Enthusiasts in action to preserve the special FedEx MD-10

As of December 2022, the last seven MD-10s were still working for FedEx. As announced in its January 2021 annual report, the company succeeded in deregistering the MD-10 fleet in fiscal year 2022. The last seven MD-10s have now been phased out, including the N306FE.

Tested to the limits

‘The MD-10 is not only a beautiful distinctive aircraft, the N306FE also has a special story,’ says our editor Lieneke Koornstra. ‘And not because she rolled out of the factory as a DC-10, but later received an update from an analog cockpit to a glass cockpit, similar to the MD-11. What makes her so special is that she was involved in a hijacking on April 7, 1994 that became known as Federal Express Flight 705. Not only did Captain David Sanders, Co-Pilot James Tucker and Flight Engineer Andy Peterson deliver a stellar performance with their courage and skill as the N306FE did with its reliability and power while being pushed beyond its limits on a few occasions.

Wedding service

The three FedEx crew members were awarded for their bravery and bravery. They never flew again because they were too damaged to ever fly safely again. The N306FE almost survived the disaster just fine. After the aircraft was fitted with a new interior, it was taken back into the fleet and continued to serve faithfully for almost thirty years. It would be very nice if this machine would now also receive an award in the form of a place in a museum instead of being torn down without honor’.

N306FE, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport © Garrett Heller

Action

Lieneke therefore decided to take action. ‘Together with Rego Meijer and Arnold Begeman, I founded the group Save FedEx MD-10 N306FE on Facebook. In this way, we hoped not only to get in touch with a large group of fire enthusiasts, but also with people who are close to the fire. Suggestions for our plan to preserve this aircraft and where it can possibly be exhibited are of course also very welcome. We also sent an email to Fred Smith, the founder and executive chairman of FedEx: he should read it today. One of our group members has started a petition. We naturally hope for many signatories. They will certainly also be found among the readers of Up in the Sky’, says an excited Lieneke. The petition has now been signed hundreds of times.

Eight years ago

“Today marks exactly eight years since the last KLM MD-11, also the last MD-11 in passenger version, arrived in Mojave to be dismantled,” says Lieneke. ‘KLM had previously donated a Boeing 747 and a Fokker 100 to the Aviodrome. Full of enthusiasm, Barry Schuuring started a campaign to also give PH-KCD a place in this museum. It did not help”.

PH-KCD © Ralph Jaspers

A real pension

‘Hopefully it will now be possible to keep N306FE’, continues Lieneke. “We shouldn’t expect anything from Boeing. At the time, Biman, the last operator to fly a DC-10 in passenger form, offered its S2-ACR to Boeing for display. Boeing was having none of it. A year and a half later, the machine fell victim to the cutter in the home port. In fact the T-235 should never have left our country. The problem here in the Netherlands is that the climate is not very suitable for keeping aircraft outside. There are plenty of places in America where you can do that without any problems. The hope is why our rescue plan for N306FE is heard by Fred Smith It was reported that last Friday, after N319FE, N313FE, N316FE and N311FE, the jet would be flown to Victorville, where six of the KLM MD-11s were scrapped and two Martinair MD-11s were scrapped. exposed little by little. If the ferry flight on N306FE takes place today or tomorrow, it needn’t mean the end. Several planes have flown from Victorville into a new future. It would be great if the legendary N306FE from FedE x could enjoy a real retirement in a nice place. Retirement is not demolition!’

Sign the petition here!

Also read: ‘Biggest user says goodbye to DC-10’ – Up in the Sky

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