In-Flight Fire and Impact With Terrain Valujet Airlines Flight 592 DC-9-32, N904VJ

Investigation Details

What Happened

On May 11, 1996, at 1413:42 eastern daylight time, a Douglas DC-9-32 crashed into the Everglades about 10 minutes after takeoff from Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida. The airplane, N904VJ, was being operated by ValuJet Airlines, Inc., as flight 592. Both pilots, the three flight attendants, and all 105 passengers were killed. Visual meteorological conditions existed in the Miami area at the time of the takeoff. Flight 592, operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121, was on an instrument flight rules flight plan destined for the William B. Hartsfield International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia. Safety issues discussed in the report include minimization of the hazards posed by fires in class D cargo compartments; equipment, training, and procedures for addressing in-flight smoke and fire aboard air carrier airplanes; guidance for handling of chemical oxygen generators and other hazardous aircraft components; SabreTech's and ValuJet's procedures for handling company materials and hazardous materials; ValuJet's oversight of its contract heavy maintenance facilities; FAA's oversight of ValuJet and ValuJet's contract maintenance facilities; FAA's and the Research and Special Programs Administration's (RSPA) hazardous materials program and undeclared hazardous materials in the U.S. mail; and ValuJet's procedures for boarding and accounting for lap children. Safety recommendations concerning these issues were made to the FAA, RSPA, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Air Transport Association.

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