History Of ValuJet Airlines





History Of ValuJet Airlines

  Founded in 1993, ValuJet first began service on October 26 of the same year.  They first began flying from Atlanta, Georgia to Tampa, Florida. Twenty cities in the United States were added after just a year of flying with their fleet of DC-9-23's.  Other types of aircraft (like the MD-80's or DC-9-20's) were being used after the market for used DC-9-32's was exhausted.

ValuJet also made an order with McDonnell Douglas for 50 new MD-95'. ValuJet was forced to slow the rapid expansion of their routs because of the Federal Aviation Administrations decision to keep a watchful eye on them, mainly because of maintenance problems they encountered earlier.

Saturday, May 11. 1996, about 1415 EDT, a Douglas DC-9-32, N904VJ, operated by ValuJet as flight 592, crashed during an uncontrolled descent from 10,000 feet. The 2 flight crewmembers, 2 cabin attendants, and 106 passengers were fatally injured. The weather at the time of the accident was VFR. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed. The flight was being operated under 14CFR Part 121.

The flight departed at 1344 after being delayed because of weather in the Atlanta area. Shortly after takeoff the first officer radioed Miami Approach and requested an immediate return to the airport because of "smoke in the cockpit, smoke in the cabin." During the return to the airport the aircraft crashed in an isolated portion of the Florida Everglades, about 18 miles northwest of the airport.

Preliminary examination of the wreckage and interviews with employees of ValuJet and a contract maintenance company (Sabretech) indicate that a fire erupted in the forward cargo compartment. Additionally, it was determined that oxygen generators, used in aircraft passenger service unites and classified as "HAZMAT" was on board flight 592 and had been loaded in the forward cargo compartment.

Regardless of this, On May 11,1996 a ValuJet DC-9 was lost.  Even though the cause of the accident had not been found, Their operating license was withdrawn.  In September of 1996, however, they were given permission to restart services on a restricted basis. Many of their aircraft's were sold or taken out of service during the grounding.  A merger was agreed with AirTran Airways in July of 1997.  at which time ValuJet begun using AirTran Airways  name and colors.
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