|Date||May 11, 1996|
|Summary||In-flight cargo fire leading to loss of control|
|Site||Everglades, Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States |
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32|
|IATA flight No.||J7592|
|ICAO flight No.||VJA592|
|Call sign||CRITTER 592|
|Flight origin||Miami International Airport|
|Destination||William B. Hartsfield Atlanta Int'l Airport, Atlanta, Georgia|
ValuJet Airlines Flight 592 was a passenger flight which left Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, scheduled to land in Atlanta, Georgia. The flight crashed in the Florida Everglades with 110 people on board. There were no survivors. The aircraft was a DC-9 previously owned by Delta Air Lines.
A few minutes after departure, N904VJ experienced a significant amount of electrical failures following the sound of a dull boom. The sound was caused by one of the spare nose tires stored in the cargo hold exploding because of the activation of a heated oxygen canister listed as company owned material(COMAT), stored on the plane by SabreTech. The canisters were not checked to see if they were empty or not and were sealed off using tape before being stored in boxes, which were loaded onto the aircraft. The canisters activated on the ground, and gradually became hotter and hotter until the canister housing the flammable air burst into flames.
Now in the air, the pilots continued outbound for several minutes before contacting air traffic control, notifying them of the emergency and their intentions to return to Miami. ATC then radioed the plane about the nature of the problem to which First Officer Hazen replied, "with fire and smoke in the cabin". The north departure controller then notified Miami Center that Flight 592 had an emergency and was returning to Miami.
With the cabin completely in flames, Hazen radioed ATC saying that the airplane needed the closest available airport. The controller tells him that the aircraft is cleared to land on Runway 12 at Miami. The first officer acknowledging this was the last radio contact received by ValuJet Flight 592.
Multiple witnesses testified that they saw the DC-9 in a dive moments before impacting the Everglades. At 14:13:32, ValuJet Flight 592 crashes into the Florida Everglades at high speed in an extreme nose down attitude. The aircraft is completely destroyed and all 110 passengers and crew on board are killed.