777236ER
Topic Author
Posts: 12213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 7:10 am

Smoke Hoods: Help Or Hinderance?

Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:49 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6547251.stm

Presumably from the April AAIB bulletin (not on the website yet). The AAIB has long advocated the use of (complex) smoke hoods on board aircraft, so I wonder if any recommendations they give suggest they're moving back from that idea, or at least refining it. I'll post my opinions once I've had chance to read the AAIB report.

Thoughts?
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PGNCS
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:07 am

RE: Smoke Hoods: Help Or Hinderance?

Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:56 am

Quoting 777236ER (Thread starter):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6547251.stm

Presumably from the April AAIB bulletin (not on the website yet). The AAIB has long advocated the use of (complex) smoke hoods on board aircraft, so I wonder if any recommendations they give suggest they're moving back from that idea, or at least refining it. I'll post my opinions once I've had chance to read the AAIB report.

Thoughts?

Nothing's perfect. I will also be watching what happens with this, but can't see the hoods going away. They absolutely do reduce peripheral vision, hearing acuity, and the ability to communicate; those are all significant disadvantages. On the other hand, they allow the crew to continue to breathe and see well enough to fight a fire. The drawback with providing them for passengers is that they have not been trained, and in an emergency they might try to get the hood on during an evacuation, thus slowing down an evacuation. The AF A-340 overrun accident would be a prime example of a situation that hoods might be more harmful to the passengers than a help. I get to put on a PBE once every six months, and am comfortable doing so; I do have grave reservations about passengers attempting to use one (in their existing form, anyway) given the total lack of training, and especially considering how little attention typical passengers pay to safety briefings. The truth is that in some incidents they are a net plus for passengers, and in some incidents they aren't. I don't know where the regulatory line should be drawn, but I'm sure we haven't heard the last from this issue.
 
Markhkg
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:13 pm

RE: Smoke Hoods: Help Or Hinderance?

Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:46 am

What kind of annoyed me about the report was that it did not specify which brand of PBE was used in this situation. That matters because there are about 4-5 different brands currently in use on board aircraft and deficiencies of one brand may not be applicable to another.

Also, I am aware that proper megaphone training while wearing a PBE may not occur in all of the air carrier training programs.

I personally think that passengers should be given a simple smoke filter (not necessarily a mask) or at the very least, be instructed to breathe through their clothing when they encounter smoke. It may sound like bollucks but breathing though any material (even simple fabric) is better than no filter at all according to the science.

As PGNCS noted, these complicated PBEs are probably not suited for pax. That being said, similar ones are equipped frequently on corporate aircraft specifically for their pax and so does the US Air Force on their passenger carrying aircraft (EPOS unit made by Essex).
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