Re: ValuJet Crash

From:         rjn@csn.net (Bob Niland)
Organization: Colorado SuperNet
Date:         07 Jul 96 14:09:01 
References:   1
View raw article
  or MIME structure

Mark Bell (msb@SEI.CMU.EDU) wrote:

> Start Quote :
>    "A Gannett Newspapers analysis of internal FAA documents found that
> ValuJet has been an airline with a troubling pattern of sloppy
> operations and maintenance long before the May 11 crash.

Although ValueJet's corporate culture may have made them the most likely
candidate for an oxygen generator incident, I have to wonder if the
proximate cause of the accident won't actually turn out to be
illiteracy.

It's easy to imagine that the precision of terminology found nearly
world-wide in cockpits and ATC does not extend to contract techs or
cargo hangers, and that a sequence something like this made it possible
for live, un-safetied oxygen generators to get on board:

  - generators removed and marked "expired"
  - "expired" was re-written as "used"
  - "used" was assumed to be "discharged"

If any non-English speakers were in the chain of custody, this process
could have taken even fewer steps.

What standards, if any, apply to reporting on the status of these
generators?   If random local colloquial speech is used, this accident
has been just waiting to happen for a long time, to any airline that
carries "expired" OGs as cargo.

Regards,                                            1001-A East Harmony Road
Bob Niland                                          Suite 503
Internet:  rjn@csn.net                              Fort Collins
Unless otherwise specifically stated,               Colorado     80525   USA
expressing personal opinions and NOT
speaking for any employer, client or
Internet Service Provider.