "Airframe" novel, a very interesting read if you like this stuff.

    • Actually the secondary cause was worse than the engine separation, and was the vulnerability of the design of the leading-edge slat system to the damage which produced asymmetry

  • despite all this there's a dc10 tanker that always flies over our neighborhood in northern california, after so many years this dc10 is still going strong battling the big wildfires in the area

  • I am NO Airplane expert. BUT, even when I saw the Thumbnail to this video. I KNEW it was going to be about the DC -10. This plane has HISTORY and a bad one.

  • i will always love the dc-10

  • I know a recently retired long-haul pilot for Air Canada... he tells me the DC10's were called in the industry the "Grandpa Jet" because they were very easy to fly. He seemed to think favorably of them.

  • So MD brought their failures into Boeing.

  • The sophisticated vacuum quickly listen because sofa luckily scratch across a wild married. spotty, happy australia

  • Keep up the good work

  • At 0:53 it looks like it’s going on the road!

  • Looking at this and at this plane accident history, I have to ask: This plane caused the L-1011, a better plane at Every Level, to be put in the shelves, and why???

    • @Ryan Khosravi And because of that the clearly inferior plane got the upper hand...

    • Well there were a few factors. 1. The l1011 was Lockheed's first-ever jet airliner, and at the time, McdonnelDouglas was a well-known manufacturer. 2. The L1011 was so advanced that the plane was delayed over and over, and the company that made the plane's engines almost went bankrupt, making the British government nationalize the company to save it, these engine troubles caused Delta Airlines, the plane's largest operator, ordered five DC-10s because they were worried that the L1011s they had ordered would fall back behind schedule.

    • reputation and brand recognition is more important than the product itself in USA

  • I don't know if the DC-9 is still being flown by the US military or not but I flew on one in 2009 from Fort Campbell KY to Fort Carson CO and it wasn't a bad experience at all.

  • I started loving the DC10 after knowing about FedEx flight 705

  • I flew once with a DC10 back in 2001. I didnt knew about its reputation but i remember i wasnt really confident

  • Bloodhound Gang... "Like a DC10, guaranteed to go down!"

  • Good thing Airbus came soon

  • They were good planes but had no fail-safe so every problem ended up leading to a catastrophic failure

  • DC-10 = Daily Crash 10

  • DC-10 more like Death Concorde-10

  • "and lower maintenance costs" lolllllllllllll

  • 737 is now the DC -10 of our day.

  • The DC-9s reputation was way worse.

  • Trijets are just gorgeous, I can't tell whether I like the DC10 or the L1011 more.

    • if you cant,then go with the md-11

  • what creeps me out the most is that delta 191 crashed but it was an l1011, the competitor of the dc-10. and, the flight number was the same of the Chicago disaster.

  • Better known as the “Death Contraption 10.”

  • The Mcd-d d.c.-10 was a Passenger carrier Once? I know It to be a firefighting Plane.

  • I love the way they fixed the cargo door blow out they put a eye peek on the door and then put a caution sign that said "Look to see if handle is locked" haha and it was writing in english so foreigners that didn't know english never looked so guess what Pow cargo door gone any thing to say money right McDonnell Douglas lol GO BOEING !!!