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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, September 2, 2019

In Memory of SR111

The Disaster of Flight SR111
September 02, 1998

In memory of those lives we lost, 
we loved, and we will remember forever!


September 2, 1998

Statement by the Chairman of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada concerning the investigation into the accident south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, involving a Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on the night of 02 September 1998.

"At approximately 1030 Atlantic daylight time on the night of 02 September 1998, Swissair Flight No. 111, en route from New York to Geneva, declared an emergency and disappeared from air traffic control radar off the east coast of Nova Scotia. Wreckage has been found approximately 8 km from Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. It is understood that 229 persons were on board the McDonnell Douglas MD11. There are no reported signs of survivors. Search and Rescue is looking for survivors and recovering the victims as a top priority."

My friend Ida reminded me of that fateful flight of Swissair in 1998, and that the anniversary was approaching rapidly. That day is here. She introduced me to Stelios Kaziras, who was manager of SR Station in Athens, Greece, and worked with Swissair from 1974 - 2001.  Ida tells me that he is sort of a historian on Swissair history, and posts lots of facts and events from Swissair and the Airline Industry in general. 

Stelios Kaziras: 

"2nd of September 1998 was a dark day 
in Swissair’s history."

"Already 21 years passed, after, we Swissair staff ‘faced the unthinkable’, the crash of SR111 JFK-GVA-ZRH the fated IWF “Vaud”. The Halifax tragedy stays vivid in our minds and reflects with brutal clarity the unpredictable and relative nature of our existence.

SR111 left JFK on the 2nd of September at 2018 LT, for his routine flight to GVA and ZRH with 229 souls on board. The aircraft was piloted by Urs Zimmermann (50) and First Officer Stefan Lowe (36). At time 2214 LT was flying over the Canadian coast and was in contact with Moncton Centre in Halifax when a distress message was sent reporting that smoke was spreading in the cockpit. Over the next 10 minutes the situation became critical and at 2224 LT the Captain addressed “ we are declaring an emergency we have to land immediately “ seven minutes later at 2231 LT the Swissair MD11 disappeared from the radar screens and crashed in the Atlantic Ocean eight kilometers from the harbor known as “Peggy’s Cove” in Nova Scotia.

This is in short the story of the crash of flight SR111 that hugely affected our lives within Swissair.

There are times when every one of us has to traverse the path of sorrow. In those hours we were with the relatives of the lost souls, Passengers and Crew of SR111 with heartfelt wishes for a hope filled tomorrow".  Stelios Kaziras

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Presented by the Canada’s Maritime Forces to the families of 229 people on board SR111 and to the emergency teams of Swissair directly involved.

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. I was working for SWISSAIR in NY that fateful night. I was called after 11pm to go to work immediately. It was such a shock. Never to be forgotten. In 2008 a group of us went to Peggy's Cove to remember and mourn. So sad...

    1. I can only imagine the impact you must have felt. Something that will be with you forever. So sad for sure. That's also amazing that you took the journey too Peggy's Cove... Remember. Mourn. Never forget. Thank you for your comment and I am so sorry for the pain you felt during this accident.

  2. I would like to extend my personal thanks for your hospitality concerning the sad anniversary of SR111. For us within Swissair and especially for those directly involved in this sad "event" our lives changed for ever.
    Thank you again
    and wish you clear skies and many many happy landings
    with my best personal regards
    Stelios Kaziras

    1. Stelios, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. This is so sad, and I know your lives have been changed forever. I think sometimes all we can do in their memory, is never forget and to live strong. And you are very welcome!!


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