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The Crash of ValuJet Flight 592

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    The Crash of ValuJet Flight 592

                On May 11, 1996, just minutes after it had taken off from nearby Miami, Florida, a McDonell Douglas DC-9 crashed in the Florida Everglades where 105 passengers and five crew members all died (Michalowski & Kramer, 2006).  The fateful incident was known as the crash of ValuJet Flight 592.  A fire which erupted following the initial explosion of one or more oxygen generators in a cargo compartment was identified to be the technical cause of the plane crash.  Investigations made by the government revealed that ValuJet, as well as its airline maintenance contractor, SabreTech failed to abide by a series of regulations regarding the presentation, storage, and shipment of hazardous materials by air.  Moreover, the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA have been found guilty of negligence in its failure to notice certain airlines who were not properly observing the general safety of commercial aircraft and by its refusal to set up safety measures and procedures that would serve to protect passengers and crew members from plane crashes such as the aforementioned incident.

                The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB held ValuJet, SabreTech, and FAA responsible for the incident.  ValuJet was condemned for its failure to properly oversee the operations made by its maintenance contractor.  For several months starting on January 16, 1999, the whole ValuJet fleet was grounded.  It resumed its operations of September 30th.  It later on merged with AirTran in 1997.  The SabreTech was blamed for illegally shipping hazardous materials by air via a commercial aircraft.  In 1999, it was found guilty of the charge as well as for not providing proper training for its staff.  They were also accused of inappropriately labeling such materials as well as for not supplying safety equipment to transport them.  The company is no longer in business.  The FAA was accused for failing to properly oversee the operations of ValuJet and not requiring active fire suppression equipment in the aircraft’s cargo compartment.  From then on it required the installation of smoke and heat detectors in the cargo compartment of every airplane (& Kramer, 2006).


    Michalowski, R.J., & Kramer, R.C. (2006). State-corporate Crime: Wrongdoing at the

    Intersection of Business and Government. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

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    The Crash of ValuJet Flight 592

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Were any bodies found from Flight 592?
    Luis Fernandez of Metro-Dade Fire Rescue emerged for an announcement as stunning to relatives as the eerie silence workers spoke of in the swamp. "We have called off the active search," he said at 10:30 a.m. "We have not found any survivors. We have not found any victims."
    What caused ValuJet crash?
    On May 11, 1996, the ValuJet Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9 operating the route crashed into the Everglades about 10 minutes after taking off from Miami as a result of a fire in the cargo compartment caused by improperly stored and labeled hazardous cargo. All 110 people on board died.
    What happened to the plane that went down in the Everglades?
    Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 departed New York for Miami on December 29, 1972. The Lockheed L-1011 crashed into the Florida Everglades. Both pilots and the flight engineer died, along with 2 out of 10 flight attendants and 96 of the 163 passengers on board. There were 75 survivors.
    Where did ValuJet Flight 592 crash?
    On May 11, 1996, Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592, a fire blazing in its hold, nose-dived into the Everglades, killing 110 passengers and crew. It remains the deadliest plane crash in Florida history.

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