This morning while touring the maritimes I stopped at the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial at Peggy’s Cove (there is also a second one at Bayswater).
Swissair Flight 111 was commercial flight from New York City (JFK) to Geneva on an MD-11 on September 2, 1998. Shortly after takeoff that evening, smoke was seen coming out of a vent in the cockpit, the pilot thought it was because of the air conditioning onboard. After turning the air conditioning off the smoke was still being sighted. The flight made a “pan-pan” call. The crew requested a diversion, and they accepted the offer to divert to Halifax International Airport. When the aircraft was closer to the airport, the crew requested more distance to decend and to dump fuel, the aircraft was diverted away from the airport to St. Margaret’s Bay. Soon later the crew shut off the power supply in the cabin (which turned of the recirculating fans), and caused the fire to spread to the cockpit and shut off the autopilot. They informed ATC that they had to fly manually and declared an emergency twice. About ten seconds later they declared an emergency a third time, which was the last time ATC heard from them. A few seconds later the FDR stopped followed by the CVR. Moments later they reappeared on radar and then disappeared. Last recorded altitude was 9 700 feet. Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 8km from shore at 555 km/h, 154 m/s, or 299 knots with a force of the order of 350g, which caused the aircraft to disintegrate instantaneously. All 229 passengers and crew perished.