NOVA Special on Swissair 111 crash tonight

Mike Lewis

Shadow Administrator
Staff member
Tonight there is a NOVA special on the Swissair crash.

It's on right now in EST/CST on most PBS stations.

Here is the synopsis:

"Crash of Flight 111", Episode #3105.
The aviation investigation into the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.
 

Wm226

New Member
Wohoo!!! Yes!!! Something about aviation that isn't on cable!

Thank god for PBS!


Thanks Copaman!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I missed the special (watching "Lost In Translation" on DVD) but I hear it was nasty nasty nasty.

Apparently, the fire got so bad that both the pilots were out of the cockpit before impact.
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
That was really good, except for the end where the painted the whole fleet of planes carrying passengers everywhere to flying time-bombs.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
That was really good, except for the end where the painted the whole fleet of planes carrying passengers everywhere to flying time-bombs.

[/ QUOTE ]

There's some definate problems that are being found with how wiring has historically been insulated in aircraft. Metalized mylar isn't as flame proof as once thought; though it doesn't necessarily burn, it's never been acertained how long it can resist burning and whether or not it adds/reacts to burning in progress. And in the miles of wiring found in the typical transport-category aircraft, there could be any number of cracks in the insulation. With the temp difference between the inside/outside of an aircraft, condensation can gather in areas where exposed wiring lies, and electrical arcing can be the result. Though short in duration, these arcs can be up to 12,000 degrees F, igniting components or damaging other systems.

Another problem is the amount of fire suppression materials/active units in transport aircraft. Following 111, the Canadian TSB proposed the addition of more fire suppression equipment, something that takes some good $$$ to make occur, and we all know that $$$ aren't something airlines and airline manufacturers have to just throw around these days.
 

jdflight

Well-Known Member
Funny. Photopilot and I watched Lost in Translation and then watched the SwissAir special. Great movie, scary special. And I had the same reaction as Ophir at the end. Hope the general flying public wasn't paying much attention.
 

PhotoPilot

New Member
It sounded like the pilots did just about everything humanly possible. I can't imagine being in such a hopeless situation. Here's to none of us ever having to find out what it's like.

Fly safe, folks!
 

Bryan

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
That was really good, except for the end where the painted the whole fleet of planes carrying passengers everywhere to flying time-bombs.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree, it was great until the 5 minute editorial section at the end. Granted the FAA is a little slow in taking some actions but still you have to be realistic about fixing the situation. They are all supposed to be fixed by 2005.

How about the poor guys picking through the boxes of parts looking for one wire harness? Talk about a needle in a hay stack.
 

Bryan

New Member
OK, after reading my post I have to say it is never great to be watching a show on a plane crash but it was interesting to see the investigation.

Also did you notice why they were saying the plane crashed? Yup, pilot error. The plane is on fire around you, instruments are gone, smoke filled cockpit, pilots just can't get off the hook can they?
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
If you guys take anything from this reference what the pilots did or did not do. Remember that if you have smoke in the cockpit or are otherwise on fire, land, and land NOW. Don't worry about dumping fuel, as I believe was the case with how those guys handled it.
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Though short in duration, these arcs can be up to 12,000 degrees F, igniting components or damaging other systems.

[/ QUOTE ]
MikeD, do you have TV over there? Are really living in the lap of luxury and watching Nova all the time. From what my brother in law tells me, he is lucky to get a shower once a week. Just kidding!


I was particularly impressed with what they said about the 12,000 degree arcing, this is why i quoted you. ( the only reason I was teasing you is becuase you practically quoted all the major elements of the show.) This was a particularly impressive fact.

If you haven't seen the show it seems extremely objective, detailing the nearly 4 year accident investigation that pin pointed the point and source of the fire in this crach. And then suddenly they launch into this diatribe saying that basically every plane in the sky continues to contain all the failing elements of this flight's problems. It was a real departure from both their tone and message at the end. It seemed just so typical of "drama reporting".

Mike, on a personal note, thanks for being over there, for all of us!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Though short in duration, these arcs can be up to 12,000 degrees F, igniting components or damaging other systems.

[/ QUOTE ]
MikeD, do you have TV over there? Are really living in the lap of luxury and watching Nova all the time. From what my brother in law tells me, he is lucky to get a shower once a week. Just kidding!


I was particularly impressed with what they said about the 12,000 degree arcing, this is why i quoted you. ( the only reason I was teasing you is becuase you practically quoted all the major elements of the show.) This was a particularly impressive fact.

If you haven't seen the show it seems extremely objective, detailing the nearly 4 year accident investigation that pin pointed the point and source of the fire in this crach. And then suddenly they launch into this diatribe saying that basically every plane in the sky continues to contain all the failing elements of this flight's problems. It was a real departure from both their tone and message at the end. It seemed just so typical of "drama reporting".

Mike, on a personal note, thanks for being over there, for all of us!


[/ QUOTE ]

Nope, no TV here that gets anything. I've kept up on the SR 111 accident and subsequent investigation by TSB Canada as it progressed due the unusual details of the accident. Interesting stuff.
 
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