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
) and SR
) 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
-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.