The Swissair airplane was exclusively Kapton for general-purpose wiring
|Canadian News Digest
Monday, Sept. 7
By The Canadian Press
Flight 111 wiring had suspect insulation -- Boeing
HALIFAX (CP) -- Much of the electrical wiring aboard a plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean was insulated with a highly volatile tape that has been banned from use in U.S. navy planes, the manufacturer confirmed Monday.
All the general-purpose wiring aboard Swissair Flight 111 was insulated with aromatic polyimide tape, also known by the trade name Kapton, said Susan Bradley, a spokeswoman for the Boeing Co. in Seattle, Wash.
"The Swissair airplane was exclusively Kapton for general-purpose wiring," Bradley told The Canadian Press.
The cockpit smoke reported by pilot Urs Zimmermann before he crashed was likely the result of an electrical fire that could have shut down the plane's fuel supply, said Vernon Grose, a Virginia-based consultant.
Grose, a wiring expert and former crash investigator, said Zimmermann and co-pilot Stephan Loew may also have blacked out before their transatlantic flight ended Wednesday in waters off Peggy's Cove, N.S., killing all 229 aboard.
"There was a fire or arcing somewhere producing that smoke," Grose said in an interview. "The most likely culprit is electrical."
Investigators analysing recorder data
HALIFAX (CP) -- Investigators began analysing crucial data from Swissair Flight 111's flight data recorder on Monday, but cautioned the high-tech piece of equipment might not reveal anything about the doomed jet's final minutes.
"We now know there is a good likelihood we will have good data from the flight data recorder, but it is limited to 10,000 feet and above," said Vic Gerden, lead investigator for the Transportation Safety Board.
"There is no information on the flight data recorder for the portion of the flight below 10,000 feet."
Gerden said there could be several explanations for the recorder's failure moments before the crash, but said a power failure was likely.
"The flight data recorders do require electricity to operate," he said.
"There is a strong possibility there was a lack of electrics on the airplane -- there wasn't an electrical current going to the flight data recorder from 10,000 feet."
Litigation process begins with Swissair Flight 111 families
HALIFAX (CP) -- Lawyers have started circling over the remains of Swissair Flight 111.
Two U.S. civil litigation lawyers arrived in Halifax on Monday, offering legal advice to those helping out the families of victims of last week's crash in the waters off Peggy's Cove, N.S.
Bob Bennett of Houston, Tex., and Wayne Ferrell of Jackson, Miss., said they're not vultures attempting to prey on the vulnerable, but cautioned families and their advisers to be aware.
For example, families should be careful about accepting comfort money from the airline, Bennett said. Swissair has offered relatives of the dead passengers $20,000 US to help them cope with any financial difficulties they may face.
"My opinion is I would not take anything from anybody if they're requiring you to sign anything," Bennett said.