American Airlines Flight 96

aviation accident

American Airlines Flight 96 was a flight operated by American Airlines. The flight was operated with a McDonnell Douglas DC-10. On 12 June 1972, the flight went into explosive decompression after a cargo door was blown out from the airplane. This incident occurred near the city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Because the incident occurred near the city, this incident is sometimes referred to as the Windsor Incident.[1]

American Airlines Flight 96
An American Airlines DC-10-10, sister aircraft to the one involved in the accident.
Date12 June 1972
SummaryCargo door failure due to design flaw leading to rapid decompression
SiteAirspace above Windsor, Ontario
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
OperatorAmerican Airlines
Flight originLos Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles, California
StopoverDetroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit, Michigan
Last stopoverBuffalo Niagara International Airport
Buffalo, New York
DestinationLaGuardia Airport
Queens, New York City, New York
Injuries11 (2 crew, 9 passengers)
Survivors67 (All)

The incident was caused because of the cargo door. The cargo door was blown out of the plane because the locks of the cargo door failed. When the locks failed, the cargo door blew out and caused rapid decompression in the cargo area of the airplane. This caused the collapse of part of the passenger section of the airplane, which in turn led to some problems with the plane. The rudder of the airplane was jammed to the right, and cable controls to the second engine were separated. Luckily, no hydraulics were broken. Despite having little control of the airplane, Captain Bryce McCormick was successful in landing the airplane at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. After the incident, McDonnell Douglas, the maker of the aircraft, made minor changes to the locks of the cargo door. These changes would prove to be not successful with the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 981. The crash was caused by exactly the same reason as this incident.



  1. Nicholas Faith (1996, 1998). Black Box: pp.157–158