Re: SR111 question

Date:         01 Feb 99 02:37:31 
From:         JF Mezei <>
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EMTGX wrote:
> Has it been made public yet what killed the passengers of SR111?

No definitive answer yet.

However, here is a snippet from their december news release:

   As information on safety deficiencies comes to light throughout this
   investigation, the information will be passed on to the regulators,
   the manufacturers, and to the operators. For example, TSB
   investigators have noted that in some other MD-11s, some wire
   insulation above the forward right and left passenger doors had been
   chafed. Although it is not known what relationship, if any, this
   wiring had with the cause of the accident, this information was
   provided to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration of the United
   States). The FAA in turn issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) to
   all operators of MD-11 aircraft requiring them to inspect the area,
   to report their findings to the FAA, and to correct any deficiencies

(you can access the stuff at , and click on the
Swissair 111 icon on the bottom left, new releases are about 1 per month).

> Was it impact, smoke inhalation or drowning?

There was no indication that there was smoke in the cabin. (at least
initially). However, almost all bodies were in pieces. (DNA was used to group
bodyparts into "bodies"). From this, I would assume that impact was the
culprit. Consider that parts of the tail were foundon top of the cockpit.

> Is it possible that SR111 hit the water like the Eastern L-1011 hit the
> Everglades swamp, meaning that the emergency (real this time) distracted
> the crew?

Last altitude was about 9500 feet at 21:26. Impact was at 21:31. Shortly
after last altitude report, plane started to turn right instead of left
(to align to 06 runway). At 21:26, there was the call for emergency and
"must land immediatly".

Without instruments and with overhead stuff melting onto pilots, my
*guess* is that the decided to ditch in the ocean and they probably
turned right into a circle because they may have used the lights from
boeys/towns as indication of ground.5 Minutes to drop 10k feet means
2000k feet per minute which is reasonable. They probably misjudged their
descent rate vs altitude and they hit the water while still descending,
hence the total destruction of plane into pieces and why tail would end
up near the nose.