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Liquid Spills On The Pedestal Avionics  
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12473 times:

Water, coffee, Coke, etc; this must be a common mishap...just wondering whether the avionics boxes on the center pedestals are spill-proof.

Faro


The chalice not my son
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12470 times:

In 1985, a Yemen Alyemeda Airlines 707 was nearly lost after water was spilt on the pedestal at FL230. The trim wheel started to rotate rapidly of its own accord, and severe pitch oscillations followed. Control was regained at just 1,000 feet, and an emergency landing was carried out at Aden. 3 Passengers were killed.

The only incident I know of, but there may be more.



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12445 times:

Quoting faro (Thread starter):
Water, coffee, Coke, etc; this must be a common mishap...just wondering whether the avionics boxes on the center pedestals are spill-proof.

It is very very common, in fact I see it every day right in front of me.
We even have SB's to seal off certain components located in the pedestal.
The main reason is probably that a right handed Captain doesn't use the cup holder which is on his left side and thus he puts his cup on the pedestal, same story for a left handed F/O.



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12428 times:

Quoting faro (Thread starter):
wondering whether the avionics boxes on the center pedestals are spill-proof.

From tom355uk's story, I guess they weren't always, but they certainly are now.

Tom.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2351 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12414 times:
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That even turned into a movie plot... "Fate is the Hunter.”

User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12379 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 3):
From tom355uk's story, I guess they weren't always, but they certainly are now.

Not sure whether all LRU's are spill proof these days.
For todays aircraft it is not such a big problem anyway as most if not all pedestal located LRU's are designed to run on the emergency bus(28V) in case of trouble and on a DC bus(28V) in normal situations.
You can't cause a 28V circuit to short with water(nor coffee) and so basically nothing should happen, it remains messy though.

In the 707 days 115V might still have been around in the pedestal, not sure though.



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 12353 times:

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 5):
Not sure whether all LRU's are spill proof these days.

Not all LRU's are waterproof...that's why you find drip trays in the EE bays. But everything in the aisle stand should be spill proof, either by low voltage or sealing.

Tom.


User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 12321 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
Not all LRU's are waterproof

I meant in the pedestal of course, not all LRU's.  



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12096 times:

By the way, are all those avionics control boxes still metallic? From certain pix in the database, it sometimes seems like they're made of some sort of ruggedised plastic.

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12008 times:

http://www1.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/86592/

Even Tea/coffee/sugar spills are a problem on the centre pedestal of most aircraft.[B737/757].
As crew tend to rest the glass on it due flat surface.

regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 11915 times:

Over time spills like this eventually jam up the buttons on the Audio Control panels and the Radio management panels

User currently offlinemrskyguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11851 times:

I can speak from personal hands-on experience that water-proofing these avionics is extremely expensive to the airlines, but not impossible. Most of the pedestal avionics are designed to mitigate fluid migration, with the exception of the printers. We are seeing modifications to these components all the time (especially the MCDUs) in the shop for fluid spills.. some of these components can cost as much as $400K ea USD to replace. Pilots are always looking for a place to put drinks, and the flattest non-slippery surface usually wins.

The printers on the other hand require special design to keep FOD and liquids out of the mechanisms, purely by design. We've seen food, mold, crumbs, fluids (all kinds.. yuck), paper clips, pens, pencils, fingernail clippings, hair, dirt, dust, oil, and quite a few smelly undetermined things too. While printers are not directly related to safe flight, they do contribute to efficiency and can be rather helpful for ACARS and other communications.

It's pretty hard to build avionics that can function while also protecting themselves from the kids up front.   



"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11850 times:

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 5):
In the 707 days 115V might still have been around in the pedestal, not sure though.

One item only...pitch trim cutout switches, on the right hand side.


User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 11810 times:

Perhaps airlines should make sippy cups standard-issue equipment for flight crews.  
.



"And that's why you always leave a note..."
User currently offlinemrskyguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11776 times:

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 13):
Perhaps airlines should make sippy cups standard-issue equipment for flight crews.  

You'd be surprised how many times I've seen and heard similar suggestions during very high-level meetings on the subject.  



"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11749 times:

Quoting 411A (Reply 12):
Quoting Aviopic (Reply 5):
In the 707 days 115V might still have been around in the pedestal, not sure though.

One item only...pitch trim cutout switches, on the right hand side

Probably explains this:

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 1):
In 1985, a Yemen Alyemeda Airlines 707 was nearly lost after water was spilt on the pedestal at FL230. The trim wheel started to rotate rapidly of its own accord, and severe pitch oscillations followed. Control was regained at just 1,000 feet, and an emergency landing was carried out at Aden. 3 Passengers were killed.

The only incident I know of, but there may be more.



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 11696 times:

Lately, I've been working with private customers on their computer woes. A startling amount of issues can be solved with a simple clean. Turning a housewife's keyboard upside down in front of her produces an always predictable startled expression. Blowing out the fan on a laptop reveals all the dust inside, and reduces noise and lock-ups significantly.

Any environment with people around is inevitably dirty. Bits of skin, hair, dried lotion fragments, crumbs and other food spills, drinks, sugared drinks. It all contributes. Doesn't take an actual spill.

I'm wondering about plastic film. Do manufacturers use a thin layer over buttons and such? It would both water/dust-proof and help with cleaning. Obviously this won't work on things like flap handle tracks but on FMC and such.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10817 times:

Quoting charlienorth (Reply 10):

Over time spills like this eventually jam up the buttons on the Audio Control panels and the Radio management panels

Probably Electrical shortings would be a bigger concern....
regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6858 posts, RR: 75
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10813 times:

Quoting etherealsky (Reply 13):
Perhaps airlines should make sippy cups standard-issue equipment for flight crews.

Actually... some crews use that or something similar!
Seen it with my own eyes!   
"Keep maintenance costs under control! Don't spill!"
Some companies here use those cup covers on the drinks... it doesn't stop a spill when it gets knocked over... but reduces "motion spills"...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10812 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 18):

Actually... some crews use that or something similar!

Are those common & reused or each crew has their own?.
regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6858 posts, RR: 75
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10805 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 19):
Are those common & reused or each crew has their own?.

On the ones I've seen...
each crew has their own...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 864 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10728 times:

About a year ago the F/O caught his drink on the edge of the centre console as he pulled it out of the holder (which would be by his left leg, on his side of the console). There was only a cm or two left in it, but of course it spilt all over the front right corner, mainly the VHF Com 2 panel.

Pretty funny in that we both froze, looking at it motionless and in shock for a second like deer in the headlights, then simultaneously (a) I reached to the discarded meal trays on the jumpseat for some napkins, whilst (b) my ingenious and selfless colleague unfastened his lap strap, rose out of his seat, swivelled, and sat on the console to absorb as much cold coffee as possible into the seat of his pants!

Having averted tragedy, we then got some paper towels and took care of it properly, and there was no problem. Engineers met us on arrival and we ended up doing another two sectors. (737 classic).

Regards - musang


User currently offlineSAAFNAV From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 275 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10665 times:

Quoting musang (Reply 21):

That's has got to be the funniest, most quick thinking act I've heard of! Nicely done!  

Regards,

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10552 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 20):

On the ones I've seen...
each crew has their own...

Thankfully  
Quoting musang (Reply 21):
my ingenious and selfless colleague unfastened his lap strap, rose out of his seat, swivelled, and sat on the console to absorb as much cold coffee as possible into the seat of his pants!

Its called rapid response.
regds
MEL.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10247 times:

Quoting musang (Reply 21):
About a year ago the F/O caught his drink on the edge of the centre console as he pulled it out of the holder (which would be by his left leg, on his side of the console). There was only a cm or two left in it, but of course it spilt all over the front right corner, mainly the VHF Com 2 panel.

In the distance recesses of my brain, I remember reading a company memo directing flight crews to not move/handle a cup with liquid in it over the console. They wanted crews to swing their cups clear of the center console at all times.



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
25 HAWK21M : Yup read something like that in a company internal bulletin some place too.Something like keeping the Beverages to the Outboard of the seats. regds M
26 musang : We have all those rules also, as do most carriers. Might work in a wide flight deck but imagine how difficult that is in a 737, DC-9, 146, ATR etc. I
27 Lowrider : Our company encourages crews to pass drinks forward on the outboard side, away from all the expensive stuff in the middle, that way if you drop it, it
28 Post contains images etherealsky : I suppose it would be hard to live something like that down if it ever happened
29 Lowrider : We can be pretty brutal over those sorts of mistakes. Often the best way to ensure that something like this never happens again is to broadcast to th
30 soon7x7 : When you disassemble the face plates from the avionics unit you will find "o" ring type seals and membranes that ward off moisture. The display window
31 HAWK21M : Its Cubes only permitted for that very reason. regds MEL.
32 Post contains links Plainplane : This happened recently, the 777 operating UA940 from Chicago to Frankfurt was diverted to Toronto after the pilot's coffee was spilled on the center c
33 Post contains links Viscount724 : Current thread in the Civil Aviation forum on that incident a couple of days ago. United B777 At YYZ (by longhauler Jan 4 2011 in Civil Aviation).
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