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IFE Safety  
User currently offlineflyenthu From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 355 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2343 times:
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Hi,

I am new here, so go easy.   I am a flying enthusiast, but also a somewhat nervous flyer- go figure! I usually fly on the ultra long hauls with Emirates or Singapore Airlines to Asia. I always notice the IFE screens are so hot and wonder about their safety. I was checking online for articles, and found an article that raised questions for me :

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money...2-electronics-fires-airlines_N.htm

So, how safe are the IFE systems? Do I need to stop being anxious? I fly to Dubai very soon on Emirates and want to enjoy their great ICE system instead of worrying.

Thank you for your response!

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesandyb123 From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2007, 1108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2306 times:
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Hi flyenthu,

Welcome to A.net. I used to be a nervous flyer and am still not the best, but I have to fly for work and family so I just get on with it. I have come to love flying longhaul, especially EK.

The screens will generate some heat but it's nothing to worry about. Each system is on it's own 'circuit' so to speak so it is impossible for a fault to trip or ignite multiple screens or control boxes and in the incredibly unlikely event that a screen was to ignite, it would suppressible very quickly and would pose little risk to the aircraft.

As a precaution, the flight would divert but that would be in line with SOP.

Sandyb123



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User currently offlineflyenthu From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2215 times:
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Thanks Sandyb for your response. Makes me feel better. I used to be super nervous, but have done many miles now to stop worrying and actually enjoying.

User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3031 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2113 times:

Quoting sandyb123 (Reply 1):
The screens will generate some heat but it's nothing to worry about. Each system is on it's own 'circuit' so to speak so it is impossible for a fault to trip or ignite multiple screens or control boxes and in the incredibly unlikely event that a screen was to ignite, it would suppressible very quickly and would pose little risk to the aircraft.

Also, to amplify on this comment, the onboard technology has gone through a rigorous certification process by the FAA and JAA to ensure their safety for use.


User currently offlineflyenthu From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2078 times:
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Catiii,

Would the certification apply to airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines that do not come under the purview of FAA and JAA that are American and European (?) authorities? Just wondering. Thank you.


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3031 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

Quoting flyenthu (Reply 4):
Catiii,

Would the certification apply to airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines that do not come under the purview of FAA and JAA that are American and European (?) authorities? Just wondering. Thank you.

Yes.


User currently offlineDELTA777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1953 times:

Most (If not all) IFE systems will shut down if they become too hot or have a malfunction, I often experience this while working. Also, your crew are trained to deal with fires, circuit breakers, etc. Training at my current airline included specific information about monitoring, disabling and fighting fires related to IFE. So I would say your in good hands.  

User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

Quoting flyenthu (Thread starter):
I always notice the IFE screens are so hot and wonder about their safety.

They get hot because they have no cooling fans and they're embedded in the seat. That's just how they're designed to work; it's safe.

Quoting flyenthu (Thread starter):
So, how safe are the IFE systems?

Very. In addition to being rigorously tested and certified, as previously mentioned, almost all systems will self-protect from overheat. In the event that the protection failed, everything around it is certified non-flammable so it can't set the seat on fire. In addition to that, the flight crew has a switch on the flight deck to depower the entire IFE system with a single press so, if for some inexplicable reason the system went nuts, didn't shut down, and did continue to smolder or something, one call to the flight deck and it all shuts down. And the flight attendants all have portable fire extinguishers.

Quoting flyenthu (Reply 4):
Would the certification apply to airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines that do not come under the purview of FAA and JAA that are American and European (?) authorities?

The type certificate (the certification of the aircraft itself) was issued by the FAA and EASA. That certification applies even if the airline operating the equipment doesn't fall under FAA/EASA jurisdiction. Local regulators (e.g. Singapore or UAE) can change the rules but they essentially never do this except to be *more* restrictive than the original certifying agency. There are parts of the world where certification compliance is not well monitored, but UAE and Singapore are probably some of the best there are.

Tom.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

Quoting DELTA777 (Reply 6):
Most (If not all) IFE systems will shut down if they become too hot or have a malfunction, I often experience this while working.

To expand on this, many much much cheaper electronics than IFE have heat switches. They are simple and reliable. I wouldn't worry about something as scrutinized as an airliner component.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 7):
In addition to that, the flight crew has a switch on the flight deck to depower the entire IFE system with a single press so, if for some inexplicable reason the system went nuts, didn't shut down, and did continue to smolder or something, one call to the flight deck and it all shuts down.

And if that switch didn't work, they could pull the breaker(s), right? Aircraft electrical systems are designed for isolation and individual shutdown, in everything from a small Cessna to an airliner.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
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