Accident Fokker F.10A NC999E,
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Date:Tuesday 31 March 1931
Type:Silhouette image of generic f10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Fokker F.10A
Owner/operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC999E
MSN: 1063
Year of manufacture:1929
Total airframe hrs:1887 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:6 km SW of Bazaar, KS -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Kansas City Municipal Airport, MO (MKC/KMKC)
Destination airport:Wichita Municipal Airport, KS
A TWA Fokker F.10A crashed near Bazaar, Kansas, after one of the wings failed in-flight.
The aircraft operated on a scheduled TWA service from Kansas City Municipal Airport, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California. En route stops were planned at Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Winslow, Arizona.
The flight departed Kansas City at 09:15. The aircraft encountered worsening weather conditions en route with fog, clouds and icing. When maneuvering near Bazaar, Kansas, one of the wings failed and the aircraft crashed out of control. All eight on board were killed. Among the passengers was Knute Rockne (43), coach of the "Fighting Irish" American football team of the University of Notre Dame.

The probable cause of the accident was never made public by the Civil Aeronautics Branch. A requirement was issued for aileron counterbalancing on all F.10A's, suggesting aileron flutter may have been a factor.
Fifty-five years after the crash, a former TWA mechanic, came forward and claimed he saw that wing panels had come loose on the aircraft. He made this observation during an inspection of the aircraft a few days before he crash.
The wings of Fokker F.10 aircraft were manufactured out of wood laminate; in this instance, moisture had possibly leaked into the interior of one wing over a period and had weakened the glue bonding the structure. The failure of a spar could have caused the wing to develop uncontrolled flutter.


The Legacy of the Rockne Crash / Herbert M. Friedman and Ada Kera Friedman ( Aeroplane Magazine, May 2001)


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