flyenthu
Topic Author
Posts: 547
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm

IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:58 pm

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!
 
sandyb123
Posts: 753
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:29 pm

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:11 pm

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
Member of the mile high club
 
flyenthu
Topic Author
Posts: 547
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:45 pm

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.
 
catiii
Posts: 2408
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:56 pm

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.
 
flyenthu
Topic Author
Posts: 547
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:08 pm

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.
 
catiii
Posts: 2408
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:25 pm

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.
 
DELTA777
Posts: 637
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 6:34 am

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:19 pm

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.  
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:47 pm

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 avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17212
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: IFE Safety

Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:38 pm

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." - John Ringo

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