Per Head: Did the Interactive Gaming Device Bring Down Flight 111?

Flight-111Cards on a plane! Airlines have a captive audience, and on those transatlantic flights, they have them for 7 hours and up. Why turn the flying tube into a mini Las Vegas. The airlines have already plucked a good per head price from each passenger; why not riffle through their pockets for a bit more change.

Well, hold on. That might not be such a bad idea after all.  But then again, this was already done.

In the 1990s, Swissair installed gambling software and equipment that allowed passengers to bet up to $350 on a variety of casino classics, including poker, keno and blackjack. Movies could also be watched on demand at a per head price.

It looked like other carriers would follow their lead, until a Swissair plane crashed in 1998. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said that the crash was likely caused by a fire in the cockpit, which could have been caused by an electrical short and implicated a failure of the jet’s in-flight entertainment system as part of the reason for the accident.

Still others didn’t believe the findings, and thought that an incendiary device took down the price per head plane.

The flight from New York to Geneva, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean of the coast of Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, soon after takeoff.

After a long investigation, lax FAA procedures are really to blame. Unbeknownst to the general public, the practice of using other companies was common for the FAA.

Santa Barbara Aerospace (SBA) was a company that the FAA had authorized to approve airplane modifications on its behalf. Interactive Flight Technologies was the Las Vegas company that had formed a mere four years before the crash and created the device.

Soon after the crash the FAA ruled that the design and installation of IFT’s devices was unsafe, and the problem wasn’t caught since no one directly employed by the FAA had checked the device.

Now, IFT operates as Global Technologies., and is looking into installing similar devices on Britsh trains.

The FAA has changed some of its practices, and SBA filed for bankruptcy and stopped operating in 1999.

Unfortunately all of these changes can not bring the 229 people back that lost their lives on the doomed Swissair flight 111