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Walter Hyatt: The NTSB Report

Walter Hyatt was was a Texas singer and songwriter who formed Uncle Walt's Band. He was involved in the Austin, Texas music scene from its beginning and is credited with being the "original Americana Artist." Hyatt was killed when ValuJet Flight 592 caught fire and crashed into the Florida Everglades. All 110 people on board were killed. The fire was caused when oxygen canisters in the cargo hold were mistakenly labled as empty and were improperly packed on board. Many of the canisters were missing safety caps. The official NTSB report is as follows:

Aircraft Accident Report

In-Flight Fire and Impact with Terrain

ValuJet Airlines, Flight 592

DC-9-32, N904VJ

Everglades, Near Miami, Florida

May 11, 1996

NTSB Number AAR-97/06

NTIS Number PB97-910406

PDF Document (5.4M)

Abstract: This report explains the in-flight fire and impact with terrain of ValuJet Airlines flight 592, a DC-9-32, N904VJ, in the Everglades near Miami, Florida, on May 11, 1996. Safety issues discussed in the report include minimization of the hazards posed by fires in class D cargo compartments; equipment, training, and procedures for addressing in-flight smoke and fire aboard air carrier airplanes; guidance for handling of chemical oxygen generators and other hazardous aircraft components; SabreTech’s and ValuJet’s procedures for handling company materials and hazardous materials; ValuJet’s oversight of its contract heavy maintenance facilities; the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of ValuJet and ValuJet’s contract maintenance facilities; FAA’s and the Research and Special Programs Administration’s (RSPA) hazardous materials program and undeclared hazardous materials in the U.S. mail; and ValuJet’s procedures for boarding and accounting for lap children. Safety recommendations concerning these issues were made to the FAA, RSPA, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Air Transport Association.