Overseas National suffered two major accidents involving their DC-10 fleet in fairly quick succession.
The first occurred to a fully fueled plane with over one hundred fifty deadheading crewmembers bound for Jeddah. During takeoff at New York’s Kennedy airport a flock of birds were ingested into the number three engine, causing it to explode and collapse into the main landing gear, which in turn gave way, rupturing the fuel-laden wing. The plane immediately exploded into a ball of flame as it slid off the runway. Only very quick and disciplined action by the entire crew prevented a major catastrophe. It was indeed fortunate the only injury was to Captain Davis, who cut his hand sliding down the polypropylene escape tape from the cockpit to the ground.
The second tragedy took place on landing in Istanbul. It was an early-morning flight in clear weather when the captain under-shot the runway by a quarter mile. The ground leading up to the runway was smooth; it appeared the plane was not too badly damaged. However, by the time the Turkish authorities, using military tanks, finished towing the plane to the paved surface they had so wounded the big bird it was a total write-off. Again, it was fortunate there were no serious injuries; only one passenger claimed a back injury when sliding down an escape slide.