FAA Investigating Fallen FedEx Plane Parts Over Texas

At least three pieces from the covering of the MD-10 cargo plane's No. 2 engine thrust reverser were ripped away.


Parts that fell from a FedEx plane over Danville on Monday night have been quarantined at Oakland International Airport, where the company and the manufacturer will try to figure out what happened.

"Our flight engineering department, in conjunction with manufacturers, will be doing an analysis," said FedEx spokesman Sally Davenport. "This is very unique. It's highly unusual."

No timetable has been established for the analysis; thoroughness is paramount, she said.

FedEx is required to report to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board about the incident, which occurred shortly after 8 p.m. Monday.

The NTSB has decided to not pursue an investigation, Davenport said. The NTSB is monitoring the case, and the FAA is handling it, said NTSB staff assistant Sheryl Cook.

The explanation for Monday's problems could be simple and the probe could end soon -- or, solutions could require digging and take longer to find, said FAA spokesman Donn Walker.

At least three pieces from the covering of the MD-10 cargo plane's No. 2 engine thrust reverser were ripped away. One piece of purple fiberglass from the plane, originally reported to be an MD-11, struck a Betten Court house. Its owner, 83-year-old Jim Moura, said the piece was 8 to 10 feet long and chest-high. The piece inflicted virtually no damage to his shake roof.

Other airplane pieces were found in yards on Adobe Drive and Turrini Circle. No damage or injuries were reported, according to police.

The plane departed from Oakland and later landed safely at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, and the two pilots apparently did not know pieces had fallen from the plane, authorities said.

The plane involved formerly was a DC-10 and was converted into an MD-10 with the addition of more sophisticated electronic and avionics gear in the cockpit. The changes were made to accommodate two pilots instead of a three-person crew, Davenport said.

The plane is being repaired and will be returned to service, she said.

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