Contrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4010 times:
I thought this was an excellent documentary.
I knew the wiring was a factor in the fire, but I must admit to being shocked to find that the insulation played a role too. This same insulation is still being used today by airlines in the US. The FAA has given them until 2005 to replace it.
I've seen several PBS documentaries on plane crashes. They were all good - but this one by far was the best.
Mlsrar From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3915 times:
I guess that ConcordeBoy wasn't watching the same Nova show I was, as they referred to the IFE numerous times...although they called it the "IFEN"...there was even a brief clip of the J-Class on SR -11s with passengers navigating the menus on PTVs.
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson
ContinentalEWR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3762 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3820 times:
They did mention the IFE as a possible source of the problem, in that the wires for this system may have contributed to the fire, perhaps by an "arcing" on short circuit. What was most shocking and revealing of the program was the theory that the co-pilot, in the final moments of flight, may have been leaning against the window in order to get a visual of the Halifax Airport as the cockpit instrument panel failed, as a result of the fire and that the backup instruments were not helpful. The theory goes that the co-pilot may have put the plane into a steep bank to the right, causing it to plunge into the North Atlantic, although the narrator made more than one reference to the fact that this was just a theory and impossible to prove. The narrator said the cockpit crew may have been disoriented and trying to visual the airport approach as a last resort. This was tied back to the fact that the aircraft instruments failed in the six or so minutes before SR 111 plunged into the water.
What was also quite disturbing is the thought that passengers, particularly those at the rear, or Economy section, might not have been aware of what was happening, although I wonder if the lights in the cabin flickered at all or simply cut out, as the electrical power failed.
Very sad story. I flew SR 110 (GVA-JFK) and SR 111 (JFK-GVA) numerous times during the 1970's and 1980's on SR's B747-100/200 and 747-300 aircraft (but never on the MD11).
Last month, I flew to Zurich from JFK on HB-IWN, the ex-Swissair Asia MD11, which is one of three or four MD11's left in the fleet. It was very hard not to reflect on those who perished Sept. 2, 1998 on the doomed HB-IWF. May their souls rest in peace.
Nwacrew From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3506 times:
After the crash of Swissair 111, The San Francisco Chronicle published a heartbreaking interview with two local women whose parents were on the ill-fated flight. The women's father was terrified of flying, and before buying airline tickets to Europe, researched the safety record of various transatlantic carriers. He chose to travel with Swissair, based on the airline's excellent safety record and worldwide reputation for excellence. How terrible to think that ALL of that man's worst fears about flying were ultimately realized in the last minutes of his life...
ChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4176 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3481 times:
The point about IFE is a good one: during the major part of the investigation, the IFE system was taking all the arrows (and blame)...too new; untested; made by second-rate company, etc. Last night's show did in fact mention the IFE, but the blame was MUCH more on the shoulders of the insulation, which was supposed to be fire resistant...and clearly wasn't. So I think the point about IFE is a good one: Yes it was mentioned, but it wasn't 'blamed' for the fire the way the insulation was.
WrenchBender From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1779 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3410 times:
I am including a link to the TSB of Canada report and if you take the time to read it, you will find the IFE was not at fault but it's installation was a major cause. http://www.tsb.gc.ca/en/reports/air/1998/a98h0003/a98h0003.asp
It's an awful lot of reading, I just hope that the recommendations are actually followed. Personally the sooner the better, but economics will drive most of the corrective action.