Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Should Smoke Hoods Be Mandatory?  
User currently offlineDaysleeper From UK - England, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6236 times:

The recent spate of fires on board aircraft got me thinking about the Manchester Runway disaster, I'm not 100% sure of the exact figures but I believe the AAIB found that many of the deaths could have been prevented if passengers had been provided with a smoke hood.

So should they be provided? To me at least it doesn't seem all that complicated to replace the pull down masks with a hood and portable oxygen bottle rather than the generator.

Finally, do you think security would say anything if you had one in your carry on? I've made no secret of the fact that I have decided to avoid aircraft I deem as dangerous, but should the situation arise where it was unavoidable then I don't think it would be such a bad idea to have one. I just wonder what security would say about it...

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFly2yyz From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 1071 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6155 times:

I think the big issue with having a smokehood and portable oxygen per pax is that when you have a situation where there is a possible fire or heat being produced - having that much oxygen on board can create an even bigger disaster with explosive consequences. IMO improvements in materials that are more fire retardant, or parts of aircraft that don't emit gaseous fumes when overheated or on fire would be much more beneficial.

There are supplies of smokehoods on board (flight deck and cabin) for the crew to use in order to combat any smoke or flames while backup crew initiate tasks like informing the flight deck, distributing wet or damp cloths for pax to breathe through and telling them to stay low, removing portable oxygen from the vicinity of a fire etc.

As per carrying around a smokehood in your carry on luggage - I don't know if it would be that useful. I think they actually may be considered dangerous goods actually. The ones that are used at my company last approximately 20 minutes. The most I've heard some others - is that they last 30 minutes. They also become extremely hot due to the generator. I think if there ever was a fire on board the best would be to fight the fire by removing one of the elements of fire - heat, oxygen, or fuel. Thats why there are fire extinguishers on board, ashtrays (as they are still the safest place to put out a cig apparently), etc.

User currently offline9MMPQ From Netherlands, joined Nov 2011, 370 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6087 times:

Oxygen generators & bottles are considered and treated as dangerous goods themselves. Any airline & security should stop you from ''casually'' bringing aboard your own devices. Worst comes to worst, the oxygen from your personal supply might provide even more fuel to any fire that could occur. Fly2yyz rightly points out a situation could become even worse if every pax was carrying their own additional supply.

Something else to consider, smoke hoods can be uncomfortable to wear and of course somewhat restrict your field of vision and movement of head & neck. For those of us trained to work with smoke hoods that is one thing and we now know what to expect but imagine pax who are not used to using it and have no idea. I can imagine evacuations actually being slowed by such situations so any overall benefit quickly disappears.

I think the Manchester incident was worsened by the fact that the fire had time to spread as the crew was thinking they may have had a tyre burst and so they were braking slower. Also the wind direction that turned the fire back towards the fuselage made matters worse. I doubt smoke hoods in that situation with what i have described above included would have resulted in more survivors.

[Edited 2013-07-18 20:38:28]

[Edited 2013-07-18 20:39:15]

I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences.
User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 11166 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6054 times:

Oxygen masks and smoke hoods serve very different purposes. The oxygen mask is for a decompression. If the airplane is on the ground and filled with smoke, you should not be worried about an oxygen mask.

One major reason why smoke hoods were not adopted is tat they are disorienting and can slow an evacuation. If you are a nervous flyer, you can always bring your own smoke hood. I see no reason security would stop you.

The bigger problem with the Manchester disaster is that the evacuation was handled poorly. Those were the days before exit briefings and flight attendants initiating evacuations without pilot direction. Also it was before flame resistant insulation blankets and fire retardant interiors.

If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinelucce From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5643 times:

I think escape masks could be added on passenger aircraft. They don't use much space and are fairly easy to use. For example my current work place has Dräger Parat C masks in the hallways in case of fire. They don't contain oxygen but rather have a filter against noxious gas. It takes like 10 seconds to don one even if your not used to them.

However in an aircraft emergency, I'm not sure they would do any good. In an in flight fire, the situation is unlikely to get bad enough that damp towels wouldn't suffice. And like the psychologist said, in an evacuation the main goal is to get out not to struggle with the mask.

However it could be possible that the passengers would only take the mask with them and only don it if there's a delay in the evacuation or too much smoke. This could possibly be too complex to decide for panicky passengers, people could start to put the mask on instead of proceeding to exits as quickly as possible. So I'm not entirely convinced that they are necessary .

User currently offlineavt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5123 times:

I carry my own Dragar Parat C. I fly all the time, and spend a lot of time in hotels as a result and a smoke hood without an oxygen generator is good for both situations.
I disagree that a damp towel will suffice. Acrid fumes from oil in the bleed air system, or Skydrol mist in the cabin can be debilitating.
And where exactly do you get a damp towel in an emergency? I'm sure the FAs in Manchester weren't spending their time handing them out.

But most importantly, realize that the odds of you being in a situation like that are extremely small (lottery type odds, if not more) so the justification for mandatory hoods isn't very good.

User currently offlinegeorgiaame From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1098 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4766 times:

You can easily bring you own smoke hood on board. Any American supermarket will sell poultry/turkey roasting bags. Season your turkey, pop it in the bag, roast, no mess. In one of my FAA training classes, one of the speakers got up on stage, opened the bag, covered his head, tightened it around his neck, and started lecturing. He started getting very winded around 3 minutes into the talk (when, obviously, he removed the bag rather than commit suicide). FAA demands full evacuation of an aircraft within 90 seconds. Bag over the head gives you heat and smoke protection (except if you are a turkey), and ample leeway to get out of the smoldering aircraft. To date, I've never had to use mine. (Oh, I keep my shoes on for take off and landing. You DON'T want to be running through burning jet fuel barefoot or in nylon socks.

"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 561 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4629 times:

I carried a Brookside Evac-U8 smokehood in my carry-on luggage for many (20?) years. Several years ago, I found out that the FTC forced Brookside to recall them, as they didn't filter CO as well as claimed. I figured that something was better than nothing and continued to carry it. Finally, I got tired of getting harassed by the TSA everytime I went through security and stopped carrying it. I only ran into one TSA agent who knew what it was - he had been a firefighter. Otherwise, I got very used to hearing "I need to get my supervisor", who would then disappear with it for 15 minutes, only to come back and say it was OK. I had to stop one agent from opening it. Strangely, I had very little trouble going through security with it in other countries, such as Israel, Morocco, China, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Italy, etc.

I like the idea of the turkey roasting bag - I think I'll start carrying one.

Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Should Smoke Hoods Be Mandatory?
No username? Sign up now!

Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Should GTF & LeapX Be Forced Into One Engine? posted Fri Sep 3 2010 03:23:28 by faro
When Should Landing Lights Be Turned On? posted Sat Jun 2 2007 17:32:28 by EMAlad
When Should The Doors Be Armed Or Disarmed? posted Thu Aug 22 2002 21:19:41 by Hamad
RE: Why Should They Be Allowed This? posted Thu Jan 25 2007 08:43:45 by A520
Anti-Misting Kerosene, Should It Be Re-evaluated? posted Tue Oct 10 2006 00:58:51 by FLY2HMO
Where Should I Go To School To Be An Airline Pilot posted Fri Apr 29 2005 11:01:15 by Swimpilot
DUB : The Way ATC Should Be With GA Aircraft posted Mon Feb 9 2004 08:49:48 by UTA_FLYingHIGH
Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do? posted Sat Aug 30 2003 17:49:31 by FastFlyer
How Will The Ethiopian 787 Be Repaired? posted Sun Jul 14 2013 00:24:29 by Byrdluvs747
Lavatory Smoke Detectors - Battery Vs Hardwired posted Wed Jul 10 2013 13:59:03 by 1337Delta764

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format