Ground-penetrating radar added to ValuJet search
May 19, 1996
Web posted at: 3:00 p.m. EDT
DADE COUNTY, Florida (CNN) -- Trying to search under the mud where a ValuJet plane nose-dived eight days ago, investigators Sunday began using a ground-penetrating radar system.
They hope the device, which uses a technology similar to a metal detector, will lead to the DC-9's cockpit voice recorder, still buried beneath the Florida Everglades, CNN's Paul Caron reported from near the crash scene. (128K AIFF or WAV sound)
The radar system has an antenna that emits an electromagnetically pulsed energy signal that can give searchers a profile of metal detected in the ground. Investigators hope this will lead them to larger pieces of the wreckage, including the missing voice cockpit recorder.
Technology used in Vietnam
"This would certainly be the most valuable thing we could find," National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Robert Francis said during an interview on the CNN program "Late Edition with Frank Sesno." (192K AIFF or WAV sound)
The system was developed by Geophysical Survey Systems of North Salem, New Hampshire. It will be operated by a technician with Oceaneering Technologies, which is under contract with the U.S. Navy.
The technology was first used in the Vietnam War to detect underground tunnels, and more recently has been used by archeologists to find artifacts and by utility companies to locate buried cables and pipes.
The May 11 crash killed all 110 people aboard.
- Muddy crater may hold clues to ValuJet crash - May 18, 1996
- Complete list of passengers and crew
- ValuJet cuts daily flights - May 17, 1996
- Divers to search ValuJet crash site Saturday - May 17, 1996
- NTSB: No evidence of ValuJet engine fire - May 16, 1996
- FAA study raises new questions about ValuJet's safety record - May 16, 1996
- Oceaneering Technologies
- DC-9 information
- Federal Aviation Administration
- ValuJet home page
- Late Edition with Frank Sesno
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