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LD -3 For Lunch?

The 1999 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Winner

You Won't Believe The 1999 Second Place Photo!

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LD -3 For Lunch?

February 1999 - Photo #1

Recent editions of The Cargo Letter have reviewed steps taken this year by Delta Air Lines this year to cut back on in-flight passenger services, such as eliminating sandwiches.

Now, we have received a reader photo which suggests "hunger" at Delta may have reaches new heights. We thought that a Unit Load Device (airfreight cargo container) had obviously been "eaten" by the starboard, inboard engine of a combi flight, consisting of both passengers & cargo. We guessed that the freight container, perhaps an LD -3 or LD-7, became lunch when the jet turbine began to intake air for thrust at start-up. We assumed the container was empty. However, a Delta employee who was there at the time reports to us the following:

"The photo of the Delta aircraft ingesting a ULD is factual but there is a story. The ULD had been 'jet blasted' by another aircraft and was blown into path the of the aircraft in the photo. The container was empty and no one was injured. The 'hungry' aircraft was delayed for a few minutes getting to it's gate."

April 20, 1999: We thought this photo was taken by a cargo damage surveyor, but another industry reader was yet to be heard from !

May 8 , 1999: We have continued to gather more interesting details to share with you !

Bad Day At DFW

February 1999 - Photo #2

8 May 1999 - Thanks to word from another industry reader of The Cargo Letter, we now know this unusual event took place at Dallas - Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW). Our source reports:
"A departing aircraft blew this empty L2 some distance into the path of a B-767 just pulling into the gate. The pilot of the arriving aircraft was unaware of the FOD until he parked and shut down the engines."

But there is more .............

All's Well

February 1999 - Photo #3

8 May 1999 - Our source continues:
"The photos I believe were taken by a mechanic. Apparently the damage amounted to no more scratches and marks in the engine inlet."

The angles of these new photos answer that age old question of whether an LD -3 can be stowed inside the cowling of a Boeing 767 engine. Sadly, no, it's too large and does not appear to have touched the fan blades of the engine. But wow, what an increddible event!

The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel has come to the defense of numerous marine cargo underwriters who insure jet engines such as the one depicted while in transit for repair, but this is not cargo. Delta Air had a problem which would not likely be covered by insurance, unless fault could be traced to a ramp service company or other responsible party. Then our firm could well have become involved in finding a solution. Thanks to late word from our reader, however, it appears this "Cargo Disaster" was averted by a little luck.

While there will always be unexpected events in our industry, we all must honor the professionalism which has been demonstrtated by employees of Delta Airlines in establishing a world class record for saftey and on time performance. Indeed, Delta has set standards which others find hard to match.

In Other News --

4/18/02 6:58 AM Pacific - TOKYO (Reuters) - A man died after being sucked into the engine of an Air China aircraft at Kansai airport in western Japan Thursday and police said it may have been suicide.

Police said colleagues saw Zhang Xinmin, a 39-year old Chinese member of the airline's maintenance staff, chase after the Boeing 767 as it began to taxi toward the runway for take-off.

"It is possible he may have committed suicide, or he may have been running toward the engine for some other reason and was sucked in. We are investigating both possibilities," said a spokesman for the airport police.

The plane had been scheduled to fly to Beijing with 218 passengers and crew on board.

LESSON LEARNED: We'll let you know when we learn more. For now, the very clear lessons are :

> Don't walk in front of a running jet engine!

> Any loose or unsecured material in a cargo handling area is a hazard!

25 Dec. 2003 Update>>

"I was looking at aircraft damage photos and ran across your web site. I saw the LD-3 For Lunch First Place Winner 1999 -- and recognized it immediately. Some of the comments suggested there were only a few scratches. Well, I happen to be the mechanic who repaired the nose lip. Although I have seen much worse damage, this damage required two extensive repairs and the nose cowl was returned to service. It is refreshing to know that I had a hand in putting that aircraft back in service. Just thought you might want to know."

"I am glad to be a part of completing the story."

Steven Rice, AMT, Delta Airlines

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