Swissair Flight 111
HB-IWF, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen at Zurich Airport in July 1998,
two months before the crash occurred.
|Date||2 September 1998|
|Summary||Electrical and instrument failure due to in-flight fire, causing spatial disorientation and loss of control:253–254|
|Site||Atlantic Ocean, near St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas MD-11|
New York–JFK Airport|
New York City, U.S.
Cointrin International Airport|
Swissair Flight 111 (IATA: SR111, ICAO: SWR111) was a scheduled international passenger flight from New York City, United States, to Geneva, Switzerland. This flight was also a codeshare flight with Delta Air Lines. On 2 September 1998, the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 performing this flight, registration HB-IWF, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Halifax International Airport at the entrance to St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia. The crash site was 8 kilometres (5 mi) from shore, roughly equidistant from the tiny fishing and tourist communities of Peggy's Cove and Bayswater. All 229 passengers and crew aboard the MD-11 were killed—the deadliest McDonnell Douglas MD-11 accident in aviation history, and the second-deadliest aviation disaster to occur in Canada, behind Arrow Air Flight 1285, which crashed in 1985 with 256 fatalities. This is one of the three MD-11 accidents with passenger fatalities along with China Eastern Airlines Flight 583 and another hull loss of China Airlines Flight 642.
The search and rescue response, crash recovery operation, and investigation by the Government of Canada took over four years and cost CAD$57 million. The investigation carried out by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) concluded that flammable material used in the aircraft's structure allowed a fire to spread beyond the control of the crew, resulting in the crash of the aircraft. Several wide-ranging recommendations were made which have been incorporated into new U.S. Federal Aviation Authority standards.:253
- 1 Aircraft and crew
- 2 Flight timeline
- 3 Post-crash response
- 4 Investigation
- 5 Probable cause
- 6 Victims
- 7 Legacy
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Aircraft and crew
The aircraft, a 7-year old McDonnell Douglas MD-11, serial number 48448, registration HB-IWF, was manufactured in 1991 and Swissair was its only operator. It bore the title of Vaud, in honour of the Swiss canton of the same name. The cabin was configured with 241 passenger seats. First and business class seats were equipped with in-seat in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems. The aircraft was powered by three Pratt & Whitney 4462 turbofan engines and had logged about 36,000 hours before the crash.:9
The pilot-in-command was 50-year-old Urs Zimmermann. At the time of the accident, he had approximately 10,800 hours of total flying time, of which 900 hours were in an MD-11. He was also an instructor pilot for the MD-11. Before his career with Swissair, he was a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force. Zimmermann was described as a friendly person with professional skills, who always worked with exactness and precision.:5–7
The first officer, 36-year-old Stefan Löw, had approximately 4,800 hours of total flying time, including 230 hours on the MD-11. He was an instructor on the MD-80 and A320. From 1982 to 1990, he had been a pilot in the Swiss Air Force.:6 The cabin crew comprised a maître de cabine (purser) and eleven flight attendants. All crew members on board Swissair Flight 111 were qualified, certified, and trained in accordance with Swiss regulations under the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).
The flight took off from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport at 00:18 UTC (20:18 EDT) on September 3. From 00:33 to 00:47 UTC (20:33 – 20:47 EDT), the aircraft experienced a radio blackout for approximately thirteen minutes, which was later found to be caused by communication radio tuning errors.
At 01:10 UTC (21:10 AT), the flight crew detected an odor in the cockpit and determined it to be smoke from the air conditioning system. Following the captain's request, the crew turned off the air conditioning vent. Four minutes later, the odor returned and smoke became visible, prompting the pilots to make a "pan-pan" radio call to Moncton air traffic control, the area control center (ACC) station in charge of air traffic over the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The pan-pan call indicated that there was an urgency due to smoke in the cockpit but did not declare an emergency as denoted by a "Mayday" call. The crew requested a diversion to Logan International Airport in Boston (234 nautical miles/433 km away) before accepting Moncton ATC's offer of radar vectors to the closer Halifax International Airport in Enfield, Nova Scotia (66 nautical miles/104 km away).:1–2
At 01:18 UTC (21:18 AT), Moncton Center handed over traffic control of the plane to Halifax terminal air traffic control, the ATC station in charge of controlling traffic in and out of Halifax International Airport. At 01:19 UTC (21:19 AT), upon being advised by Halifax ATC that they were 30 nautical miles (56 km) from the airport, the crew requested more flight distance to allow the aircraft to descend safely from its altitude of 21000 ft (6400m) at the time.
At 01:20 UTC (21:20 AT), the crew requested to dump fuel to reduce their weight for landing. Halifax thus vectored the plane south toward St. Margaret's Bay:2–3 where it was safe for the aircraft to dump fuel while remaining within 30 nautical miles of the airport.
In accordance with the Swissair checklist 'In case of smoke of unknown origin', the crew shut off power to the cabin, which also turned off the recirculating fans in the cabin's ceiling, causing a vacuum to form in the ceiling space above the passenger cabin. This allowed the fire to spread to the cockpit, eventually shutting off power to the aircraft's autopilot. At 01:24:28 UTC (21:24:28 AT), the crew informed Halifax that "we now must fly manually", followed by declaring an emergency. Ten seconds later, the crew declared an emergency again, saying "...and we are declaring emergency now, Swissair one eleven"; this was the last transmission received from Flight 111.
The aircraft flight data recorder stopped operating at 01:25:40 UTC (21:25:40 AT), followed one second later by the cockpit voice recorder. The aircraft's transponder briefly resumed transmission of secondary radar returns from 01:25:50 to 01:26:04 UTC (21:25:50 – 21:26:04 AT), at which time the aircraft's altitude was 9,700 feet. After this, the aircraft could only be tracked through primary radar, which does not provide altitude information.:244 According to the cockpit voice recorder, shortly after the first emergency declaration, the captain left his seat to fight the fire that was spreading to the rear of the cockpit. The Swissair volume of checklists was found later, fused together in the wreckage, indicating that the captain may have attempted to use it to fan back the flames.[not in citation given] The captain did not return to his seat; it is not known whether he was killed by the fire, asphyxiated by the smoke, or killed in the crash.
The flight data recording shows that engine three (the right hand engine) was shut down due to an engine fire approximately one minute before impact,[not in citation given] implying that the first officer was still alive and continued to attempt to fly the aircraft until the final moments of the flight. Due to this, the plane banked to the right and began to fall from the sky and due to the smoke the pilot was inward of the turn. At 01:31:18 UTC (21:31:18 AT), the aircraft struck the ocean at an estimated speed of 345 mph (555 km/h, 154 m/s, or 299 knots) and with a force in the order of 350 g, causing the aircraft to disintegrate instantly.:116 The location of the crash was approximately Coordinates: ±300 meters.
Search and rescue operation
The search and rescue (SAR) operation was code-named Operation Persistence and was launched immediately by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax (JRCC Halifax), which tasked the Air Command, Maritime Command and Land Force Command of the Canadian Forces (CF), Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) resources.
The first rescue resources to approach the crash site were CCGA volunteer units, which were mostly privately owned fishing boats operating out of Peggy's Cove and Bayswater, as well as other harbours on St. Margaret's Bay and the Aspotogan Peninsula. They were soon joined by the dedicated CCG SAR vessel, CCGS Sambro; CH-124 Sea King helicopters, flown out of CFB Shearwater by Airforce crews from 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron (MHS) and 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron (MOTS); and CH-113 Labrador SAR helicopters flown out of CFB Greenwood by the 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron (TRS).
The crash site's proximity to Halifax meant that ships docked at Canada's largest naval base, CFB Halifax, and one of the largest CCG bases in Canada, the CCG Regional Headquarters in Dartmouth, were within one hour's sailing time. Calls went out immediately and ships sailed directly to St. Margaret's Bay.
The land-based search, including shoreline searching, was the responsibility of Halifax Regional Search and Rescue. The organization was responsible for all ground operations including military operations and other ground search and rescue teams.
|List of vessels involved in the search and rescue actions|
|The following are ships that took part in the search and rescue operation after the accident.
Search and recovery operation
By the afternoon of 3 September, it was apparent that there were no survivors from the crash and JRCC Halifax de-tasked dedicated SAR assets (CCGS Sambro and the CH-113 Labrador helicopters). The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were given overall command of the recovery operation, with HMCS Preserver (AOR 510) remaining on-scene commander.
The aircraft broke up on impact with the water and most of the debris sank to the ocean floor (a depth of 55 m (180 ft)). Some debris was found floating in the crash area and over the following weeks debris washed up on the nearby shorelines.:77
The initial focus of the recovery was on finding and identifying human remains and on recovering the flight recorders. As the force of impact was "in the order of at least 350 g",:104 the aircraft was fragmented and the environmental conditions only allowed the recovery of human remains along with the aircraft wreckage.:103–105 Only one of the victims was visually identifiable. Eventually, 147 were identified by fingerprint, dental records, and X-ray comparisons. The remaining 81 were identified through DNA tests.:264
With CF divers (navy clearance divers, port inspection divers, ship's team divers, and Army combat divers) working on the recovery, a request was made by the Government of Canada to the Government of the United States for a larger dedicated salvage recovery vessel. USS Grapple was tasked to the recovery effort, arriving from Philadelphia on 9 September. Among Grapple's crew were 32 salvage divers.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) were found by the submarine HMCS Okanagan using sonar to detect the underwater locator beacon signals and were quickly retrieved by Canadian Navy divers (the FDR on 6 September and the CVR on 11 September 1998). Both had stopped recording when the aircraft lost electrical power at approximately 10,000 ft (3,000 m), 5 minutes and 37 seconds before impact.:74
The recovery operation was guided by the TSB with resources from the CF, CCG, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and other agencies. The area was surveyed using route survey sonar, laser line scanners, and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to locate items. After being located, the debris was then recovered (initially by divers and ROVs, later by dredging and trawling).
On 2 October 1998, the TSB initiated a heavy lift operation to retrieve the major portion of the wreckage from the deep water before the expected winter storms began. By 21 October, an estimated 27% of the wreckage was recovered. At that point in the investigation, the crash was generally believed to have been caused by faulty wiring in the cockpit after the IFE system started to overheat. The TSB released its preliminary report on 30 August 2000 and the final report in 2003.:298
The final phase of wreckage recovery employed the ship Queen of the Netherlands to dredge the remaining aircraft debris. It concluded in December 1999 with 98% of the aircraft retrieved: approximately 279,000 lb (127,000 kg) of aircraft debris and 40,000 lb (18,000 kg) of cargo.:77
Response to victims' families and friends
JFK Airport used the JFK Ramada Plaza to house relatives and friends of the victims of the crash, due to the hotel's central location relative to the airport. Jerome "Jerry" Hauer, the head of the emergency management task force of New York City, praised the swift actions of Swissair and codeshare partner Delta Air Lines in responding to the accident; he had criticized Trans World Airlines in its response to the TWA Flight 800 crash in 1996.
An estimated 2 million pieces of debris were recovered and brought ashore for inspection at a secure handling facility in a marine industrial park at Sheet Harbour, where small material was hand inspected by teams of RCMP officers looking for human remains, personal effects, and valuables from the aircraft's cargo hold. The material was then transported to CFB Shearwater, where it was sorted and inspected by over 350 investigators from multiple organizations, including the TSB, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and Swissair.:80
As each piece of wreckage was brought in, it was carefully cleaned with fresh water, sorted, and weighed. The item was then placed in a specific area of a hangar at CFB Shearwater, based on a grid system representing the various sections of the plane. All items not considered significant to the crash were stored with similar items in large boxes. When a box was full, it was weighed and moved to a custom-built temporary structure (J-Hangar) on a discontinued runway for long-term storage. If deemed significant to the investigation, the item was documented, photographed, and kept in the active examination hangar.:197–198 Particular attention was paid to any item showing heat damage, burns, or other unusual marks. The front 33 ft (10 m) of the aircraft, from the front of the cockpit to near the front of the first-class passenger cabin, was reconstructed. Information gained by this allowed investigators to determine the severity and limits of the fire damage, its possible origins, and progression.:199
The lack of flight recorder data for the last six minutes of the flight added significant complexity to the investigation and was a major factor in its lengthy duration. The TSB team had to reconstruct the last six minutes of flight entirely from the physical evidence. As the aircraft was broken into 2 million pieces by the impact, this process was time-consuming and tedious.[not in citation given] The investigation became the largest and most expensive transport accident investigation in Canadian history, costing C$57 million (US$48.5 million) over five years.
The cockpit voice recorder used a 1/4 inch recording tape that operated on a 30-minute loop. It therefore only retained that half-hour of the flight before the recorders failed, six minutes before the crash.:73–74 The CVR recording and transcript were covered by a strict privilege under section 28 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and thus were not publicly disclosed, although the air traffic control recordings are less strictly privileged: section 29 of the same act provides only that they may not be used in certain legal proceedings. The air traffic control transcripts were released within days of the crash in 1998 and the air traffic control audio was released in May 2007, following a ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal. Several key minutes of the air traffic control audio can be found on the Toronto Star web site.
The TSB investigation identified eleven causes and contributing factors of the crash in its final report. The first and most prominent was:
Aircraft certification standards for material flammability were inadequate in that they allowed the use of materials that could be ignited and sustain or propagate fire. Consequently, flammable material propagated a fire that started above the ceiling on the right side of the cockpit near the cockpit rear wall. The fire spread and intensified rapidly to the extent that it degraded aircraft systems and the cockpit environment, and ultimately led to the loss of control of the aircraft.:253
Investigators identified evidence of arcing in wiring of the IFE network, but this did not trip the circuit breakers, which were not designed to trip on arcing. Compounding this problem, the entertainment systems in First Class and Business Class derived power from a power bus that was not intended for use by non-essential equipment. As a result, the undocumented connection continued to draw power and arc after the flight crew followed standard procedures that should have isolated the electrical fault.
The investigation was unable to determine whether this arc was the "lead event" that was assumed to have ignited the flammable covering on MPET insulation blankets that quickly spread across other flammable materials,:253 although the preponderance of evidence pointed to the unlawful power routing, and other possible causes were discounted. After the crew cut power to "non-essential" cabin systems, a reverse flow in the cockpit ventilation ducts increased the amount of smoke pouring into the flight deck. By the time the crew became aware of the severity of the fire, it had become so extensive that it was impossible to address as it happened.
The rapid spread of electrical power failures led to the breakdown of key avionics systems, and the crew was soon rendered unable to control the aircraft. The pilot-in-command was forced to fly manually because he had no light by which to see his controls after the instrument lighting failed. The fuel-laden plane was above maximum landing weight; as the flight crew dumped fuel as per procedure, they lost all control, and the doomed plane flew into the ocean uncommanded. Recovered fragments of the plane show that the heat inside the cockpit became so great that aluminum parts in the flight deck ceiling had melted. The recovered standby attitude indicator and airspeed indicators showed that the aircraft struck the water at 300 knots (560 km/h, 348 mph) in a 20 degrees nose down and 110-degree bank attitude, or almost inverted; the impact force of the aircraft crashing into the Atlantic Ocean was calculated to be 350 times the force of gravity ("g" force).:103 Death was instantaneous for all passengers and crew due to the impact forces and deceleration.:104
The TSB concluded that even if the crew had ignored procedure and attempted an overweight landing immediately after detection of the initial odor, the doomed flight would not have reached the Halifax airport, and would have likely crashed into a populated area.:246,257
The TSB made nine recommendations relating to changes in aircraft materials (testing, certification, inspection, and maintenance), electrical systems, and flight data capture, as both flight recorders had stopped when they lost power six minutes before impact. General recommendations were also made regarding improvements in checklists and in fire-detection and fire-fighting equipment and training. These recommendations have led to widespread changes in Federal Aviation Authority standards, principally impacting wiring and fire hardening.
Speculation surrounding the crash
By the time the TSB report was complete, there had been public speculation as to whether the stricken aircraft could have landed safely at Halifax had the pilots ignored procedure, and attempted a straight-in landing at the first sign of trouble. These speculations assume that the flight crew would have had special knowledge that they did not have in reality, and that failing to dump fuel would have had no consequences. The TSB report examined the timeline of the flight, and noted that the flight still would have crashed short of the runway.
Thomas Juby, a retired RCMP sergeant who was not working for the TSB, and with no air accident investigation experience, has gained notoriety and profit from promoting a theory that a thermite bomb was planted on the flight, possibly to murder one or more passengers. Juby's suspicions were corroborated by a senior researcher working for a Canadian government lab that found magnesium levels ten times higher than would be normally expected in the wiring harness remains. Juby claimed that suspicious levels of magnesium and other elements associated with arson were discovered in the wiring and that he was ordered to remove references to magnesium or a suspected incendiary device from his investigative notes. In September 2011, the CBC program The Fifth Estate reported allegations suggesting that an incendiary device might have been the cause of the crash. Juby has written a book detailing his suspicions and conclusions.
|Canada and Morocco||1||0||1|
|France and United Kingdom||1||0||1|
|France and United States||2||0||2|
|Greece and United States||1||0||1|
|Iran and United States||1||0||1|
|Israel and Switzerland||1||0||1|
|Switzerland and Netherlands||1||0||1|
|Switzerland and United Kingdom||2||0||2|
|Switzerland and United States||1||0||1|
|United Kingdom and United States||2||0||2|
Most of the passengers were American, French, or Swiss.
There were 132 American (including one Delta Air Lines flight attendant and one United Air Lines flight attendant), 41 Swiss (including the 13 crew members), 30 French, six British, three German, three Italian, three Canadian, two Greek, two Lebanese, one each from Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, Sweden, and Yugoslavia, and four other passengers on board.
- Jonathan Mann, former head of the WHO's AIDS program, and his wife, AIDS researcher Mary Lou Clements-Mann.
The RCMP medical examiners positively identified most of the bodies within ten weeks of the accident. Due to extreme impact forces only one body was identifiable by sight. DNA profiling was used to identify approximately one hundred bodies, in what has been referred to as "the largest DNA identification project ever undertaken in Canada". The RCMP contacted relatives of victims to request medical histories and dental records. They were also asked to provide blood samples for genetic matching in the DNA identification of the victims. About ninety bodies were identified by the medical examiners using dental records; due to the large number of ante-mortem (before death) dental X-rays available to the examiners, these bodies were able to be identified by the end of October 1998. Fingerprints and ante-mortem X-rays were used to identify around thirty bodies.
In September 1999 Swissair, Delta, and Boeing (who had acquired McDonnell Douglas through a merger in 1997) agreed to share liability for the accident and offered the families of the passengers financial compensation. The offer was rejected in favour of a $19.8 billion suit against Swissair and DuPont, the supplier of the Mylar insulation sheathing. A U.S. federal court dismissed the claim in February 2002.
Memorials and tributes
Two memorials to those who died in the crash were established by the Government of Nova Scotia. One is to the east of the crash site at The Whalesback, a promontory one kilometre (0.6 mile) north of Peggy's Cove. The second is a more private, but much larger commemoration located west of the crash site near Bayswater Beach Provincial Park on the Aspotogan Peninsula in Bayswater. Here, the unidentified remains of the victims are interred. A fund was established to fund maintenance of the memorials and the government passed an act to recognize them. Various other charitable funds were also created, including one in the name of a young victim from Louisiana, Robert Martin Maillet, which provides money for children in need.
A further permanent memorial, albeit not publicly accessible, was created inside the Operations Center at Zurich Airport where a simple plaque on the ground floor in the centre opening of a spiral staircase pays tribute to the victims.
Impacts on the industry
In the late 1990s, the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 was the only tri-jet airliner in production. At the time of the accident, Boeing were still producing the freight version but had ceased production of the passenger version, the last of these being delivered to Sabena in 1998. The very last MD-11 freighter was delivered to Lufthansa Cargo in 2001.
The crash of Flight 111 was a severe blow to Swissair, particularly as the IFE system that was blamed for causing the accident had been installed on the aircraft for the specific purpose of attracting more passengers, in order to ease the airline's financial difficulties. Swissair finally went bankrupt shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001, an event that caused a significant and widespread disruption to the aviation transportation industry.
After the crash of Flight 111, the flight designator for Swissair's New York–Geneva route was changed to SR139, although the route was still operated by MD-11 aircraft. Following the bankruptcy of Swissair in 2002, their international traffic rights were passed to Crossair who began operating flights as Swiss International Air Lines, changing the flight designator for the New York–Geneva route to LX023. As of April 2018, this flight continues to operate between New York's JFK airport and Geneva airport using the Airbus A330-300.
In popular culture
- The events of Flight 111 were featured in "Fire on Board", a Season 1 (2003) episode of the Canadian TV series Mayday (called Air Emergency and Air Disasters in the U.S. and Air Crash Investigation in the UK and elsewhere around the world). The dramatization was broadcast in the United States with the title "Fire in the Sky". The flight was also included in a Mayday Season 6 (2007) Science of Disaster special titled "Fatal Flaw", which was called "Fatal Fix" in the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia.
- There have been several other documentaries about Flight 111: an episode of the CBC's The Fifth Estate titled "The Investigation of Swissair 111"; an episode of PBS's NOVA titled "Aircrash"; an episode of History Channel's Disasters of the Century; and an episode of National Geographic Channel's Seconds From Disaster.
- The disaster was featured on the Swiss television channel SRF, in a dramatization called Feuer an Bord – Die Tragödie von Swissair Flug 111 (Fire on Board – The Tragedy of Swissair Flight 111).
- NOVA created a classroom activity kit for school teachers, using the crash as an example of an aircraft crash investigation.
- The Canadian poet Jacob McArthur Mooney's 2011 collection, Folk, tangentially interrogates the disaster and its effect on Nova Scotia residents.
- The Canadian poet Eleonore Schönmaier's poem "What we don't think of packing" from her collection Treading Fast Rivers looks at the effect of the crash on a Nova Scotia village.
- The song "TV on 10" from the 2013 album Hokey Fright by the American group The Uncluded describes, on the night of the crash, being in the company of a friend whose mother was aboard the flight.
- South African Airways Flight 295
- ValuJet Flight 592
- Air Canada Flight 797
- Aviation accidents and incidents
- "Aviation Investigation Report, In-Flight Fire Leading to Collision with Water, Swissair Transport Limited McDonnell Douglas MD-11 HB-IWF Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia 5 nm SW 2 September 1998" (PDF). Transportation Safety Board of Canada. 27 March 2003. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "ASN Aviation Safety Database". Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "Nova: Crash of Flight 111". PBS.org. Retrieved 5 August 2006.
- Stoller, Gary (16 February 2003). "Doomed plane's gaming system exposes holes in FAA oversight". USA Today.
- "Fire on Board". Mayday. Season 1. Episode 3. 2003. Discovery Channel Canada / National Geographic.
- "Air traffic control transcript for Swissair 111". PlaneCrashInfo.com. 2 September 1998. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "Location of debris field". TSB. Archived from the original on 2003-04-05 – via internet archive.
- Virginia Beaton (8 September 2008). "Ceremonies mark a decade since Swissair Flight 111 crash" (PDF). Trident. 42 (8). Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "ABOUT - HALIFAX SEARCH & RESCUE". halifaxsar.ca. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- SARSCENE Winter 1998 Archived 25 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Butler, John Marshall (2001). Forensic DNA Typing: biology & technology behind STR markers. Academic Press, San Diego. ISBN 0-12-147951-X.
- Suzette Kettenhofen, Digital Information Specialist, Technology Integration, Navy Office of Information (10 September 1998). "U.S. Navy Assists With Recovery of Swissair Flight 111". Navy.mil. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "U.S. Navy assists with recovery of Swissair Flight 111." (Archive) United States Navy. Retrieved on 6 September 2012.
- T.W. Wiggins Minor War Vessel Involvement Archived 12 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Transportation Safety Board Archived 30 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Adamson, April. "229 Victims Knew Jet Was In Trouble Airport Inn Becomes Heartbreak Hotel Again." Philadelphia Inquirer. 4 September 1998. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
- "Airlines act swiftly to help relatives New U.S. law required detailed emergency plan." Boston Globe at The Baltimore Sun. 4 September 1998. Retrieved on 9 March 2014.
- TSB STI-098 Supporting Technical Information
- "Fire downed Swissair 111". BBC News. 27 March 2003.
- "section 28 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act". Canadian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
- "section 29 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act". Canadian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
- "ATC transcript Swissair Flight 111 – 2 SEP 1998". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 27 November 2006.
- the Toronto Star (accessed 25 May 2007).
- Dean Beeby. "Swissair recordings revive horrifying drama of deadly 1998 tragedy". Canadian Press. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Swissair crash recordings revive drama of one of Canada's worst aviation disasters". 22 May 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board) 2006 FCA 157".
- Dean Beeby (22 May 2007). "Doomed flight's tapes released". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Canadian Press video of last minutes of Swissair flight 111" (QuickTime). The Star. Toronto. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Could the pilot have landed the plane?". iasa.com.au. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Swissair crash may not have been an accident: ex-RCMP". CBC. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Q & A with author Thomas Juby". The Chronicle Herald. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Toronto Sun". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "BOOK REVIEW: Swissair crash investigator believes there was a cover-up". The Chronicle Herald. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "From Europe and New York, grieving families head to crash site". CNN.com. 4 September 1998. Retrieved 21 Oct 2007.
- "Names of Swissair crash victims". CNN.com. 7 September 1998. Retrieved 24 November 2006.
- Robb, Nancy (26 January 1999). "229 people, 15 000 body parts: pathologists help solve Swissair 111's grisly puzzles" (PDF). Canadian Medical Association Journal. 160 (2): 241–243. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
- "Picasso Painting Lost in Crash". CBS News. Halifax, Nova Scotia. 14 September 1998. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- "Swissair Offers to Settle in Crash". Washington Post. 6 August 1999.
- "Over $13 Million for Victims of Swissair Disaster". Rapoport Law Offices. 27 February 2002. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012.
- "SR 111-Trauerfeier: Medienservice und Programm." Swissair. 10 September 1998. Retrieved on 6 June 2009.
- "Coordination and Planning Secretariat, Flight 111." Government of Nova Scotia. 26 August 1999. Retrieved on 6 June 2009.
- "Swissair Flight 111 Memorial: Whalesback". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Swissair Flight 111 Memorial: Bayswater". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Articles on memorial maintenance difficulties ca 2002." International Aviation Safety Association. Retrieved on 6 June 2009.
- "Flight 111 Special Places Memorial Act." Government of Nova Scotia. Retrieved on 6 June 2009.
- "Man biking to Canada in honor of crash victim." The Advocate. 2 August 2000. Retrieved on 6 June 2009.
- "Only wide-cabin, 3-engine jetliner still in production". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. AP. 4 September 1998. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Swissair Takes a Gamble on New System". Los Angeles Times. 31 July 1996. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "Fatal Flaw". Mayday. Season 6. Episode 2. 2007. Discovery Channel Canada / National Geographic Channel.
- "Feuer an Bord: Die Tragödie von Swissair Flug 111" (in German). SRF - Swiss Radio and Television (then SF). 27 March 2003. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- "Aircrash" (PDF). WGBH. 2003. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- "Eleonore Schönmaier's website". Retrieved 29 March 2018. (describes it as "Poem about the crash of Swissair Flight 111 and the effect of this on a Nova Scotia village")
- "TV On 10, The Uncluded". genius.com. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Aviation Investigation Report, In-Flight Fire Leading to Collision with Water, Swissair Transport Limited McDonnell Douglas MD-11 HB-IWF Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia 5 nm SW 2 September 1998, Transportation Safety Board of Canada, 27 March 2003, retrieved 16 January 2016 – French version available here
- Kimber, Stephen (1999). Flight 111:The Tragedy of the Swissair Crash. Seal Books, Toronto. ISBN 0-7704-2840-1.
- Wilkins, David; Murphey, Cecil (January 2003). United by Tragedy: A Father's Story. Pacific Press Publishing Association. ISBN 0-8163-1980-4.
- Wilson, Budge (February 2016). After Swissair. Pottersfield Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Swissair Flight 111.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Swissair Flight 111 memorials.|
|airliners.net's Photo gallery|
- Detailed report about the crash on Austrian Wings (German, published on 2 September 2013)
- Swissair – Information about the accident of SR111 – Swissair (Archive)
- Esquire July 2000 report "The Long Fall of One-Eleven Heavy" highlighting the human side of the accident
- Lloyd's of London
- "Lloyd's statement regarding Swissair crash site license application." Friday 19 May 2000. (Archive)
- "Lloyd's statement regarding the Swissair crash site." Tuesday 23 May 2000. (Archive)
- Cockpit Voice Recorder transcript and accident summary on tailstrike.com
- Swissair Flight 111 memorial site
- Swissair profile CNN
- Swissair crash warning to airlines, BBC