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FAA Fines British Airways For Shipping An Oxygen Generator On A Passenger Flight

September 16, 2014 - Remember ValuJet? The FAA has fined British Airways for shipping an oxygen generator, a hazardous materials onboard American Airlines passenger flight that had departed London Heathrow Airport to Dallas/Fort International Airport. 

Back in 1996, about 2:15 PM, ValuJet Airlines, Flight 592 (N904VJ) departed Miami International Airport with a flight crew 5 and 105 passengers for Hartsfield Airport, Atlanta, Georgia. The Douglas DC-9-32 crashed into the Everglades about 10 minutes just after takeoff killing all onboard. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the primary cause of the accident was a resulted a fire in the airplane's class D cargo compartment that was caused by one or more oxygen generators that was improperly carried as cargo. 


Oxygen generators are used to feed oxygen into the face masks that drop down inside an aircraft cabin when the aircraft cabin pressure drops to an unsafe level above 12,000 feet or when there is a need for it, such as smoke in the cabin.

In the case of Flight 592 the NTSB learned the company responsible for shipping the oxygen generators, SabreTech did not notify ValuJet Airlines of the contents being shipped and failed to properly label the shipment.

As a result the NTSB and the FAA band the transportation of oxygen generators onboard a passenger aircraft and requires cargo only aircraft to have smoke detection and fire suppression systems onboard.



The U.S Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has fined British Airways $195,000 for violating Hazardous Materials Regulations. The FAA alleges that on August 14, 2012, British Airways offered a cardboard box containing a chemical oxygen generator to American Airlines for shipment aboard a passenger aircraft. The passenger oxygen system, was being shipped to Texas for repair. 

The FAA alleges British Airways did not declare the hazardous materials, and the shipment was not properly classed, described, packaged, marked or labeled. The FAA further alleges British Airways failed to label the package as an oxidizer that is suitable for transport by cargo aircraft only, provided no emergency response information with the package, and did not ensure its employees had received the required training for shipping hazardous materials.
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