Monday, May 11, 2009

ValuJet Flight 592

On May 11th, 1996, ValuJet Flight 592 plunged into the Everglades at 500 MPH, slamming into sawgrass and mud-covered bedrock over a quarter of a mile from the nearest road. None of the 110 passengers and crew survived.
The 27 year old DC-9 aircraft owned and operated by the 3 year old and budding, low-cost carrier was bound for Atlanta when a fire broke out in the cabin. Improperly stored oxygen generators created enough heat to start the fire and subsequently feed the fire more oxygen. Smoke filled the cabin, the plane turned back towards Miami International and met its fate in the marsh.
Today an inauspicious memorial can be found just across the Tamiami Trail canal. If you were not starring at the roadside as you zipped along at 60 MPH you could easily miss it. Each concrete pillar represents a life lost that day.

Built in 1999 to mark the third anniversary of the crash, the pillars are arranged as a triangle pointed towards the crash site 8 miles north.

The memorial is a humble reminder of the lives lost that day. For those flying over - if you were not starring at the seemingly endless river of grass as you zipped along at 500 MPH you could easily miss it.

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  1. Thanks for the nice tribute.

  2. I've talked about this memorial with you before. I think it is an interesting memorial, what with the triangle and the pillars. It's all so symbolic. Who actually paid for/constructed the memorial?

  3. It was constructed by students and volunteers from the University of Miami's School of Architecture with help from the American Institute of Architecture. Not sure who paid for it.

  4. You're right. You have to know where to look to find it.