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Flight 592

Notes & Transcripts

THEY HAD DONE EVERYTHING RIGHT...WELL ALMOST EVERYTHING, ANYWAY. THE MECHANICS AT SABRETECH HAD BEEN HIRED BY VALUJET TO REFURBISH SOME USED AIRCRAFT FOR IT’S AIRLINE. PART OF THAT REFURBISHMENT INVOLVED REPLACING THE USED OXYGEN GENERATORS WITH NEW ONES. AS THE MECHANICS PULLED OUT THE OLD GENERATORS, INSTEAD OF PLACING THE REQUIRED PLASTIC SAFETY CAPS OVER THE FIRING PENS, THEY SIMPLY TAPED OR CUT OFF THEIR FIRING MECHANISMS THINKING THAT THIS WOULD MAKE THEM SAFE. THEY WERE PLACED ON BOARD VALUJET FLIGHT 592

JUST SIX MINUTES INTO ITS FLIGHT, CAPTAIN HAZEN RADIOS THAT THERE IS SMOKE IN THE CABIN. A FEW SECONDS LATER, YOU HEAR CO-CAPTAIN KUBECK ASK “WHAT WAS THAT?” AS A TIRE EXPLODES IN THE CARGO HOLD. THEN YOU CAN HEAR SHOUTS OF “FIRE!” FROM THE PASSENGER CABIN AS FLAMES BEGIN TO ENGULF THE AIRLINER, AND FIVE MINUTES LATER, FLIGHT 592 BLOWTORCHES INTO THE EVERGLADES. IT HAD BEEN A SMALL COM PROMISE, JUST A FEW PLASTIC SAFETY CAPS...BUT IT COST 110 PEOPLE THEIR LIVES.

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