Aircraft Safety: Blowing Smoke?

The pilot's voice was calm, but his distress call described one of an aviator's worst fears: "We have smoke in the cockpit." Eleven minutes later, his radio fell silent, and six minutes after that, Swissair Flight 111 slammed into the Atlantic Ocean off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people onboard. While the cause of that Sept. 2 crash has not yet been determined, investigators have discovered indications of a fire in an electronics compartment below the cockpit, and the presence of smoke made the crash seem eerily similar to that of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades in 1996. As...

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