Note the white paint on the radome.
Copyright: Nicholas Williams
Copyright: Paul Minert
In 1967 this aircraft suffered a massive failure of the pressure door. It landed with only minor injuries to the crew.
The crew had departed Wake Island. Shortly after climbing through FL330, they
heard a loud bang. They felt an immediate loss of pressurization with dense
condensation fog and a rush of air. The pressure door had failed. Both petal
doors had separated from the aircraft. A baggage pallet, aircraft equipment, and
loose debris had been blown out the opening and fell into the ocean below.
The pilot immediately began an emergency descent and descended through 10,000 feet within four minutes. Descent continued to 4,500 feet for a damage assessment. The loadmasters assisted passengers with oxygen. The crew dumped fuel to reduce landing weight.
A straight-in ILS approach was flown to a safe landing. Only one passenger failed to respond to oxygen, but he later recovered. Investigators determined that a design deficiency existed in the ramp/pressure door latching mechanism. Only four of 13 hooks had connected the pressure door and ramp. These four hooks had failed under a pressure of several thousand pounds.
This accident lead to several redesigns of the pressure door and door latching mechanisms, eventually leading to the present corrugated door design.
The aircraft was flown back to Warner-Robbins AFB for repairs, minus the pressure and petal doors, at 200 knots.
This information was provided by Paul Hansen.
Copyright: Rob Neil Source:Airliners.net