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KarelXWB
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:25 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 45):
Crews already have published procedures for handling cargo and electrical fires. We do not open contained areas in flight to fight a fire, if the fire continues due to chemical nature of the cargo, there is nothing carried on the aircraft that will extinguish such a fire. We also do not turn a commercial flights into some "Die Hard" squeal test flight with you being John McClane crawling through the aircraft and opening cargo doors and unloading cargo in flight with an outside temperature of -40 deg C and no pressure oxygen. And yes, you can sit in your seat and not panic as I would have directed, it is my aircraft, and it is not a democracy. I would have no problem authorizing a person with such irrational behavior from being physically restrained, yet another published procedure.

You made my day. This one is worth spilling my coffee.
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rcair1
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:26 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 42):
You don't need your bunker suits, cabin crews have full-head oxygen masks (smoke hoods) at their disposal exactly for the purpose of fighting fires.

Great - you just saved me a bunch of money. As Fire Chief, I'll immediately order my crews to stop using their PPE and SCBA on fires. I'm sure I can sell our gear to another unenlightened fire department. The PPE, not including SCBA, costs me about $3500 per responder - I have 36, so you are saving me 126K. The SCBA I can dump - cool half million. We'll just wear T-shirts and jeans and by those nifty crew protection devices.

NOT.
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tockeyhockey
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:54 pm

is there a way to depressurize the cargo bay without depressurizing the passenger compartment?
 
airtechy
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:57 pm

This was a great discussion of aircraft fires and there control.........but nothing about what caused "this" fire. Does anyone have any late developments? I see nothing in the press.
 
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zeke
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:21 pm

Quoting tockeyhockey (Reply 52):
is there a way to depressurize the cargo bay without depressurizing the passenger compartment?

No

Quoting airtechy (Reply 53):

This was a great discussion of aircraft fires and there control.........but nothing about what caused "this" fire. Does anyone have any late developments? I see nothing in the press

Nothing yet officially. The loadsheet would be available to determine what was in the containers, and if it was cargo or baggage. We cannot discount an issue with the aircraft either. Still early days.

Considering the carrier in question, I would not expect much in the news as they go to great lengths to protect their brand. There is a distinct lack of incidents show up in their local media, I know of full evacuations which never made the local papers.

To be balanced, I am not suggesting a cover up, just saying the investigation is in its very early stages, and I would not expect them to volunteer information to the press they were not legally obliged or able to do (the release of information normally is controlled by the investigating authority).
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:41 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 54):
Considering the carrier in question, I would not expect much in the news as they go to great lengths to protect their brand. There is a distinct lack of incidents show up in their local media, I know of full evacuations which never made the local papers.

To be balanced, I am not suggesting a cover up, just saying the investigation is in its very early stages, and I would not expect them to volunteer information to the press they were not legally obliged or able to do (the release of information normally is controlled by the investigating authority).

Zeke, I'm confused. In the first paragraph quoted above I read you are talking about SQ. In the second paragraph, I read you are talking about the authorities of Thailand, since the incident should be ( and it is according the AvH report ) investigated by Thailand, not Singapore. What interest could have the Thai investigators to protect the SQ Brand ?

Rgds.
G.
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Superfly
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:07 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 45):
I am sure you mean happy landing as well

Well of course.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
tp1040
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:22 pm

If this had happened in the US:


Twitter would become a trusted source for information
Politicians demanding action
Politicians blaming the other party
Groups demanding new laws
A million theories on who to blame
A million experts on what happened
Everything to try to terrify the public
Interviews with people on board about the terrifying event.
Interviews with people that their sister's best friend knows from school that heard a neighbor say it was probably aliens from Mars.
We would have 24/7 news coverage for 3 days, then the new season of American Idol would come on television and the story would end.

1 year later, the report comes out, the news and public don't care.
 
Wisdom
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:23 pm

Quoting barney captain (Reply 44):
Quoting zeke (Reply 45):
Critical controls have redundant paths.
Quoting zeke (Reply 45):
Your post in reply 35 and this reply 44 in my view is very poor, verging on dangerous advice.

Crews already have published procedures for handling cargo and electrical fires. We do not open contained areas in flight to fight a fire, if the fire continues due to chemical nature of the cargo, there is nothing carried on the aircraft that will extinguish such a fire. We also do not turn a commercial flights into some "Die Hard" squeal test flight with you being John McClane crawling through the aircraft and opening cargo doors and unloading cargo in flight with an outside temperature of -40 deg C and no pressure oxygen. And yes, you can sit in your seat and not panic as I would have directed, it is my aircraft, and it is not a democracy. I would have no problem authorizing a person with such irrational behavior from being physically restrained, yet another published procedure.

The initial risk factor for the crew and passengers is smoke, time is something we do not have. The distribution of wet towels is the normal procedure we would use in the cabin. The air in the cabin should remain relatively smoke free, as airflow tends to go from the cabin to the cargo area. We would apply the appropriated checklists and divert to the nearest airport, or nearest suitable (subtle difference), and would consider a controlled off airport landing if conditions in the cabin became worse regardless where we are. People will survive is the aircraft is put down in a controlled fashion before the smoke gets to them.

You're sitting in your pretty chair with your pink sunglasses on.
Critical situations require different mindsets.

You put your aircraft down in 10°C water in the middle of the ocean with minimum 3 foot waves, we'll see how many survive. If you're going to do that, you better dive head first and take everyone out at once instead of making surviving injured people freeze to death long before any rescue boat can sail by.
It's not always The Hudson and there aren't always ships around to come and save you, remember.

All your compartments are great in theory. Compartments only work when you're trying to starve a fire of oxygen. In many fires on board aircraft, you can't do that because the aircraft's ventilation system is going to procure new air. Your cargo door seals aren't air tight, they always leak a little bit. That are is replaced by fresh air containing fresh oxygen. It does however slow down if the fire is fed by oxygen.
Moreover, those compartments aren't made of fire-retardant concrete and gypsum, they're just sandwich panels with epoxy. With a little bit of heat, they start melting.
If you think that you can make a full ETOPS diversion with a fire... good luck, you can have your job.

When a fire is fed by other elements such as thermal runaway of a shipment of illegally packed li-ions, your compartments aren't going to do anything about it.
The heat transfers from container to container, burning whatever's inside. If it's in the front cargo compartment, before you know it it reaches into the E/E bay and you start losing your aircraft's flight controls.
Don't be mistaken, a major fire can go from detection to loss of control in less than 10 minutes.

The ventilation air can go from the passenger compartment towards the cargo compartment in normal conditions, smoke containing CO will rise to the cabin in fire conditions.
There are no limitations to fighting an uncontained fire on an aircraft, as long as you know what you're doing.
It's of critical importance that you don't destroy other systems such as flight control cables/wires while trying to gain access to the problem area.
Otherwise, the floor between the passenger compartment and the cargo compartments are just sandwich panels that you can crush with something sharp if you try hard, and linings on which you have the carpet. You don't have to remove the seats. Then in the sidewalls of the cargo compartment you have blow-out panels and behind them some bleed air, hydraulic and water ducts.


I find that pilots should lower themselves from their high grounds and spend more time in the hangar, to get to know their aircraft for real instead of only having a paper/schematic knowledge of the systems and structures.
Accessing the cargo compartment is a joke if you know what you're doing.
I think that many pilots would stop flying when they get to realise how simple their aircraft really is.


There's nothing Mclane, die hard or Mcgiver about accessing the cargo compartment and opening a cargo door from inside (depends on aircraft type), unlatching a few containers and pushing them down.
IF at all, I think that ditching a A330 is a much more interesting adventure...

Like I said, you can have your job.

[Edited 2013-04-25 11:27:27]
 
AR385
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:37 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
You're sitting in your pretty chair with your pink sunglasses on.
Critical situations require different mindsets.

And you´re inside a hole with a shovel digging ever deeper. Put it away, get out of the hole and try to read the very good information from people who actually fly, like Barney Captain and Zeke, for example.

[Edited 2013-04-25 12:05:47]
 
travelavnut
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
You're sitting in your pretty chair with your pink sunglasses on
http://www.netpositive.co.uk/images/sheldon1.jpg
Live From Amsterdam!
 
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barney captain
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:44 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
You're sitting in your pretty chair with your pink sunglasses on.

No, I was sitting in the left seat of a Boeing when my non-theoretical fires took place. And I had to take off my 'pink sunglasses' to put on my smoke goggles.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
Wisdom
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:40 pm

Safety Issues
Training
Title 14 CFR 121.417 requires that crewmembers receive training on firefighting equipment and procedures for fighting in-flight fires. The regulation specifies that airlines must provide individual instruction on, among other things, the location, function, and operation of portable fire extinguishers, with emphasis on the type of extinguisher to be used for different classes of fires and instruction on handling emergency situations, including fires that occur in flight or on the ground. As part of their initial training, each crewmember must accomplish a one-time emergency drill while fighting an actual fire using the type of fire extinguisher that is appropriate for the type of fire being demonstrated in the drill.
Although 14 CFR 121.417 also requires crewmembers to perform certain drills biannually during recurrent training, including one that demonstrates their ability to operate each type of hand-operated fire extinguisher found on their airplanes, the regulation does not require recurrent training in fighting an actual or simulated fire. As a result, crewmembers are required to fight an actual or simulated fire during initial training only.
Further, although the emergency training requirements specified in 14 CFR 121.417 require instruction in fighting in-flight fires, they do not explicitly require that crewmembers be trained to identify the location of a hidden fire or to know how to gain access to the area behind interior panels. The Safety Board has evaluated the firefighting training programs of several air carriers and found that the actual “fire” crewmembers fight during initial training is typically an open flame that requires little effort to extinguish and that does not demonstrate the problems inherent in fighting a hidden fire on an airplane. AirTran’s initial training program for flight attendants, for example, includes a firefighting drill in which students are required to extinguish an actual fire consisting of a visible, open flame. The accident and incident descriptions in this letter demonstrate that in-flight fires on commercial airplanes can present themselves not as visible, localized flames, but in less obvious ways, such as smoke or heat from hidden locations.
Crewmembers must be trained to quickly identify the location of the fire, which may require removing interior panels or otherwise accessing the areas behind the panels before they can use fire extinguishers effectively.
The results of a series of experiments conducted by the FAA Technical Center to evaluate the ability of flight attendants to extinguish cargo fires in small Class B cargo compartments also demonstrate that the FAA’s current training requirements are inadequate.
Technical Center staff conducted 13 tests in which trained crewmembers attempted to extinguish cargo fires located in a cabin-level compartment using firefighting equipment identical to the types on which they had been trained. The report noted that, although the fires could have been extinguished using proper techniques, in most cases the crewmembers did not act quickly or aggressively enough to successfully extinguish the fires. The report concludes that “improved and more realistic training procedures would better prepare flight attendants to more effectively fight in-flight fires.”

The Safety Board is concerned that as a result of limited training, crewmembers may fail
to take immediate and aggressive action in locating and fighting in-flight fires, as demonstrated
in the events cited in this letter. In the Delta flight 2030 incident, the flight attendant asked for
the captain’s permission before discharging a fire extinguisher. This delayed an immediate
firefighting response. Further, if the captain’s order not to use the fire extinguisher had been
carried out, the fire would likely have progressed and could have resulted in death or serious
injury, as well as possible loss of the airplane. In the AirTran flight 913 accident, flight
attendants made no effort to locate the source of the smoke or to use any of the firefighting
equipment available to them. In the American flight 1683 incident, a flight attendant, working
with a passenger, successfully extinguished the fire by cutting a hole in the overhead panel and
applying extinguishing agent. Although this action was successful, the Board notes that the flight
attendant took the action on her own initiative, not because she was trained to do so. In the Air
Canada accident, flight attendants did not apply extinguishing agent directly to the flames, either
because they had not been trained to do so or because they could not access the area behind the
interior panels.

The Safety Board concludes that current training programs still do not adequately prepare crewmembers to fight the type of hidden in-flight fires likely to occur on airplanes. Therefore, the Board believes that the FAA should issue an advisory circular (AC) that describes the need for crewmembers to take immediate and aggressive action in response to signs of an in-flight fire.
The AC should stress that fires often are hidden behind interior panels and therefore may require a crewmember to remove or otherwise gain access to the area behind interior panels in order to effectively apply extinguishing agents to the source of the fire. Further, the Board believes that the FAA should require POIs to ensure that the contents of the AC are incorporated into crewmember training programs. Finally, the Board believes that the FAA should amend 14 CFR 121.417 to require participation in firefighting drills that involve actual or simulated fires during crewmember recurrent training and to require that those drills include realistic scenarios on recognizing potential signs of, locating, and fighting hidden fires.

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2001/A01_83_87.pdf




So Mr Captain, if you stand in my way of fighting the fire after I identify myself as a qualified aircraft engineer and that I assess that your passive firefighting actions are not leading to the containment and control of the fire, leading to an imminent danger to the aircraft and it passengers , I will restrain you with the help of other passengers.
If fighting a fire is sci-fi or die-hard for you, I don't want to ever fly with you. Which airline is it that you fly for?

Why would you hesitate to dump containers, assuming that you can gain access and open the cargo door from inside in-flight (not always possible) and that the configuration of the aircraft (wings, tailplane) allow it?

Do we need many more li-ion crashes before the airline community wakes up?
Do you have any idea how many li-ions are shipped illegally in your aircraft everyday?
Do you know that IATA's new DGR rules require special packaging guidelines that are so unrealistic that many China based cheap li-ion manufacturers just ship them as dry batteries?

Do you really know the dangers of li-ion fires?
Here's a case of small 18650 batteries (index finger sized) exploding on someone's balcony. Maybe then you will realise what you're dealing with.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ad.php?262234-TK-Monster-Explosion

[Edited 2013-04-25 13:47:54]
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:05 pm

Ok People. Let's just calm down and talk constructively and in a civilized manner. After we ( I include myself ) made a good mocking show of the first post of Wisdom going to the cargo section, we all must admit that * although that first post was maybe too cinematographic in our minds* , the information provided by Wisdom in replies 62/63 deserves a serious and constructive analysis. Let's put our prides aside and stop calling names, and I'm sure we can combine the Captain experience and training with the other valuable information we have, and learn from each other. I know we will not change the aviation industry from this forums, but learning is always a good thing.... this is a dynamic / changing industry, and maybe when other changes became a new reality in the future, some people will have better tools for a new mindset.


Best Regards.

G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / FH-227 / A318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789 / B788 / A343 / ATR72-600
 
col
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:48 am

While the crew are dumping the contents of the cargo out into the engines and tail plane, who is flying the plane as that engine spirals into the ground with half the tail plane?

I was always told in emergency - Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, now we have to add dump cargo. But where do we put it, at the end in the middle or first priority in the rules of aviation?.

In the military they have things called bombers with bomb bay doors. In case of fire alarm, just have Airbus, Boeing and all fit these doors and dump the lot out of the bottom.

  
 
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kanban
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:25 am

Zeke, I applaud your responses, especially post 45.

Wisdom, what would happen is you getting sucked out the door and straight into the engine bringing the plane down immediately. OK, fires out, no survivors, thanks.
 
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zeke
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:48 am

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 55):
Zeke, I'm confused. In the first paragraph quoted above I read you are talking about SQ. In the second paragraph, I read you are talking about the authorities of Thailand, since the incident should be ( and it is according the AvH report ) investigated by Thailand, not Singapore. What interest could have the Thai investigators to protect the SQ Brand ?

The Thai authorities will be the lead investigators, it will also be investigated by the airline, the Singapore investigators (country of registration), and EASA (issue of type certificate), and Airbus (manufacturer). They all have a say on what and how things are released.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
You put your aircraft down in 10°C water in the middle of the ocean with minimum 3 foot waves, we'll see how many survive. If you're going to do that, you better dive head first and take everyone out at once instead of making surviving injured people freeze to death long before any rescue boat can sail by.

I do not think anyone is suggesting that there will always be a 100% survival rate for an off airport landing, nerveless, people all tend to agree some people will survive the initial landing.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
Compartments only work when you're trying to starve a fire of oxygen. In many fires on board aircraft, you can't do that because the aircraft's ventilation system is going to procure new air.

The A330 automatically isolates the cargo hold when smoke/fire is detected. It does not wait for the pilots to activate the fire extinguishes.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
Your cargo door seals aren't air tight, they always leak a little bit. That are is replaced by fresh air containing fresh oxygen. It does however slow down if the fire is fed by oxygen.

I would never expect the holds to be 100% free of O2 after discharging the primary and the the meter fed agents. I do however expect the amount of oxygen available would not be sufficient to sustain a fire which requires oxygen. In my earlier post I made the clear distinction that the chemical nature of the cargo can make this ineffective.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
Moreover, those compartments aren't made of fire-retardant concrete and gypsum, they're just sandwich panels with epoxy. With a little bit of heat, they start melting.

It is more than a single layer, and these materials have passed various flammability tests to enable them to be used in the locations.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
If you think that you can make a full ETOPS diversion with a fire... good luck, you can have your job.

That would depend on the nature of the fire, and if in fact there is one against a false positive.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
When a fire is fed by other elements such as thermal runaway of a shipment of illegally packed li-ions, your compartments aren't going to do anything about it.

I would not agree with the "anything", it all depends on the overall mix of what is being carried.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
I find that pilots should lower themselves from their high grounds and spend more time in the hangar, to get to know their aircraft for real instead of only having a paper/schematic knowledge of the systems and structures.

I have spent a fair amount of time in the factory and the hanger to have seen the aircraft in various stages of assembly and even total cabin reconfiguration and major checks.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 62):
So Mr Captain, if you stand in my way of fighting the fire after I identify myself as a qualified aircraft engineer and that I assess that your passive firefighting actions are not leading to the containment and control of the fire, leading to an imminent danger to the aircraft and it passengers , I will restrain you with the help of other passengers.
If fighting a fire is sci-fi or die-hard for you, I don't want to ever fly with you. Which airline is it that you fly for?

I would use all resources available to me to fight a fire that is accessible. You are trying to use and argument of a accessible uncontained space in the cabin vs the contained non-accessible compartment. Crews do train for, and will fight a fire aggressively in the cabin, no one is in disagreement on that point. That is however what we have been made aware of so far with this incident.

It is important in any emergency situation be it in an aircraft or on the ground that people not panic, and to act rationally. If a passenger started acting irrationally during flight to the extent they are trying to rip up the floor to gain access to the cargo compartment, I would not hesitate ordering that passenger being restrained. Frankly, in this day and age, I think your fellow passengers would restrain you before the news ever got to me. This reminds me of the "Pushing Tin" movie where an off duty ATC guys was restrained by passengers and the crew for irrational behaviour and disobeying the crews directions.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 62):
Why would you hesitate to dump containers, assuming that you can gain access and open the cargo door from inside in-flight (not always possible) and that the configuration of the aircraft (wings, tailplane) allow it?

Forgive me, I thought I was on the receiving end of a lecture on not knowing my aircraft well enough. Do you think it might be helpful to first work out a details like the ability to open a door in flight before castigating others ?

You might also want to have a look at the sort of damage caused by cargo doors that open in flight and think about what that damage might do in relation to providing more air to a fire. There is a number of documented accidents listing the adverse effects of cargo doors opening in flight in a large passenger airliner.

All doors on a large pressurized aircraft like the A330 form part of the structural integrity of the airframe, and most have operating limits less than 60 kts. If the door opened and was to detach, takes out the tail plane or engine, I am left with multiple emergencies at once, fire, depress, loss of structural integrity (which makes an off airport landing less survivable), loss of thrust on and engine, possible engine dislodgement and leading edge damage, loss of flight controls etc. And we still do not have a confirmed fire.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 62):
Do we need many more li-ion crashes before the airline community wakes up?
Do you have any idea how many li-ions are shipped illegally in your aircraft everyday?
Do you know that IATA's new DGR rules require special packaging guidelines that are so unrealistic that many China based cheap li-ion manufacturers just ship them as dry batteries?

Dangerous goods regulations do evolve, and we have had a number of iterations this year in relation to the carriage of batteries, and batteries within goods, and packages. We have also changed what is asked of passengers at check-in.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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zeke
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:05 am

Now reports of a KE 777 diverting to NRT due to smoke in the cockpit, no sign of anyone ripping up the floor and offloading cargo in flight.

How can SQ in BKK and now KE in NRT both get the responses so wrong ?

Both aircraft landed okay, and pax/crew are all okay.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
Superfly
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:59 am

I hope a film director is reading this thread. Lot's of action, adventure and blood-rushing drama. This would make a great plot for a movie. Perhaps when Passenger 57 gets out of prison, he can take the leading role.  

Are these planes shipping batteries? What's causing these fires?

Quoting zeke (Reply 67):
no sign of anyone ripping up the floor and offloading cargo in flight.

Only an action hero can do that.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Gatorman96
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:25 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 67):
Now reports of a KE 777 diverting to NRT due to smoke in the cockpit, no sign of anyone ripping up the floor and offloading cargo in flight.

How can SQ in BKK and now KE in NRT both get the responses so wrong ?

Both aircraft landed okay, and pax/crew are all okay.

Clearly statistics are in favor of the pilots and aircraft doing their job in which they are extremely well trained and built for. It was completely silly that someone would suggest entering the cargo hold to combat a fire, which would just introduce a myriad of other issues for the pilots and cabin crew (echoing what you previously stated). Thanks for your contributions Zeke....
 
ZB052
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:41 pm

Quoting gatorman96 (Reply 69):
Clearly statistics are in favor of the pilots and aircraft doing their job in which they are extremely well trained and built for. It was completely silly that someone would suggest entering the cargo hold to combat a fire, which would just introduce a myriad of other issues for the pilots and cabin crew (echoing what you previously stated). Thanks for your contributions Zeke....

Seconded. Thank you for the concise, accurate and articulate reply Zeke. It's nice to be able to re-affirm that there are some very knowledgeable people around here, who actually know about REAL aircraft procedures and policies etc. Having been there myself (admittedly from the maintenance side of the coin), it's nice to see some real information (not mis-information) being posted.......

Regarding that.....Opening a door and pushing the cargo out??? WTF??? This has to be some kind of wind-up, surely? Obviously the laws of physics and aerodynamics don't apply in this 'Die Hard' universe? I could point out the irony of this person's user name, and the information that they are posting, but i'd probably get my hand slapped for being too personal!

Once again, thanks to Zeke and the plethora of knowedgeable posters here - your input is always appreciated!
 
Wisdom
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:01 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 67):
Now reports of a KE 777 diverting to NRT due to smoke in the cockpit, no sign of anyone ripping up the floor and offloading cargo in flight.

How can SQ in BKK and now KE in NRT both get the responses so wrong ?

Both aircraft landed okay, and pax/crew are all okay.

Obviously you're overdramatising and hiding the real issue. That issue is your lack of training and complacent attitude towards fires on board: "it's never going to happen to me".

When you're 20 minutes from an alternate or even suitable enough airport, you land, obviously. Isn't that so obvious that it doesn't require mentioning?
What do you do when you're on a ETOPS flight 120 minutes away from land?
Are you going to activate your compartimentation and extinguishers and hope for 120 minutes of containment?

As I previously mentioned, shipping of li-ions is becoming more and more frequent. If you have seen the picture in the link I posted above, you should be able to realise the impact of a box of 100 of these cells starting to cook in your hold. Do you realistically think that your compartimentation and halon is going to stop the spread of such an aggressive fire?

Quoting zeke (Reply 66):
You might also want to have a look at the sort of damage caused by cargo doors that open in flight and think about what that damage might do in relation to providing more air to a fire. There is a number of documented accidents listing the adverse effects of cargo doors opening in flight in a large passenger airliner.

All doors on a large pressurized aircraft like the A330 form part of the structural integrity of the airframe, and most have operating limits less than 60 kts. If the door opened and was to detach, takes out the tail plane or engine, I am left with multiple emergencies at once, fire, depress, loss of structural integrity (which makes an off airport landing less survivable), loss of thrust on and engine, possible engine dislodgement and leading edge damage, loss of flight controls etc. And we still do not have a confirmed fire.

I'm not trying to lecture you or anybody. You can laugh about it, just think about it if it happens to you.
If you're in the forward hold, obviously dumping containers wouldn't be obvious/possible, because it can cause severe damage to your wing/engine. So there you would have to figure alternatives, but don't expect it to be a walk in the park with the fumes, heat. If you're in the rear hold, you could dump without major problems assuming that your aircraft is equipped with cargo doors switches.

Structural integrity-wise, as aicraft maintenance engineer, I will tell you that you won't have to worry about the lack of cargo door for continued flight, considered the situation.
There are different degrees to a "loss of structural integrity" and a lower deck cargo door is the least of your issues. If you can resolve the issue by dumping the burning load, there is no reason for an off-airport landing.

Again, if it's the fwd LD cargo, it's better to consider your options first (and it's tiring to have to specify all these obvious things).

Quoting zeke (Reply 66):
You might also want to have a look at the sort of damage caused by cargo doors that open in flight and think about what that damage might do in relation to providing more air to a fire. There is a number of documented accidents listing the adverse effects of cargo doors opening in flight in a large passenger airliner.

So let's talk about them and see what you can do to reduce the impact.
UA811 lost a cargo door and some pax in an explosive decopression. The pax were not ripped out by the door itself, but rather by the explosive decompression. If you know that you're going to open the door, wouldn't you decompress the aircraft first? A cargo door has a certain inertia, so if it becomes loose in ram air, it's not going to decelerate from 800km/h to 0 by the time hit hits the wing. It'll probably just be a 10% deceleration and sure, it could damage the leading edge, but again, is your huge dent in the LE going to prevent a safe continued flight? Unlikely.

Quoting zeke (Reply 66):
Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
Moreover, those compartments aren't made of fire-retardant concrete and gypsum, they're just sandwich panels with epoxy. With a little bit of heat, they start melting.

It is more than a single layer, and these materials have passed various flammability tests to enable them to be used in the locations.

Yah well, even gypsum only holds fires for 30 minutes and it's much more fire resistant than sandwich panels. Do you really believe that sandwich panels and linings are going to hold your li-ion fire for 120 minutes, let alone 240, 280 minutes? Do you really believe that?
Wouldn't a "monitor and react attitude" be much more appropriate? Or are you really going to rely 100% blindly on that 280 minutes containment because "the materials passed a test"? What if the tests don't represent the situation you're in, ie for instance boxes of hundreds of illegally shipped li-ions burning to temperatures that would make aluminium melt?

Quoting zeke (Reply 66):
It is important in any emergency situation be it in an aircraft or on the ground that people not panic, and to act rationally. If a passenger started acting irrationally during flight to the extent they are trying to rip up the floor to gain access to the cargo compartment, I would not hesitate ordering that passenger being restrained.

To you, ripping a floor open would seem like a big deal, but it's not. Just spend a day on a C-check aircraft and see for yourself. It's just sandwich panels resting on the floor beams, they're very similar to wood panels.
Hitting them with a fire extinguisher should do the job. However, you have to be careful not to damage wiring and cables that run beneath the panels, so the best thing is to visit your aircraft during C-checks to get a sense of where they run.

In my opinion, pilots should know and should, during their initial type-rating, see each and every detail of the aircraft including where their cables and wires run in the aircraft they fly on.
That way, you can much better assess the risks when you get events for which there is no checklist. But alas, pilot training hasn't reached that far yet.

That way also, you could for instance, depending on where they're located, actuate the cargo door in-flight by bypassing the switches and deactivating logic switches (weight on wheel logic, etc...) , with the support of maintenance who could search in the manuals and tell you which wires you need to look for.

Similarly, you would be much better prepared to deal with electrical fires in the E/E bay. Right now, all pilots do is put the masks on, declare emergency and eventually attempt to extinguish it once or twice by spraying halon in the approximate area of the fire. However, you don't know how to resolve the actual underlying cause of the fire, ie short-circuits.
For some reason, you wouldn't dare to open up the panels to identify the actual source and even attempt to cut shorted wires...
If it's a short-circuit and for some reason there is no C/B or it's not popping, you check the source of the fire, follow the wire and look for the markings on the wire and forward them to maintenance who can then tell you what plug to unplug or which wire to cut, and what other systems you're going to lose. If you don't have time, you could cut it first and later contact maintenance to ask what systems it can affect.

Quoting kanban (Reply 65):
Wisdom, what would happen is you getting sucked out the door and straight into the engine bringing the plane down immediately. OK, fires out, no survivors, thanks.

If you're going to open any door, wouldn't it be obvious to open the outflow valves and depressurise first? Once depressurised, you open the door, nothing gets sucked out. I think that this discussion is too technical for you, I don't want to waste time explaining obvious details.

Quoting zeke (Reply 66):
I would not agree with the "anything", it all depends on the overall mix of what is being carried.

Obviously you have to assess your situation relative to the situation, while keeping in mind that your NOTOC or cargo manifest doesn't always tell the truth. A good measure of urgency is whether the fire is being contained or not, ie is there smoke or smell rising to the cabin, is it becoming unbearably hot in the cabin, are you starting to lose systems, etc...

If you're ETOPS over ocean, time is not on your side.
What is usually on your side is that you have huge amounts of human resources in the form of a plane full of people who want to get out of there alive just as much as you do and who can help you fight the fire.

It's never an easy choice to make but one has to adapt one's mindset to the extent of the situation.

Pilots among you won't want to read this, but this is the reality of things. You can hide behind statistics, you can hide behind standards, but you can't hide when there's a fire raging in your aircraft.

[Edited 2013-04-26 08:08:33]
 
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kanban
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:55 pm

The picture in my mind is poor Wisdom on a plane with an outward swinging cargo door, non containerized cargo in the hold that's packed to the ceiling, at 30,000 ft, and no oxygen trying to find a lone lithium battery powered device emitting smoke. Only to discover some had smuggled some Durian fruit.

by the way we removed the safety line hook rings as a weight saver in the 80s and as I recall there isn't a whole lot of space in a loaded hold. Plus as noted earlier, that first container or first box, if one did push it out would take out an engine or wing leading edge and debris from those impacts would mess up the horizontal stabilizer.

Then the floor panels.. yes they look easy to break through, yet they withstand the repeated impact of stiletto heels and are stronger than the aluminum honeycomb panels they replaced in the late 60s.

I'd rather the cockpit crew concentrate on flying the plane.

[Edited 2013-04-26 10:06:55]
 
peterjohns
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:57 pm

Having to do with smoke in the cabin/cockpit or more often a fire warning in one hold, the procedure clearly is to land asap.
If you really have a "small" fire - emptied the bottles - and then open a door in Chuck Norris style with your asbestos gloves - you might be in for a nasty surprise letting fresh air in.

If you on the other hand have a real uncontained blaze going ( with Batteries maybe) emptied the bottles to no avail,
there ( to my opinion only) is nothing you would be able to do anyway with the means you have on an airliner.

Then again land ASAP.
Unfortunatly even that doesn´t work in case of a serious fire, see Helderberg, ValueJet, SR111, UPS to name some I remember.
 
D L X
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Did they evacuate this plane before they opened the cargo hold?
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:35 pm

Since I am a Non professional (whatever that means) let me put some info on those little devils called Li ion Batteries.

When in a a runway event, they are virtually inextinguishable, no matter the amount of vacuum or oxygen, even water poured in, they will release a big energy compound and heat. The only way to prevent the fire from spreading is to put it in a container (I refrained to post on the 787 thread because it would come as if I was lecturing everyone, since a lot of info was confusing-inacurate in thet thread).

So you can try to deppresurize de aircraft and that darn fire WILL NOT GO OUT. So landing ASAP is a priority. Since the Pilots dont have divinatory powers or ESP, they have to assess the situation and proceed as manual say and land.

If its possible to don fire equipment and get into the Cargo bay to put out the fire, and that fire is aLi Ion kind, good luck Chuck Maclane, no amount of mumbo jumbo will supress it, in fact most probably the difference in heat from the 2 compartments would make the main cabin a very interesting place to be on...

My nonprofessional perspective.

Regards

TRB
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
douglasyxz
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:05 pm

When I was laughing my girlfriend asked me why. I told her briefly what's going on here and she said, Wisdom is only kidding and you and your friends just don't get it. I wonder if she's right, cause breaking the floor in an emergency at FL330 across an ocean is so unreal.
Blessed with a long experience in electrical controls, I'd never touch a wire I don't know its purpose, especially not in a plane that I'm in.

The idea of making pilots aware of wire tracks during their type rating and imagine they would remember 10 years later in an emergency is simply odd.

I can only agree with those of you who want the pilots stay in the cockpit and do what they are supposed to do, to fly the aircraft and manage the situation according to the procedures.
 
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neutrino
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 68):

I hope a film director is reading this thread. Lot's of action, adventure and blood-rushing drama. This would make a great plot for a movie. Perhaps when Passenger 57 gets out of prison, he can take the leading role.  

Actually, if the director has enough wisdom, he would go for you-know-who to be his star.   
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
wn676
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:29 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 80):
Hahaha you want to break panels covered by carpet with stiletto's. That's a good one.
What world do you live in?

What part of that sentence did you not read?

Quote:
yes they look easy to break through, yet they withstand the repeated impact of stiletto heels
Tiny, unreadable text leaves ample room for interpretation.
 
Wisdom
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:22 pm

IADCA,
-zeke doesn't know where the wires run, that's not taught at any stage of aircraft type training. Pilots don't know where flight control cables run.
-the correct course of action for small li-ion fires is to extinguish the surrounding fires and isolate the li-ions, cool them further down with water.
-the only option I can think of for large li-ion fires raging inside containers, is to dump/jettison the containers or otherwise extinguish the fire inside the container, and try to isolate and cool the li-ions down. However, given that pilots rely on compartimentation for fires in holds, the fire/smoke would have to reach the cabin before they will react. At that point, it will be too late to gain access, open containers and start extinguishing them.

Kairahi: You can cut all the wires inside the fuselage, your engines will continue to run....


No matter how hard it is for you naysayers to believe and accept, the reality is that your airplanes and procedures can't face a real li-ion fire. You can all stay in denial and ridiculise me, but that is a proven fact.

I think that I have provided enough information at this point.
I'm not a psychlogist so I can't help you deal with your denial issues.

Aviation is still in a prehistoric stage. Issues are countered with denial. I've seen a lot of that.

After this, I will only answer posts who show reflection and self-control, from people who are interested to discuss seriously. Zeke, I'm interested to discuss it further with you, your many quotes make it very hard to track your posts. Give me your phone number and we will discuss it if you want.
 
Gatorman96
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:36 pm

Mods, can we get a lock please? This thread has, unfortunately, been completely hijacked.
 
IADCA
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:40 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 79):
-zeke doesn't know where the wires run, that's not taught at any stage of aircraft type training. Pilots don't know where flight control cables run.

You don't know what he does or doesn't know. Neither do I. But I'd be more confident in my side of the bet than yours.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 79):
the correct course of action for small li-ion fires is to extinguish the surrounding fires and isolate the li-ions, cool them further down with water.
-the only option I can think of for large li-ion fires raging inside containers, is to dump/jettison the containers or otherwise extinguish the fire inside the container, and try to isolate and cool the li-ions down. However, given that pilots rely on compartimentation for fires in holds, the fire/smoke would have to reach the cabin before they will react. At that point, it will be too late to gain access, open containers and start extinguishing them.

Fine enough, but you're not going to be able to do any of that on a commercial airplane in flight. There's no way to jettison cargo (and what was the deal with citing a rather basic tenet of maritime law as if it bore significantly on an aviation safety issue?) and you don't have the resources to put the fire out. On that you seem to agree (and you ignore the complications of finding the ignition source inside a dark, smoky, jam-packed, oxygen-deprived cargo hold), so why are you getting mad at people who suggest your solutions that include opening a cargo door in flight and smashing through the floor to try to accomplish such a task aren't the wisest?

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 79):
After this, I will only answer posts who show reflection and self-control,

That's pretty funny coming from someone whose second post on this thread begins with: "Well you preposterous posters can wait neatly in your chair until the thing goes down." I'm sorry to point out that of the threads I've seen on this board recently that have devolved into needless name-calling, there's one common factor at the center of them, and it's not me.
 
Wisdom
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:40 pm

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 73):
If you on the other hand have a real uncontained blaze going ( with Batteries maybe) emptied the bottles to no avail,
there ( to my opinion only) is nothing you would be able to do anyway with the means you have on an airliner.

Then again land ASAP.
Unfortunatly even that doesn´t work in case of a serious fire, see Helderberg, ValueJet, SR111, UPS to name some I remember.

Thank you.

That is the reason why I posted my first post. To attract attention towards this issue.
Why would I have to break floor panels, blow out panels, unlatch cargo, open cargo doors in flight to be able to deal with a li-ion fire?

I don't say that it can't be done, in fact for now I don't see other options.

Isn't it time that airlines, aircraft manufacturers and regulators sit around the table to discuss how they're going to deal with the rising li-ion threat? Li-ion is everywhere now and no amount of regulations is going to stop shipments from slipping onto aircraft. So rather than to impose more regulations on li-ion shipments, which will only see more and more illegal shipments, wouldn't it be better to seek solutions to combat these fires efficiently when they occur?

After leaving the airline industry, I have established my own business. I now import stuff for a living, including li-ions manufactured in China.
Despite all the DGR and all the regulations in place, I receive boxes containing li-ions that get dispersed due to them not being secured adequately. I send messages to manufacturers reminding of the risks involved but do they care? NO! Do they ship them as other products when this leads to a higher cost? YES!

I will keep importing my batteries. If I don't do it, another guy will. However, I have chosen to deal only with battery brands that offer short-circuit overheat protection, for the safety of the pilots who don't have a clue of what's happening (like I said, many pilots lack a sense of reality).

In the mean time, jettisoning containers is the only option of last resort that I can see.
Take it from a guy who tests li-ions before bringing them to market  Wink

[Edited 2013-04-26 14:42:26]
 
Gatorman96
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:04 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 82):
Isn't it time that airlines, aircraft manufacturers and regulators sit around the table to discuss how they're going to deal with the rising li-ion threat?

Yes and if you conveyed your information in a less derogatory fashion, I have no doubt that this would spark quite a discussion in the Tech Ops forum. When you speak to posters like this:

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 42):
Well you preposterous posters
Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
You're sitting in your pretty chair with your pink sunglasses on
Quoting Wisdom (Reply 79):
You can all stay in denial

You lose all credibility...
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:10 pm

Wisdom,

And I am here trying to understand from which direction your argument is coming from. I guess I'll have to keep guessing.

I wish Tom Canuck was still around. Only he will have enough patience to explain the complete fire suppression and containment system on a commercial aircraft.

Quoting zeke (Reply 45):
The air in the cabin should remain relatively smoke free, as airflow tends to go from the cabin to the cargo area.

This is part of the design intention. Air flow goes from the upper cabin down to the lower cabin. For newer aircraft there is some re-circulation but as you noted in a fire situation the re-circulation can be shut off.

There are insulated dams and one way covers along the sidewall to prevent smoke and fire from flowing back up the main cabin. Any smoke you may smell can be from small leaks or from smoke generated and re-circulated prior to the system detecting the fire.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 46):
Turtles??? Sorry, I just had to ask.

And frogs . . . don't forget the frogs . . .

Quoting tockeyhockey (Reply 52):
is there a way to depressurize the cargo bay without depressurizing the passenger compartment?

Not instantaneously. There are valves that can release pressure but they are small.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
Moreover, those compartments aren't made of fire-retardant concrete and gypsum, they're just sandwich panels with epoxy. With a little bit of heat, they start melting.

Maybe epoxy in the lower lobe, but phenolic is preferred for low smoke toxicity emissions. Epoxy and Phenolic will not melt. They will burn and char. The glass or graphite fabric will retain enough strength to resist a small fire when the epoxy or phenolic matrix fail locally.


Quoting zeke (Reply 66):

The A330 automatically isolates the cargo hold when smoke/fire is detected.

Good to know I was wondering if this was standard procedure.

Quoting zeke (Reply 66):
It is more than a single layer, and these materials have passed various flammability tests to enable them to be used in the locations.

There are really three layer for this particular case (besides the active fire suppression).

The cargo container walls, the cargo bay wall liner, the floor panel all can resist a fire.

Quoting kanban (Reply 72):
Only to discover some had smuggled some Durian fruit.

Hah Hah, have you experienced the infamous Durian Fruit????
There are local bakeries here in Seattle that offer durian fruit cakes.   

 
Quoting douglasyxz (Reply 76):
cause breaking the floor in an emergency at FL330 across an ocean is so unreal.

The floor panel is part of primary structure. It is not advisable to break the panel even if there was a fire. After all, you wouldn't detach the wings if you have an engine fire would you? 

As for ditching in the ocean . . . Zeke may chime in on this, but even if there is a fire in the lower lobe, you would want to stay in the air for as long as possible because ditching in water is not as easy as it seems.

Hey Zeke, do you do simulator training for ditching in the water? Or are the parameters to0 complicated to predict whether the plane will cartwheel?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:24 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 82):
Isn't it time that airlines, aircraft manufacturers and regulators sit around the table to discuss how they're going to deal with the rising li-ion threat?

Hopefully the airline industry do have a plan for the li-ion threat in consumer products in an commercial airline cargo hold.
If not then I'm pretty sure Homeland Security already do. If you know what I mean.

Consider a battery in a lap top in a cargo hold. It goes thermal and catches fire. After its initial fire how long could it actually burn aggressively once the battery energy goes out? I would guess not much because the hold would be full of luggage with all sorts of flammable material. These other material if catch fire will consume most of the limited oxygen in the container. With air leaking in, I can see a small fire will continue to smolder but probably not escalate.

I would venture to guess that the smoke coming out of the A330 did not get that bad until it reached the ground and the fire fighter opened the door when a fresh wharf of air rushed in and the fire could erupt again.

rcair can comment on this aspect.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Wisdom
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:21 pm

bikerthai, my point of view is simple.

A. Air crews are not trained, prepared and equipped properly to deal with fires, in an increasingly dangerous cargo environment.
B. Regulators aren't doing much to mitigate the issue, only the usual umbrella bureaucracy. They'll maybe do something about it when a few hundred people are killed in a crash.
C. After seeing with my own eyes how safety is taken very lightly in operational aviation, I avoid flying whenever I can. If pilots knew how maintenance is carried out on their aircraft, with the exception of some top-notch facilities where there is a real safety culture, none of them would dare to take to the skies ever again.
It's a bit strong wording but "ignorance is bliss".

So it's very unlikely that you would ever see me crushing the floor panels and linings to gain access to the cargo hold and dump anything.  

However, it would have reassured me to read that crews would be ready to do anything to fight a fire and to read that breaching the panels with tools at their disposal in the flight deck and other places for this very purpose, would be utilized if required to gain access...
And by tool, I don't mean someone's stiletto's... Not that I tried, but having installed and removed many floor panels on C-checks, I'm sure that you can break those panels even with a fire extinguisher if you know what you're doing. Obviously, removing the carpet would be the first obvious step.


Regarding the melting of honeycomb panels, I'm not talking about the epoxy melting, but the panel's initial failure mode will be very similar to melting, ie it will form holes where the heat penetrates the material, like when plastic melts in a fire.
They are very adequate protection for smoke and small fires, but for real fires... they'll just burn like cardboard.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 84):
The floor panel is part of primary structure. It is not advisable to break the panel even if there was a fire. After all, you wouldn't detach the wings if you have an engine fire would you? 

The floor panels are as much a primary structure as the aircraft's fuselage skin is. Breaching one or even 10 panels will not affect the immediate structural integrity of your aircraft. Over time, this could start to vreate problems.
I've seen A330's flying around with failed frames, which is much more serious. But even then, you have the fail-safe architecture, and the loads are distributed to the rest of the structure.

After all, getting the aircraft safely on the ground is the only priority when you have a serious fire, what happens after (maintenance, etc...)- shouldn't be a concern at that time.

[Edited 2013-04-26 16:25:24]
 
Superfly
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:07 am

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 32):
Or are they using other similar - but "greener" - stuff already ?

Isn't the increase in battery use all an attempt to be "green"?
The Chevrolet Volt and Boeing 787 with it's explosive batteries were supposed to relieve us of our sins of using oil.

Quoting A36001 (Reply 39):
O2 masks and oven mitts.
Quoting Wisdom (Reply 42):
Well you preposterous posters can wait neatly in your chair until the thing goes down.
Quoting Wisdom (Reply 58):
You're sitting in your pretty chair with your pink sunglasses on.
Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 75):
So you can try to deppresurize de aircraft and that darn fire WILL NOT GO OUT.
Quoting peterjohns (Reply 73):
If you really have a "small" fire - emptied the bottles - and then open a door in Chuck Norris style with your asbestos gloves - you might be in for a nasty surprise letting fresh air in.
Quoting kanban (Reply 72):
The picture in my mind is poor Wisdom on a plane with an outward swinging cargo door, non containerized cargo in the hold that's packed to the ceiling, at 30,000 ft, and no oxygen trying to find a lone lithium battery powered device emitting smoke. Only to discover some had smuggled some Durian fruit.

,
LOL!   

Ok this thread has all the right ingredients for a low-budget, B-movie, action adventure disaster movie. Lot's of drama, life & death situation, egos clashing, lots of yelling & screaming at each other. The sweet old lady from Singapore that thought that smuggling on her durian fruit would be harmless & innocent only to cause a major catastrophe. Throw in the cute little girl that needs to have a kidney transplant and has to fly to another city to have the operation, the horny first officer that has a lady in every city he flies to, people sitting in pretty chairs wearing pink sunglasses. Sounds like a fantastic plot for a B-movie.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
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kanban
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:38 am

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 75):
When in a a runway event, they are virtually inextinguishable, no matter the amount of vacuum or oxygen, even water poured in, they will release a big energy compound and heat.

we need to separate LI-ion from Lithium batteries.. Li-ion can be suppressed with Halon.. other Lithium batteries can not.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 86):
And by tool, I don't mean someone's stiletto's...

Provided TSA let you take your stiletto on board...

I think Zeke has a better idea how a commercial airliner is built and where cables etc are because he has been involved as a customer onsite process reviewer.

Besides Wisdom, how are you going to get the cargo you're dumping past the engine? Or should the regulatory agencies insist on belly doors on all planes .. pull the chord.. Bye Bye.. and the pressure differential sucks the passenger floor out too.
 
Superfly
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:42 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 88):
pull the chord.. Bye Bye.. and the pressure differential sucks the passenger floor out too.

e

That happened in the movie Airport 1979 - The Concorde.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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barney captain
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:46 am

Guys, guys, guys...if you haven't learned by now, Wisdom IS the smartest guy in the room.



Just ask him.




  
Southeast Of Disorder
 
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zeke
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RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:21 am

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
That issue is your lack of training and complacent attitude towards fires on board: "it's never going to happen to me".

Airline crews (pilots and cabin crew) are trained, and continue to receive recurrent training on emergencies including fires. I cannot say the same for ground personal.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
When you're 20 minutes from an alternate or even suitable enough airport, you land, obviously. Isn't that so obvious that it doesn't require mentioning?

The possibility of an off airport landing has been mentioned a number of times, it is something I would consider if the situation warrants.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
What do you do when you're on a ETOPS flight 120 minutes away from land?

Follow the established procedures and continue to reevaluate the situation with the best information available.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
Are you going to activate your compartimentation and extinguishers and hope for 120 minutes of containment?

Statistically that will be more than enough for a cargo hold issue. I am not aware of a lower deck fire warning that was not contained as designed on an ETOPS aircraft. In this SQ incident it would appear the LD3 was all that was required to contain the source.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
So there you would have to figure alternatives, but don't expect it to be a walk in the park with the fumes, heat.

That is my job, to weigh up the alternatives with the best available information, not the passengers. I have to work in real time, and not in hindsight. Passengers also do not know what we carry under the floor, what we have available to us to counter a smoke/fire warning, and the do not know where are are in relation to nearby airports, the facilities at those airports, and the local weather conditions. Passengers (and generally are not aware of) also do not have access to our various back office support staff that can for example log onto the aircraft in real time and look at the various systems, look for alternate airports for us, co-ordinate with ATC RFF etc.

The person in charge of an aircraft has a whole team of people to draw their collective skills from, and it is their job to manage that. We do not go around being Richard Anderson in MacGyver trying to short wires, open cargo doors, push containers out etc. By the time you could do any of that, we could have the aircraft on the ground and passengers off.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
If you're in the rear hold, you could dump without major problems assuming that your aircraft is equipped with cargo doors switches.

You failed to answer my previous challenge if that is actually possible on the A330 ? The reason I ask, it is to best of my knowledge that regulators and manufacturers do not like their cargo doors opening in flight, and put various locks in place to prevent them from opening even if power is applied.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
Structural integrity-wise, as aicraft maintenance engineer, I will tell you that you won't have to worry about the lack of cargo door for continued flight, considered the situation

Putting my design engineers hat on, you are misguided. Some on us on here have multiple skills and depth of knowledge far exceeding their "face" value.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
A cargo door has a certain inertia, so if it becomes loose in ram air, it's not going to decelerate from 800km/h to 0 by the time hit hits the wing.

Where is your data for this ?

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
Do you really believe that sandwich panels and linings are going to hold your li-ion fire for 120 minutes, let alone 240, 280 minutes? Do you really believe that?

Who said this was a li-ion fire ?

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
To you, ripping a floor open would seem like a big deal, but it's not. Just spend a day on a C-check aircraft and see for yourself. It's just sandwich panels resting on the floor beams, they're very similar to wood panels.

We operate the largest fleet of A330/A340 aircraft in the world, I am very comfortable what the aircraft looks like with the floors and panels removed. I have been fortunate over the years to see and inspect these aircraft many times at the factory and during heavy maintenance.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
That way also, you could for instance, depending on where they're located, actuate the cargo door in-flight by bypassing the switches and deactivating logic switches (weight on wheel logic, etc...) , with the support of maintenance who could search in the manuals and tell you which wires you need to look for.

Tell me again, is this possible on the A330 ? And how long do you think this process would take ? I can have an aircraft down from the cruise to getting people off in under 10-20 minutes.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
For some reason, you wouldn't dare to open up the panels to identify the actual source and even attempt to cut shorted wires...

No we would not, we would be flying the aircraft with our smoke kit on. The voltages/current in the EE bay can kill someone, they are not designed for in flight access. If we had a fire, we would more likely be in a rapid descent, which could exceed 6-8000 fpm, the EE bay is not somewhere I would risk a person going even in smooth air. The risk is too great in my view.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
If it's a short-circuit and for some reason there is no C/B or it's not popping, you check the source of the fire, follow the wire and look for the markings on the wire and forward them to maintenance who can then tell you what plug to unplug or which wire to cut, and what other systems you're going to lose. If you don't have time, you could cut it first and later contact maintenance to ask what systems it can affect.

No, we would follow the established procedures which does not involve cutting wires, we isolate bleeds/packs/busses/generators in a logical fashion as per the published checklist. If necessary this checklist will revert the aircraft back to an emergency electrical configuration where all bar the absolutely essential busses are off.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
If you're ETOPS over ocean, time is not on your side.

Says who ?

Care to demonstrate a single event in an ETOPS aircraft which supports this ?

Quoting D L X (Reply 78):

Did they evacuate this plane before they opened the cargo hold?

No, they performed a precautionary disembarkation, i.e, bring the aircraft to a stop soon after landing and get people off via stairs. Only after people are off, the cargo door was opened. Normally (depending on the equipment available) they will scan the aircraft while pax are getting off looking for a heat source.The crew are at the ready to escalate the precautionary disembarkation into a full emergency evacuation if the situation changes. We prefer to do a precautionary disembarkation over a full emergency evacuation, as inevitably someone will sustain injuries in a full emergency evacuation.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
User avatar
neutrino
Posts: 1536
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:33 pm

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:22 am

Quoting barney captain (Reply 90):

Are you making an understatement?   
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 15692
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:37 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 88):
we need to separate LI-ion from Lithium batteries.. Li-ion can be suppressed with Halon.. other Lithium batteries can not.

The IATA DG regulations have had a number of amendments this year, http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/lithium-batteries.aspx.

We do not carry UN3090 (Lithium Metal Batteries).
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
Wisdom
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:43 pm

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:31 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 93):
The IATA DG regulations have had a number of amendments this year, http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/lithium-batteries.aspx.

We do not carry UN3090 (Lithium Metal Batteries).

1. Your link doesn't work
2. No one is going to comply with that kind of regulations
3. Remember that IATA DGR are guidelines seen as an accepted standard, that many airlines adopt but they aren't mandatory worldwide. IATA is a commercial vehicle and has no official mandate.

IATA now requires:
A Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods is required
Package requires Class 9 hazard label (Fig. 7.3.V [53rd Ed. / 54th Ed.])
Package requires gross weight to be marked on it
Package requires ID Number / Proper Shipping Name / Addresses

The problem is that you need a valid category 3. For the record, I have a valid category 6 with 98% result on the initial, so don't come selling me any approximations  

Category 3 training costs money and not every manufacturer will be eager to spend a Chinese employee's 2 months salary worth of training for one course, plus recurrent traiing. In addition, filling out the paperwork requires staff resources and that the company invests yearly in the latest version of the DGR manual, at quite a cost.
Shipping of DGR is 2 to 3 times more expensive as it is often limited in quantities and/or CAO, and requires verification from acceptance staff, plus special handling for load planning and actual loading.

Bottom line, you could do it if you're shipping medical radioactive materials with a high cost, but is it really an option for cheap Lithium-Ion batteries? NO! It's unrealistic.
Shipping Lithium-ions by sea is also not realistic as Lithium-Ion has a shelf-life limit of 3 years. You can't waste 10% of that into logistics going from manufacturer storage, to distributor and to the retailer storage.

Even if they start X-raying every shipment for any lithium-ions, you still have laptops, cell phones and now more and more car batteries that need to be shipped.

Finally, even if they are shipped legally like in UPS 6 and Asiana 991, they still are a huge risk.


The only thing they can do is to figure out how to transport lithium-ions safely, efficiently and affordably.
 
peterjohns
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:49 am

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:45 am

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 94):
The only thing they can do is to figure out how to transport lithium-ions safely, efficiently and affordably.

Boeing just showed us how to do it. They put them in a next thing to a safe!!
 
Wisdom
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:43 pm

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:53 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 91):
Quoting Wisdom (Reply 71):
That way also, you could for instance, depending on where they're located, actuate the cargo door in-flight by bypassing the switches and deactivating logic switches (weight on wheel logic, etc...) , with the support of maintenance who could search in the manuals and tell you which wires you need to look for.

Tell me again, is this possible on the A330 ? And how long do you think this process would take ? I can have an aircraft down from the cruise to getting people off in under 10-20 minutes.

I did the research and it's pretty easy.



You remove the lining that is fastened with velcro and quick-release fasteners and you can access the locking and latching mechanism. If you can't achieve enough torque, you hack into the aluminium links holding the locks in place one by one then manually unlock the locks.
You remove the lining by the switch, then hack a small opening sideways into the extension box where the operating handle is lodged, to operate the opening/closing handle.


Child's play, 1 minute to gain access, 1 minute to figure it out and remove the linings, 2 minutes maximum to unlock and gain access. In 5 minutes you can be jettisoning containers.
A little practice would help reduce your time...

FYI, the documentation is for information only... you're welcome

[Edited 2013-04-27 05:57:50]
 
Wisdom
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:43 pm

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:00 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 91):
We operate the largest fleet of A330/A340 aircraft in the world, I am very comfortable what the aircraft looks like with the floors and panels removed. I have been fortunate over the years to see and inspect these aircraft many times at the factory and during heavy maintenance.

Fortunate about what? Isn't it obvious that pilots should spend time in the hangar?
When you had flight engineers, you would see them crawling around in hangars every now and then and often assisting in maintenance, especially electricity. When there was a fire in the E/E bay, they were the ones to go down there.

Nowadays, it seems that pilots expect the EICAS/ECAM to locate and extinguish the fire for them.
Isolating the short-circuit location may stop your short-circuit but again, how would you know that you stopped feeding the short-circuit if the EICAS/ECAM doesn't detect any issues? By looking at your amp-meter if uberhaupt fitted?

And while you're isolating your short-circuit, who's going to extinguish your fire?

EASA, FAA are you reading this?

[Edited 2013-04-27 07:01:10]
 
rcair1
Posts: 1147
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:04 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 87):
The Chevrolet Volt and Boeing 787 with it's explosive batteries were supposed to relieve us of our sins of using oil.

While the Volt is (questionably) about green, the 787 battery is about cost and size.
rcair1
 
AngMoh
Posts: 1074
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: Cargo Fire On Board SQ A 330, Diverted To BKK

Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:32 pm

It was stated in the local newspaper this morning that the fire originated in a passengers suitcase and was limited to 2 suitcases only.
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