ABSTRACT

The ValuJet accident continues to raise troubling questions — no longer about what happened but about why it happened, and what is to keep something similar from happening in the future. Investigators seeking to identify the errors and relate them to the cause of the accident faced multiple challenges. On May 11, 1996, just minutes after ValuJet Flight 592 had taken off from nearby Miami, Florida, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed into the Florida Everglades. After the accident of flight 592, many criticized the airline, questioning its management practices and its safety record. Investigators determined that the cause of this crash was relatively simple and straightforward; an intense fire broke out in the airplane's cargo compartment and within minutes burned through the compartment into the cabin. Although researchers have extensively examined error, there is little material that is available to guide those wishing to investigate error. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.