Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Valujet History Prior The Crash  
User currently offlineCMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3232 times:

I need a rundown of Valujets history up to the crash from when they were started, equipment, rundown of the routes, start up times, everything. I tried the search option and came up with nothing I heard rumors of rapid growth and "poor maintenance", any help would be appreicated.
DC-10's Forever


"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAASTEW From Dominican Republic, joined Oct 2001, 447 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3202 times:

Valujet started flying on October 26, 1993. The first route was ATL-TPA, I believe. Maybe, someone on here knows more details.

Their first major incident was on June 8, 1995. Aircraft caught fire on the runway in ATL. Many incidents occurred after that A/C fire in ATL.

I believe ValuJet, simply grew too fast. The money was just flowing in at astronomical rates. Lewis Jordan and crew couldn't resist. They were adding two planes and one city per month. Maintenance was farmed out. J7, even wet leased planes from Paradise, Mark Air, Miami Air, and Sierra Pacific. They couldn't handle it. They got greedy with the money and were only thinking profit profit profit. Remember, they were Wall Streets "Darling."


User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1562 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3183 times:

At the time of the crash, ValuJet was in the midst of starting up what amounted to a mini-hub or focus city here at IAD. Beyond ATL, flights had been started to MDW, BOS, RDU, MTL, and a cache of Florida cities. The way things were developing, it appeared that Dulles was going to be ValuJet's next hub city, and we definitely needed it. Southwest had only started flying from BWI in 1994, and though they did grow significantly, they were only a shadow of what they are today. DC was hungry for low-fare airlines, and ValuJet was the first at the time to serve the metro area proper (ie, not Baltimore). It seemed like you could barely even turn on the radio without hearing their commercials with the infamous "Captain Valu".

But after the crash and the ensuing re-start, the Dulles routes were cut to the point that only service to MDW and ATL remained when the merger with AirTran occurred. I don't remember any explicit explanation of why they did this; the routes were basically there one day and gone the next. Actually, if AirTran were to come into Dulles and start up another mini-hub, I'd say they could still clean up. There are many people here in the Virginia suburbs of DC who don't want to go all the way up to Baltimore for Southwest. Unfortunately, it looks like AirTran chose BWI for their regional center, capitalizing on USAirways' bust there (and giving us only DC-9 service while BWI gets 717s).


User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3172 times:

The ValuJet crash was not caused by ValuJet, or its owners being "greedy". Everything ValuJet did was common in the industry, including among the major carriers.

Was ValuJet growing too fast? Yes, it was. Even the employees and leftover executives at AirTran agree to that. Did it cause the crash? No.

And the A/C burned up on the ramp in GSO or RDU (I forget which, but it was a city in NC), not at ATL. I've met one of the FAs who handled that incident.

The "Poor MX" was actually just a bad rap. ValuJet's own MX personnel were good, but there weren't enough of them, so they farmed it out to reputable companies like SABRE-Tech (then owned by AMR Corp, parent of American Airlines) in Miami and other cities.

Particularly in Miami, but also in some other cities ground service and customer service was farmed out as well. This is also common among low fare carriers. The ground crew in Miami failed to notice that the O2 generators were improperly packaged and marked, and did not list them on the cargo manifest to inform the captain.

One of the O2 generators, marked as "expended" but actually quite active and thus not allowed on a commercial flight, was accidentally started during flight, probably by turbulence or a bag falling on it. It quickly heated up to 500 degrees farenheight. This heat was enough to cause combustion in the surrounding baggage (paper needs only 451 degrees to ignite), which eventually filled the cabin with smoke, causing the crash.

IMO, I have no doubt in my mind that the captain of that plane nose-dived the aircraft into the ground on purpose, knowing that there was no way to reach an airport in time, and worried she would crash in a population center.

Since then, AirTran has instigated a major hazmat awareness program (can you tell I've taken it?). It is hoped that something like this will not ever happen to AirTran again (knock on wood).

Also, the FAA has ruled that O2 generators may not be shipped on any commercial flight in any condition, empty or otherwise.

IAD was becoming the major "Northeast Hub" for J7 and would have continued if not for the crash of flight 592. Following the crash and resulting limitations of ValuJet, UA cemented its grip on its IAD hub. BWI is now the major Northeast US city for AirTran, and FL looks to keep growing there.

In 1998, the major investors of ValuJet (among others) bought AirTran, a cash-hungry low-cost/low-fare based in Orlando that would otherwise have suffered a similar fate to Vanugard or Midway. They merged the two carriers in an attempt to make them both profitable, and hired Joe Leonard to run the operation.

It worked, and AirTran is one of only three US carriers making money today. AirTran was (as ValuJet would have been) the launch customer for the 717 and is again the fastest growing airline in the country, though at a much subdued rate when compared with ValuJet if 1995.



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16335 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3166 times:

Their fleet, while based on the DC-9-30, also included the DC-9-20 and MD-80.

They launched the MD-95 with an order for 50+50 in Oct 95.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offline242 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3143 times:

The ValuJet crash was not caused by ValuJet, or its owners being "greedy".

Well, not directly caused by Valujet. It was never clearly explained exactly why the company ordered the oxy generators to be shipped to ATL. Why would the company want useless parts sent back? Some might say they were intending to re-tag and re-use them.


The "Poor MX" was actually just a bad rap. ValuJet's own MX personnel were good, but there weren't enough of them, so they farmed it out to reputable companies like SABRE-Tech (then owned by AMR Corp, parent of American Airlines) in Miami and other cities.

The performed maintenance wasn't really the problem. It was the falsification of records and parts tracking that got their operating certificate pulled. It's pretty well known in the maintenance community that they were "recycling" known bad aircraft parts, just retagging them as "good".

One of the ex-Valujet mechs I work with feels his testimony given to the FAA and NTSB helped in getting the carrier's op certificate yanked a few month after the crash. In addition, the mechs who worked line mx in ATL for other carriers around '95/'96 have many stories of Valujet mechs approaching them asking for the most basic parts and supplies- like cotter pins, screws and safety wire. It seems Valujet was too cheap to buy even the most fundamental maintenance supplies.

I'll admit the info above is second-hand, and I have no proof such activities actually happened, but I've heard the same stuff from many different people. I've been working in line maintenance in ATL for the past five years.

IMO, I have no doubt in my mind that the captain of that plane nose-dived the aircraft into the ground on purpose, knowing that there was no way to reach an airport in time, and worried she would crash in a population center.

Most likely the pilots couldn't control the aircraft because the control cables had melted. It was reported in addition to the O2 generators, there were main wheel/tire assemblies in the forward bin as well. If one of those tires ignited, the resulting tire/wheel fire would have easily burned through the bin liner and aircraft floor. It has been reported that melted floor beams were pulled from the crash site.

A few seconds before impact, the CVR recording reveals a whooshing air sound. I'd be willing to bet the flight deck crew opened one of the clear view windows to gain some desperate relief from the toxic fumes and heat.






User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3116 times:

and did not list them on the cargo manifest to inform the captain.

I beg to differ, The Lead ramp agent went over the manifest with First Officer Richard Hazen, and he Ok'd everything. If he had known those O2 canisters were still active, he'd have said "HAAAYYYYLLLLL NOO!!" This crash in itself, was caused by Sabretech. Valujet helped with other incidents, but this crash alone was NOT Valujet's Fault. Now, if an engine had fallen off, or the rudder had snapped off then we could blame Valujet. But not for something Sabretech did. J7 Did NOT order those O2 Canisters back. SABRETech decided to ship them back on their own free will, because J7 never allowed HAZMAT on their planes in the first place. If that aircraft had in fact arrived, and the O2 Canisters been discovered, Lewis Jordan would have probably hopped the next flight to MIA and chewed out Sabretech.

Well, not directly caused by Valujet. It was never clearly explained exactly why the company ordered the oxy generators to be shipped to ATL. Why would the company want useless parts sent back? Some might say they were intending to re-tag and re-use them.

AFAIK, You can Re-Charge and Re-Use Oxygen Canisters. Can someone double check me on that?





User currently offlineLgbguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3099 times:

Take a look at the following site for a complete Valujet fleetlist;

http://www.angelfire.com/dc/douglasjets

On the front page of the site, click on favorite airlines, once there you will find Valujet.

Hope this helps some.

lgbguy


User currently offlineAASTEW From Dominican Republic, joined Oct 2001, 447 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3091 times:

Elwood,

Ship N908VJ, caught on fire on 27L on June 6, 1995. This is the only fire incident were a J7 flight attendant was severly injured. However, there were many other fire incidents at J7. N908VJ was the most severe.


User currently offlineAA717driver From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1566 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3079 times:

I thought a VJ airplane aborted a takeoff at ATL because of an uncontained engine failure(more on that later). There was a fire in the tail compt. and there was quite a bit of fire damage behind the wings.

Again, more second hand info. TWA was making a half-a**ed attempt at a hub in ATL during VJ's start. It was widely talked about by the TWA Mechs. that VJ was getting a pass from the FAA. They did have a pretty good dispatch rate for someone using beat up DC9's(more on that later) on a start-up airline.TC

Footnote:The engine that blew up was overhauled in Turkey. The engine on the DAL MD80 that blew up in PNS also was overhauled in Turkey. This started a quiet debate and investigation about farming out mx to foreign repair stations.

The DC9's that VJ started with were pulled from the same desert that TWA's DC9-50's came from. I flew with a check pilot who had taken delivery of one of our -50's and he spent an hour recounting the horrendous condition it arrived in and how much work it took to get it going. The McD. test pilot he flew with on the acceptance flight also told him that VJ was getting planes in the same condition but they seemed to be hitting the line much faster than the TWA airplanes. Ours were done at Dyn-air in PHX. I don't know who overhauled the VJ planes.



FL450, M.85
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3076 times:

LGBGuy, Thanks for that information. That is very informative. I have been wanting to see a list of Valujet's Fleet for quite some time now.

Thanks




-761


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

Sabretech sent the oxy generators back to VJ because they had been sitting in a hangar, and Sabretech was courting Continental for some work, and some higher ups from CO were coming, so they were clearing out junk they didn't want CO to see. On the COMAT manifest, it was written "OXY Generators, empty". This little white lie affected a lot of people. Valujet was already under FAA scrutiny for MX reasons, and the fact that they had a large number of aborted t/os and landings, and several reported incidences of a/c coming in on fumes. This crash essentially killed the low-cost niche for several years, because the media made the public believe that low-fare=corners cut on safety. Some of the MX allegations were some that even the major airlines have been investigated for. With the shutdown and later restart, Valujet changed as a company. The family atmosphere that characterized the first 3 years of the company, died away as a result, and the company lost many good employees as a result. Valujet did some pretty goofy radio spots with Capt. Valu. A little bit of trivia concerning Capt. Valu, he was voiced by the guy that does the voices of Space Ghost and Dad on 'The Brak Show', George Lowe.

User currently offlineCMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3031 times:

I'm going to add a few questions here, any answers on these will be really appreciated. BTW this is to prove my econ teacher wrong.
- What role did Wall street pressures play in how ValuJet ran their company?
- Did they put people over profits or profits over people?
- Were all their cost cutting techniques (non labor pilots, having other
companies do maintenance / airport ops for them - which might have led to
several engine problems for VJ, and the oxygen tank issue) meant solely to raise the stock price to make investers happy?

DC-10's Forever



"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offline242 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2992 times:

AFAIK, You can Re-Charge and Re-Use Oxygen Canisters. Can someone double check me on that?


Chemical oxygen generators, like the type suspected to have started the fire on ship 904, can not be re-used once they're activated.


User currently offline242 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2984 times:

J7 Did NOT order those O2 Canisters back.

I beg to differ. Check the engineering order. Step 12.1.3

http://www.flight592.com/NTSB/returnto.htm

It clearly states "Tag and return to stores".


User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2974 times:

Well, They were told to TAG them. Not FALSELY TAG and return to stores.

So Sabretech is at fault there.
Valujet is at fault for their erratic safety record
The FAA is at fault for failing to oversee valujet properly. Had they done so (and done what the valentine's day report would have told them to do) Valujet would still be flying under the name and not as AirTran today). That is a promise. My Source is real, and widely available at Amazon.com


User currently offline747-451 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2970 times:

Value Jet also did everything on the cheap, like buying old, clapped out DC-9's from God's knows where, including THY--one of those engines failing and causing an engine failure and fire in 1996 at Atlanta attributed to poor maintenance by THY and poor tracking and evaluation by VJ. Several people were injured and the aircraft was destroyed.

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001207X03623&key=1


User currently offline242 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

Well, They were told to TAG them. Not FALSELY TAG and return to stores.

So Sabretech is at fault there.


Still, Valujet wanted their O2 gens back. Why?

VJ certainly helped contribute to this crash, and I feel the Sabretech mechs were unfairly railroaded. Thankfully, they were acquitted.


User currently offlineCMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2939 times:

Look all this information about the crash is very informative and nice but I need info. about the economics of the airline, not about what was falsely tagged.
DC-10's Forever



"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineLgbguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

BR715-A1-30,

You are welcome, hope it helped.
I am currently working on the AirTran fleetlist, which will include the 737s that the original AirTran operated.

lgbguy


User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2918 times:

CMK10, I do not know much about their economics (You would have to look at their online annual reports by doing a search) (Contact Southeastdc9@aol.com) If his brain isn't fried by now, he is (or used to be) good at searching for that kind of stuff. He (might) can tell you a butt load of Valujeconomics.

User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 21, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2900 times:

I think both were at fault - VJ for not explicitly directing, in the task card, to discharge the canisters prior to shipment; and SabreTech for signing that safety caps had been installed when, in fact, they had not been installed (nor on hand, even). As far as the "false labeling", there are many ways to say the same thing in the airline industry and it causes mixups, especially when language comprehension is a problem (for many of the contractors employed at SabreTech, English is a secondary language; for many others there, it isn't even a close secondary language!). To say that the reason a part was removed as "expired" could also be miscontrued as "empty" by someone who doesn't understand the subtle differences between those two words in the case of an oxygen canister. The better procedure would have been to state the Reason for Removal as "Expired Due Time Limit". That way, there is no misconception between "expired" and "empty".

Of course, the bottom line is less than $5 worth of safety caps would have prevented this crash entirely. The other option would have been for the mechanics to simply take the canisters outside, put them on the ramp, and trigger them and pick them up later. That way, they would never go off again - PERIOD! All of this however is useless speculation - 110 innocent people died because of greed, ineptness and neglect - blaming VJ or ST does nothing to comfort those left behind or bring those lost back...

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2900 times:

MxCtrlr:

It doesn't matter if they were labeled "God's Own Creation", they're not allowed on the plane if they are not expended.

To relieve confusion, the DOT has mandated that all O2 generators be shipped by land or sea.

CMK10:

As for the economics of the airline, they didn't do anything that other low-cost/low-fares didn't do, and for that matter, anything the majors didn't do. Wall Street pushes *all* companies to perform. Profits are always most important, but you don't get profits by killing people, and the people at ValuJet (at least the ones still working for AirTran) know that. Their cost-cutting techniques were not designed to raise the stock price; they were designed to make the company profitable.

And I don't think they should be called "cost-cutting techniques". Many companies find it easier and cheaper to contract operations. ValuJet did it. Vanguard did it. Continental does it. AirTran still does it. IBM, Microsoft, GM, Ford, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Boeing, Airbus, Sprint, RadioShack/Tandy, AMC Entertainment, and thousands of other companies contract services and parts. It's just more cost effective at smaller stations/factories/locations.

Does Wall Street affect all of this? Yes. The investors want profits, and profits lead to dividends, which lead to higher stock prices. That doesn't make it bad or wrong. Just business.

If you want a corporate entity that was pushed by Wall Street to do something wrong, go look at Enron, MCI, and AOL-Time Warner. Those guys are all just plain evil.

AASTEW:

You are correct. The incident I'm thinking about was after the merger.

242:

It says tag and return to stores. That means, if not expended, ship by land, and SABRE-Tech knew that. There is no reason on earth why those canisters should have been on that plane. However, you are correct in that ultimately, ValuJet is (was) responsible for what is (was) placed on its aircraft. Still, SABRE-Tech committed the act.





Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2876 times:

Elwood, You are correct. How many more/less dollars would Valujet/Sabretech have saved if those canisters had been shipped.

Also, If those canisters *HAD BEEN* used, shouldn't they have sent them to a recycling center. Why would Valujet want Empty Canisters? Surely Bob Priddy wasn't planning on decorating his home with them  Big thumbs up


User currently offline242 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 498 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2846 times:

The other option would have been for the mechanics to simply take the canisters outside, put them on the ramp, and trigger them and pick them up later. That way, they would never go off again - PERIOD!

That option wasn't given because VJ wanted their O2 gens back un-expended so they could reuse them.


It says tag and return to stores. That means, if not expended, ship by land, and SABRE-Tech knew that.

Really? Then why did they (O2 generators) end up on the aircraft? Sabre-tech was only doing what they were told to do.

The FAA is at fault for failing to oversee valujet properly.

What kind of twisted logic is that? If I chug down a twelve pack of bud, get behind the wheel of my 18-wheeler and plow in to a bus full of school children, is the highway patrol responsible for the crash? Or are you saying VJ didn't really know what they were doing?


25 BR715-A1-30 : WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! That option wasn't given because VJ wanted their O2 gens back un-expended so they could reuse them. Better check your facts again. V
26 Post contains links OPNLguy : >>>>>>The FAA is at fault for failing to oversee valujet properly. >>>What kind of twisted logic is that? You might think it twisted, but check out th
27 242 : 242: That option wasn't given because VJ wanted their O2 gens back un-expended so they could reuse them. BR715-A1-30: Better check your facts again. 2
28 Cody : Off topic from the accident, from memory I can tell you the following cities were served nonstop from Dulles: Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Raliegh, West Pal
29 747-451 : "As for the economics of the airline, they didn't do anything that other low-cost/low-fares didn't do..." I stand by my post. It is one thing to pick
30 Expratt : AA717 Driver, ValuJet DC9 N908VJ had an uncontained seventh stage compressor disk failure in the No. 2 engine on take off from Atlanta. The disk faile
31 Drewwright : Ok, I pulled a timetable from June 12th 1997 and Valujet served the following cities. From ATL DFW MEM MDW FNT SDF CLT MSY MOB VPS CMH CAK RDU PHF IAD
32 Drewwright : Here is more info on Valujet. During the merger with Airtran the two airlines operated separately for a short time under similar names. Valujet was kn
33 Cody : I forgot to mention, ValuJet had flights from ATL to PIT to combat USAir. This was in addition to the CLT flights mentioned above.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Valujet In-Flight Service: Before The Crash posted Mon Jun 17 2002 05:14:47 by BR715-A1-30
The History Of The Lockheed L-100-20 With DL posted Tue Apr 18 2006 23:01:03 by Belizexp
History Of The Spirit Of Delta(N102DA) posted Fri Mar 3 2006 02:55:22 by Phxplanes
NTSB: Ebersol's Plane Not De-iced Prior To Crash posted Fri Feb 3 2006 02:39:59 by ZChannel
The Crash Of Flight ZU522 (Helios Airways) posted Sat Aug 20 2005 03:50:04 by D5DBY
History Of The 767-400 posted Thu Apr 14 2005 22:55:15 by Lemurs
History Of The Flight Attendant - Discovery Times posted Mon Apr 4 2005 05:05:55 by Cha747
The Crash Of Flight 191 On Tv posted Sun Feb 6 2005 03:43:58 by Hawk44
History Of The Concorde On PBS Tonight (Jan18) posted Tue Jan 18 2005 20:53:50 by Ktliem@yvr
AA Fleet History Question: The '400' Astrojets posted Thu Nov 4 2004 05:52:04 by John