doulasc
Topic Author
Posts: 852
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:12 pm

ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:06 pm

In May 1996 Valu-jet flight 592 DC-9-30 from MIA-ATL was loaded with a box of Oxygen Canisters in the
front cargo hold. One of the canisters got jolted and overheated causing a fire to fill the cabin with smoke,
The pilot attmepted to return to MIA and couldn't because the fire burned the control cables. Did Sabre tech
get into trouble for this and are they still in business. Then Valu-Jet had some issues with the FAA about maintainence
issues on their aircraft. As far as the oxygen canisters it had nothing to do with how well the DC-9 was maintained.
If they had a brand new Airbus A319, the jolted canister would have done the same thing.
 
DLX737200
Posts: 1660
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 6:42 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
Did Sabre tech get into trouble for this and are they still in business.

They got in trouble but went out of business before fines could be paid.

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
If they had a brand new Airbus A319, the jolted canister would have done the same thing.

Yes but the A319 came along late enough to have fire alarms and extinguishers in the cargo holds. Fire alarms and suppression systems weren't in cargo bins at the time of the ValuJet crash. Had the DC-9 had these onboard, those people might still be alive today.

[Edited 2012-01-15 08:14:47]
 
ScottishDavie
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:48 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:26 pm

Plenty of information here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ValuJet_Flight_592

See in particular the section headed "Culpability"
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:34 pm

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
Did Sabre tech
get into trouble for this and are they still in business. Then Valu-Jet had some issues with the FAA about maintainence
issues on their aircraft. As far as the oxygen canisters it had nothing to do with how well the DC-9 was maintained.
If they had a brand new Airbus A319, the jolted canister would have done the same thing.

ValuJet had already been under scrutiny from the FAA even prior to the crash of ValuJet 592, as they were having incidents at a rate that was a cause for concern, as they were high for any airline, and even higher than that of the major airlines with much larger fleets. Unfortunately, the FAA just didn't have enough agents to keep a close watch on ValuJet (as well as a number of other startup airlines). The airline was growing so fast and they were adding cities and a/c at such a rapid pace that it was tough to keep an eye on the airline. The FAA office in Atlanta was already proposing a grounding of the airline several months prior to the crash of 592 in order to rectify some of the issues the airline was having.

SabreTech went out of business in 1999 in part because of their role in the crash and the negative effect it had on their business. Those oxygen canisters were from the MD-80s SabreTech had worked on for ValuJet and they were put on the flight because a prospective airline customer was coming to inspect the facilities.

The only way this crash could have been avoided (or the effects reduced) would have been if the cargo compartment had been equipped with a fire suppression system. At the time, such systems were not mandatory in the cargo compartments of most commercial passenger a/c, and attempts to mandate them was met with stiff resistance from the airlines. Unfortunately it took this crash to finally get the airlines to go along with it.
 
26point2
Posts: 1084
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:01 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:15 pm

....and then to completely distance themselves they re-branded as AirTran.

[Edited 2012-01-15 09:54:47]
 
gizmonc
Posts: 243
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:51 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:40 pm

Airtran was so gun shy over the ValueJet problem that it carefully watched carry on and checked luggage. I was working for FL at the time and I remember a HuntLeight employee who was checing checked luggage at the ticket counter advised a supervisor that a passenger had a large bottle of TIDE liquid laundry soap in his luggage. The supervisor advised the Hungleigh employee that was HAZ MAT per FL policy and it was removed. The pax had a fit that they could not take their TIDE laundry soap. Hairspray and spray starch were other items that pax packed in their checked luggage and there was always alot of these items sitting around. I guess TSA does it now and they pay a contractor to dispose of it. I see the contractor picking up containers of items all the time. I bet these contractors go thru these items and sell it opposed to destroying it. I also remember a pax asking me if he could get a gallon container of olive oil thru security checkpoint. I advised him it would not go thru. So this idot proceeds to the checkpoint and TSA takes it. Later I asked TSA if I could have it and they replied NO. The pax advised me he paid over $35.00 for it. What a waste!!!!!
 
Mikey711MN
Posts: 1248
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:19 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 4):
....and then to completely distance themselves they re-branded as AirTran.

IIRC, AirTran had been a wholly separate airline that ValuJet purchased, and subsequently took on the rebranding through that process.

-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1735
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:57 pm

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 6):
IIRC, AirTran had been a wholly separate airline that ValuJet purchased, and subsequently took on the rebranding through that process.

Correct.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
YVRLTN
Posts: 2339
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:49 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:33 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 3):
The only way this crash could have been avoided (or the effects reduced) would have been if the cargo compartment had been equipped with a fire suppression system. At the time, such systems were not mandatory in the cargo compartments of most commercial passenger a/c, and attempts to mandate them was met with stiff resistance from the airlines. Unfortunately it took this crash to finally get the airlines to go along with it.

Im going to disagree slightly. While I agree on the effects, this is always the #1 case study during DG cargo handling training. The crash could also have been avoided had the appropriate care, packaging & handling of the DG been followed. As it was not revenue cargo as such, or pax baggage, the canninsters were basically just thrown in as a free way to get them from A to B without the correct processes being followed. Another outcome of this crash is therefore greater awareness and training for handling DG cargo.
Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
 
Maverick623
Posts: 4717
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:35 pm

Quoting gizmonc (Reply 5):
I guess TSA does it now and they pay a contractor to dispose of it. I see the contractor picking up containers of items all the time. I bet these contractors go thru these items and sell it opposed to destroying it. I also remember a pax asking me if he could get a gallon container of olive oil thru security checkpoint. I advised him it would not go thru. So this idot proceeds to the checkpoint and TSA takes it. Later I asked TSA if I could have it and they replied NO. The pax advised me he paid over $35.00 for it. What a waste!!!!!

TSA carry-on regulations have nothing to do with the ValuJet crash.

Quoting DLX737200 (Reply 1):
Yes but the A319 came along late enough to have fire alarms and extinguishers in the cargo holds. Fire alarms and suppression systems weren't in cargo bins at the time of the ValuJet crash. Had the DC-9 had these onboard, those people might still be alive today.

ValuJet's DC-9s had what's known as a Class "D" suppression system, which basically means the cargo bin was nearly air-tight and the lining be fire resistant, enough so that any fire would quickly be deprived of oxygen. Halon (in modern systems) uses a chemical reaction that removes O2. Since the generators were able to make their own oxygen and heat, I don't think that it would have made a difference. Maybe a fire alarm would have sounded and the plane landed sooner, but that's still a stretch.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
flymia
Posts: 7120
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:00 am

I remember watching a special on 592. In a complete reinactment of the cargo fire with the exact same contents of th cargo hold that day the fire actually started while the airplane was on the ground! If there just would have been fire or smoke alarms in the cargo hold the tragic of tome probably would have been much different.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 10016
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:04 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 9):
ValuJet's DC-9s had what's known as a Class "D" suppression system, which basically means the cargo bin was nearly air-tight and the lining be fire resistant, enough so that any fire would quickly be deprived of oxygen. Halon (in modern systems) uses a chemical reaction that removes O2. Since the generators were able to make their own oxygen and heat, I don't think that it would have made a difference. Maybe a fire alarm would have sounded and the plane landed sooner, but that's still a stretch.

The NTSB believes that the O2 generators actuated while the plane was still on the ground. While it is not known when exactly that was (as they conceded it was possible as late as the take off roll, although they believed it was earlier) and how long it took for the fire to start, there is a strong possibility that smoke detectors would have detected the fire while the plane was still on the ground.
 
cf6ppe
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:55 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 3):
Those oxygen canisters were from the MD-80s SabreTech had worked on for ValuJet and they were put on the flight because a prospective airline customer was coming to inspect the facilities.

Interesting point...!! Is there any insight as to whether these O2 canisters simply needed to be off-site of the SabreTech facility during the prospective airline customers visit/inspection (maybe a QC look-see) or that these O2 canisters needed to be moved to another facility for maintenance, etc.??
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:04 am

Quoting cf6ppe (Reply 12):
Interesting point...!! Is there any insight as to whether these O2 canisters simply needed to be off-site of the SabreTech facility during the prospective airline customers visit/inspection (maybe a QC look-see) or that these O2 canisters needed to be moved to another facility for maintenance, etc.??

They were supposed to be returned to ValuJet, as they were considered to be their property and they were ultimately responsible for their proper disposal. It's just nobody at SabreTech had gotten around to returning them to the airline. If I remember correctly, during the course of the investigation of the crash, it had been reported that SabreTech had previously shipped oxygen generators on ValuJet flights as COMAT (COMpany MATerials). The COMAT manifest for 592 clearly showed that the items were "oxy cannisters [sic] (empty)"

http://www.avweb.com/news/safety/183026-1.html
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 10016
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:47 am

Quoting cf6ppe (Reply 12):
Interesting point...!! Is there any insight as to whether these O2 canisters simply needed to be off-site of the SabreTech facility during the prospective airline customers visit/inspection (maybe a QC look-see) or that these O2 canisters needed to be moved to another facility for maintenance, etc.??
Quoting srbmod (Reply 13):
They were supposed to be returned to ValuJet, as they were considered to be their property and they were ultimately responsible for their proper disposal. It's just nobody at SabreTech had gotten around to returning them to the airline

While you are right that they were Valuejet's property and therefore they were responsible for their disposal, that didn't mean that SabreTech had to send them to ATL. As per their agreement, Valujet just had to give instructions on its dispose of the generators in writing. If VJ had not provided that in 30 days then SabreTech just had to write to VJ about its intent to dispose of the material. Originally, someone from VJ was going to go down to SabreTech to decide how to dispose of them, but they couldn't do it until May 13 (2 days after the crash). SabreTech suggested to VJ that they send the canisters up to them and then VJ can decide what to do with them in ATL,which VJ agreed to. (all of which is included in the link you posted, which is just selections from the NTSB final report). They were in a rush to get rid of them because, as earlier noted, a potential customer was coming to inspect SabreTech. A previous customer, during an audit, had declared SabreTech's "housekeeping" as "unacceptable," so obviously SabreTech was trying to clean up the place.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 13):
If I remember correctly, during the course of the investigation of the crash, it had been reported that SabreTech had previously shipped oxygen generators on ValuJet flights as COMAT (COMpany MATerials). The COMAT manifest for 592 clearly showed that the items were "oxy cannisters [sic] (empty)"

The NTSB report never mentions SabreTech having previously shipping O2 generators to VJ, but does mention that they returned some to VASP on 2 previous occasions, including once in May 1996. DL and TWA also admitted that they did the same themselves(although with all the proper safety caps and pins).

The final report, btw, for anyone interested: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/1997/aar9706.pdf

[Edited 2012-01-15 19:49:18]
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:33 am

Sabretec went bankrupt and was liquidated after the Valu Jet event.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
cf6ppe
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:33 am

srbmod and polot, thank you for reply's 13 and 14 clarifying the reasons for the O2 canisters needing to be moved back to VJ.

The simple fact that the VJ person could not travel to the SabreTech facility in a timely manner ended up with unimaginable consequences. As both of your descriptions unfolded, I recalled the many times that I went to vendors facilities to sign scrap tags for engine/powerplant parts.

I'm sure that it was an OMG moment for all of the VJ folks....
 
debonair
Posts: 3643
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:40 am

Quoting doulasc (Thread starter):
Then Valu-Jet had some issues with the FAA about maintainence
issues on their aircraft.



VJ bought every available DC-9-30 available on the market- have a closer look on the previous operator and you know for sure, that some aircraft were not so professional maintained.
 
PanHAM
Posts: 9731
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:56 am

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 8):
Im going to disagree slightly. While I agree on the effects, this is always the #1 case study during DG cargo handling training. The crash could also have been avoided had the appropriate care, packaging & handling of the DG been followed. As it was not revenue cargo as such, or pax baggage, the canninsters were basically just thrown in as a free way to get them from A to B without the correct processes being followed. Another outcome of this crash is therefore greater awareness and training for handling DG cargo.

You should not only disagree "slightly" because your approach is fully correct. It is totally itrrelevant what type of equipment the aircraft had, fire suppression or whatever. The ONLY way that could have prevented that crash was the full observance of the DGR regulations.

This shipment was sent "co-mat" by people who never heard about "Dangerous goods regulations". Both Sabre and Valujet have been negligent in allowing this to happen by

not properly training their staff in packaging instructions and regulations
not properly training their staff in the handling and acceptance of air shipments
not properly training their staff in the loading of DGR onto aircraft

The FAA was negligent in not enforcing and supervising DGR regulations on domestic flights.

I have said that befoe in previous threads about this toipic, if a freight forwarder had been involved in shipping these items the crash would not have happened. Not on any international service, as DGR is strictly enforced under IATA rules.

Oxygen generators immediateöy lights the red lamp. This is nothing less than a cutting torch, unsecured if not properly packed and handled. Or like a hand grenade with the pin pulled and secured by flimsy tape.

The top managent of both companies - and I mean the board of directors, regardless if the firms went bankcrupt or not, should have been charged , tried and convicted for criminal negligence because that was the case.

They did not implement the proper procedues in their companies and that is not the small guys fault. It is the duty of the board to make sure that all eventualities are covered. In a country where people are jailed for petty stuff it is amazing that high profile managers who have caused the death of so many people by criminal negligence and manslaughter walk free, have not even been indicted.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
brons2
Posts: 2480
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:40 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
The top managent of both companies - and I mean the board of directors, regardless if the firms went bankcrupt or not, should have been charged , tried and convicted for criminal negligence because that was the case.

They did not implement the proper procedues in their companies and that is not the small guys fault. It is the duty of the board to make sure that all eventualities are covered. In a country where people are jailed for petty stuff it is amazing that high profile managers who have caused the death of so many people by criminal negligence and manslaughter walk free, have not even been indicted.

Amen. They killed 110 people and got away with it.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
wonder1
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:56 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:23 pm

There is a very thorough article written about this accident by William Langewiesche (a longer version of which appears as a chapter in his book "Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight") here at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...3/the-lessons-of-valujet-592/6534/

For those that are interested in the full story, I highly recommend it. This was a very complex accident -- that he calls a "system accident" -- and AirDisaster.com notes that it was presaged by a very similar event on an American Airlines flight (132) to BNA in 1988.

Also, it is my understanding that the actual SabreTech employees that mislabeled (intentionally or un-) the boxes containing the canisters fled the country and have yet to be found.

Finally, if interested, I suggest a search on that flight's captain, an amazing pilot with a resume noteworthy for its milestones. If anyone could have landed that airplane safely, it was she.
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 10016
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting Wonder1 (Reply 20):
Also, it is my understanding that the actual SabreTech employees that mislabeled (intentionally or un-) the boxes containing the canisters fled the country and have yet to be found.

Yes, that is Mauro Valenzuela. The other employees of SabreTech charged were all acquitted (they obviously did not flee).
http://www.epa.gov/fugitives/posters/valenzuela-08-wanted-poster.pdf
 
brons2
Posts: 2480
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:27 pm

Quoting Wonder1 (Reply 20):
Finally, if interested, I suggest a search on that flight's captain, an amazing pilot with a resume noteworthy for its milestones. If anyone could have landed that airplane safely, it was she.

There was no chance, unfortunately. From the first event on the CVR "what was that" (14:10:03 EDT) to impacting the Everglades (14:13:42 EDT) was less than 4 minutes. See section 1.1 "History of Flight" pages 2-3 in the NTSB report.

 
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
Daysleeper
Posts: 565
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:33 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:52 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 9):
ValuJet's DC-9s had what's known as a Class "D" suppression system, which basically means the cargo bin was nearly air-tight and the lining be fire resistant, enough so that any fire would quickly be deprived of oxygen. Halon (in modern systems) uses a chemical reaction that removes O2.

Is Halon still used today? I know its an absolutely fantastic fire fighting chemical but it's also incredibly bad for the environment. A company I used to work for had a halon system in the server room, a few years ago the law changed here in the UK and it had to be removed and replaced at great expense with a less effective CO2 based system.

Halon is also toxic, we had to be trained in the use of breathing apparatus sets before we were allowed to work in the rooms equipped with the automatic systems. I wouldn't imagine it would be a pleasant experience for the passengers should a system be used in flight, then again it would still probably be better than the smoke and fire.

[Edited 2012-01-16 09:54:01]
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: ValuJet Crash In 1996 In The Everglades

Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:42 pm

Quoting debonair (Reply 17):
VJ bought every available DC-9-30 available on the market- have a closer look on the previous operator and you know for sure, that some aircraft were not so professional maintained.

I know from working at FL, they had DC-9-30s that have previously been with the following airlines:

Delta (Some were acquired directly from MDD and some went to another carrier before migrating to ValuJet.)
British Midland
THY (These were referred to internally as the Turkey Birds, as the #2 bin was longer than on the other DC-9s in the fleet.)
Alitalia
Swissair


Prior to the crash, they had some DC-9-20s which came from SAS.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos