May 11, 2007
Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the tragedy, now mostly forgotten except for victims' families and friends, and those involved in the cover-up, known as ValuJet Flight 592.
July 11, 2006
National Geographic Channel's Seconds from Disaster segment "Everglades Plane Crash" this evening was disappointing, but not unexpected.  It was an easy production.  Choosing to simply utilize available government reports, including Feith's and Goglia's statements, to "deconstruct" 592's demise was reaping the low(est) hanging fruit. Nothing new or unexpected. Nothing that 95% or more of the general population would question. 
MAY 16, 2006: National Geographic Channel has released their third quarter U.S. schedule. Seconds from Disaster: Everglades Plane Crash program is scheduled to premier on Tuesday, July 11, at 9pm EST. Check your local listings.
APRIL 29, 2006: National Geographic Channel, UK, has scheduled Seconds from Disaster: Everglades Plane Crash for airing May 24, 2006. See nationalgeographic.co.uk/.
 There is no date yet available for airing Everglades Plane Crash in the U.S.
APRIL 2006 - National Geographic Channel has shifted the premier airing of Everglades Plane Crash from its original May 16 slot.  Airworthy.US will post the new schedule when it is available, hopefully by April 17.
MARCH 2006 - National Geographic Channel to air Everglades Plane Crash on its Seconds from Disaster series re: ValuJet Flight 592
Tuesday, May 16, 2006, at 9P

Seconds from Disaster
Everglades Plane Crash [TV-PG]
On May 11, 1996, ValuJet Flight 592 departed Miami for Atlanta with 110 passengers
and crew aboard. Minutes after take-off, the DC-9 began plummeting from the sky,
slamming into the Florida Everglades and the wreckage all but disappeared in the
alligator-infested swamp. In one of the most puzzling disasters in U.S. aviation
history, investigators finally determine that improperly loaded air cargo caused
an intense and crippling fire on board, and a tragedy that should never have happened.

Also airs:
Wednesday, May 17, 12A
Tuesday, May 23, 5:00P
The entire transcript of the 1999 ValuJet Flight 592 - SabreTech Trial has been posted here. The 13 days of the trial are available by links at the bottom of each page. Read the testimony of the prosecution's "expert witness." Read Scott Aviation's courtroom demonstration with doctored oxygen generators. Read also the disallowed testimony of the conference call operator who overheard ValuJet executives discuss their fears of FAA learning of a door they left open that otherwise might have contained the fire.



Forensic Chemistry and Aviation experts today announced the formation of a task group to resolve the ongoing controversy regarding the cause of the fatal fire aboard ValuJet Flight 592 on May 11, 1996.  The organizers, Dr. Mark R. Hagadone, Ph.D., and Mark E.J. Fay have chartered The 592 Fire Truth Group (592FTG).  The group plans to scientifically test their hypothesis that the oxygen generators aboard 592 MAY NOT have been the cause of Flight 592's fatal fire. The 592FTG will plan, organize, fund, and conduct tests on the same part number oxygen generators that were carried in Flight 592's forward cargo compartment.


The 592FTG is to be comprised of two distinct panels.  One panel will be composed of recognized experts in the field of fire initiation and propagation, and the second panel will consist of relatives and friends of the victims of 592, including third party stakeholders, who have a vested interest in determining, to a reasonable scientific certainty, the actual source and origin of the fire aboard 592.


Dr. Hagadone and Mr. Fay will now focus the efforts of the 592FTG on seating the panels and obtaining funding in order to conduct the oxygen generator tests.


DR. MARK R. HAGADONE has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Dr. Hagadone is a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners and is recognized by Federal, State and Territorial courts throughout the Pacific Basin as a Technical Expert in the areas of Forensic Chemistry, Toxicology, Material Sciences and Failure Analysis.


Dr. Hagadone's interest in 592 began with oxygen generator testing that his forensics lab, Inalab, Inc. (see www.Inalab.com), was contracted to perform in 1996 by one of 592's victims' relatives.


MARK E.J. FAY has a B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Management from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.  Mr. Fay began rebuilding and maintaining airplanes in 1965 in exchange for flying lessons. He later earned a living as a flight instructor, a commuter airline pilot, and as an FAA licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic.  More recently, Mr. Fay has worked in various capacities for aerospace manufacturers including Bendix, Sundstrand, Textron Lycoming, Douglas Aircraft Company, and Boeing.  After leaving Boeing in 2002, Mr. Fay established www.Airworthy.US, dedicated to restoring the concept of airworthiness to its role as the foundation upon which commercial/civil aviation rests.


Mr. Fay's interest in 592 began the day of the accident.  He was employed at the time by Douglas Aircraft Company, maker of the DC-9 aircraft that was ValuJet Flight 592.  The week following the fatal crash of VJ 592, Mr. Fay became involved in what he believes was an apparent cover-up of illegal electrical parts installed aboard flight 592 that, according to a 1991 Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directive, was issued "To eliminate overheating of primary longitudinal trim relays and the possibility of fire in the forward cargo compartment."




March 1, 2005


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Report NTSB/AAR-97/06 states, as a matter-of-fact, that the May 11, 1996 ValuJet Flight 592 accident "resulted from a fire in the airplane's class D cargo compartment that was initiated by the actuation of one or more oxygen generators being improperly carried as cargo."  The NTSB was so myopically focused on that fact that the only subsequent probable causes allowed “were (1) the failure of SabreTech to properly prepare, package, and  identify unexpended chemical oxygen generators before presenting them to ValuJet for carriage; (2) the failure of ValuJet to properly oversee its contract maintenance program to ensure compliance with maintenance, maintenance training, and hazardous materials requirements and practices; and (3) the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require smoke detection and fire suppression systems in class D cargo compartments.”


Regardless of the Board’s public conclusions, there continues to be controversy regarding the validity of the determinations conducted by the NTSB on the same, and similar, part number oxygen generators as were carried aboard ValuJet Flight 592.  Those determinations formed the basis for the foregone conclusion that the oxygen generators initiated the resulting catastrophic fire. 


Because of the continuing controversy, the 592 Fire Truth Group (592FTG) has been formed.  The 592FTG's purpose, as delineated in the Charter, is to determine, insofar as is physically possible, if the Scott Aviation oxygen generators could possibly have self-actuated, and if so, if the external temperature generated by the oxygen generators was sufficient in both duration and magnitude to ignite material in the forward cargo compartment.  The Group will plan, organize, fund, and conduct tests on the same Scott Aviation oxygen generators as were carried in Flight 592's forward cargo compartment.


The group is composed of two distinct "panels of stakeholders;" one is an independent panel of recognized experts in the field of fire initiation and propagation (hereafter referred to as the "expert" panel). 


The other is a panel composed of relatives and friends of the victims of ValuJet Flight 592, and includes third parties who have a vested interest in determining, to a reasonable scientific certainty, the source and origin of the fire aboard Flight 592.  This panel (hereafter referred to as the "lay" panel) serves as administrators providing budgetary oversight and assuming responsibility for organizing and distributing all germane correspondence, reports, and similar for all stakeholders, both expert and lay in character. 


The expert panel, through its chairperson, has authority and responsibility to develop controlled and scientifically peer reviewed experimental protocols in accordance with commonly acceptable scientific principles, and to conduct such experiments, tests or challenges according to the pre-approved experimental test plan following the scientific method (14CFR Part 25, Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Airplanes, section 25.1450 Chemical Oxygen Generators, may be consulted, but is considered a minimum standard, not an exhaustive scientific testing outline).  This plan or protocol will be designed to address as many significant concerns of the technical and lay stakeholders as is possible while operating under the constraints of the Charter.  This panel will also approve the test facility, the dates of such testing and the attendance / witnessing protocol.


The lay panel will consist at minimum of a Secretary and a Treasurer and is responsible, under the guidance of the expert panel, to search for, and obtain agreements with, a nationally or internationally recognized testing laboratory / facility for the purpose of conducting the oxygen generator tests.


The lay panel is responsible for arranging travel and hotel accommodations for those technical experts, and lay panel members if any, deemed necessary to be present to conduct / monitor the actual testing protocol. 


It is also responsible to disburse funds in the pursuit of reaching the Group's goals, and otherwise manage funds established for the purpose set forth in this charter, including recording all donations to the fund and all disbursements from the fund.


As additional information is obtained, the evidence is mounting that the cover-up was a much wider web of conspiracy and obstruction of justice than originally believed.
While the FAA was bent on preventing the populace from learning that a bogus part was the cause of 110 deaths, the White House was intent on maintaining the delusion that recent start-up airlines provided safe commercial air transportation, on a level equivalent to the major carriers, to a segment of the population previously unable to afford it.
Several high-level governmental heads rolled following Flight 592's crash, SabreTech became the proverbial "punished innocent bystander," ValuJet, the not-so-innocent, was rewarded by being allowed to stay in business, and Bill Clinton became the first Democrat elected to a second term as President in 60 years.


In early October 2003, Airworthy.US submitted a second FOIA request, this time for the entire file on the P/N 9207-10296 SUPs investigation.  The response was received on November 19, 2003. 
The investigation file provides a good deal of information.  Noteworthy is that the file, in the final report, determined that Leach International violated 14CFR 21.303, and that primary longitudinal trim relay P/N 9207-10296 was unapproved until Leach received PMA on May 29, 1996.  Leach, according to the report, never admitted violating the law.
The report raises many questions however.  Why is the first document in it, aside from the SUPs Report filed on 5/13/96, dated 6/11/96 - one month after the ValuJet 592 accident, and 13 days after Leach was granted PMA?
Also, why wasn't American Airlines, purchasers of the parts that were the subject of the Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification report, mentioned in the investigation report?
Additionally, the investigation determined that the relays, a total of 350 according to Leach records, were airworthy even though Leach did not produce P/N 9207-10296 relays in accordance with the requirements of PMA (14 CFR 21.303) until May 29, 1996, when the FAA granted Leach PMA.  How did the FAA travel back in time to review the production of those 350 relays?
Leach was fined $100,000 according to the file.  It does not say whether Leach ever paid that fine.
The investigation file supports Airworthy.US' claim that the longitudinal trim relay, P/N 9207-10296, installed on ValuJet 592 was an unapproved part. 
According to FAA Airworthiness Directive AD 91-21-07, relay 9207-10296 could have started the fire that claimed 110 lives on that fateful May day in 1996.
In early September, Airworthy.US submitted a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request for the Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification that was filed about the time of ValuJet 592's accident . 
On October 1, 2003, Airworthy.US received a copy of the Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification that was filed by an FAA Inspector at Dallas-Ft. Worth on May 13, 1996 against eight longitudinal trim relays, part number 9207-10296.
According to the Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification, the relays were discovered at American Airlines supply warehouse at DFW Airport on May 13, 1996!  That was the Monday following the Saturday crash of ValuJet Flight 592! 
Was the inspector there by mere coincidence?  If so, it ranks as one of the most extraordinary coincidences of all time.
The FAA was well aware of the illegal nature of the part.  Why didn't the FAA post the Unapproved Parts Notification on the FAA's Unapproved Parts Notification website?  Visit the FAA Unapproved Parts Notification site via the link, above and to the right.
Combing through notes taken during May and June, 1996, in the ongoing effort to uncover leads and objective evidence, Airworthy.US discovered a previously overlooked revelation; a Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification, FAA Form 8120-11, was filed circa May-June 1996, on the longitudinal trim relay, part number 9207-10296!
The FAA was fully aware of the bogus/unapproved/illegal relay. The official FAA form had been submitted to the FAA's Suspected Unapproved Parts Program Office! The reported parts were not even new, but were acquired on the used/surplus parts market in unknown condition by American Airlines, whose parent, AMR, was ValuJet's maintenance contractor at Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the NTSB report!
The FAA site, Unapproved Parts Notifications (see link, above - right) lists nothing about the relay, or the filed report.
The NTSB report fails to mention anyhting about the SUP Notification, or the relay.

Mary Schiavo has informed Airworthy.US that the case can be re-opened if cover-up can be proved.
The first step is to provide evidence that the FAA covered-up the bogus/unapproved/illegal longitudinal trim relays. Airworthy.US has provided testimony above. It is not enough to warrant re-opening the case by itself, however.

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