reltney wrote:What is a NK?
aa87 wrote:Finally, my $64K question - how many of you could tell the difference between condensation vapor and white smoke from an ACM overheat ? In my seat, would you have just assumed (like all other pax, apparently) that it was harmless condensation, not white smoke ?
YYZatcboy wrote:You did the right thing. Bringing up a possible safety concern is perfectly acceptable, and once the FA's confirmed it was fine you sat down. Sounds like the right thing to me.
aa87 wrote:On NK524 today (A321, FLL-EWR) I made a complete fool of myself and probably risked a federal charge. Curious ?
Completely normal and brisk taxi to 10L. Held for about 10 min. for 3 inbounds. Weather was great, overcast about 70 degrees. Seconds before we roll to take the active, suddenly a huge amount of white smoke starts pumping from the side vents, in a pulsating manner. Dissipated then even more smoke, and by now we were rolling onto the active. I was with my wife and small kids, me on the aisle (Row 19). No one at all seemed to notice or be concerned, and I had about 2 seconds to decide if it was condensation or an ACM overheat and possible fire. I jumped up took a few steps towards the back and yelled at the FAs "we have smoke coming from the vents !". They yelled at me to sit down, which I did. A pax 2 rows back (a rabbi, irrelevant but comic relief) said to me " its OK, its just condensation". As we continued to roll it dissipated and stopped. After t/o, an FA came on and said that was condensation and no need for concern.
In 40 years I've never seen that. 35 years ago on an AA DC-10 I did see an in flight ACM overheat, and same exact thing - white smoke billowing from side vents. And an FA running towards the front with a fire extinguisher.
So, every other pax thought I was nuts or a nervous flier. I've never done anything like that before. More than feeling silly, I regretted possibly causing concern from other PAX and I have no criticism of the crew (NK crew are all amazing in my experience). If we'd been in taxi or line up, I would have pushed the call button. But w a few seconds to choose to act or do nothing, I acted. I wanted to be certain the FAs saw this (I couldn't see the FAs up front). My rabbi friend assumed or possibly knew better than me, but I remember Swissair 111 in particular and quite a few other tragedies (Air Canada in CVG, ValueJet, which departed FLL with fire already active in the cargo bay) that might have had a better outcome if someone yelled something sooner.
Well, better to be a public idiot for a day than wonder why I didn't say anything as smoke fills the cabin on climbout.
Finally, my $64K question - how many of you could tell the difference between condensation vapor and white smoke from an ACM overheat ? In my seat, would you have just assumed (like all other pax, apparently) that it was harmless condensation, not white smoke ?
deebee278 wrote:. Thank you ! Yes that's exactly the kind of thing I was worried about. And I have poor sense of smell and it wasn't near me, so no way to know. And it really was a lot of vapor that appeared suddenly.Fast forward to where I was an MD80 Captain climbing out of DFW. The vapor almost looked the same but it had a strange, sweet smell to it. We declared an emergency and landed. Oil from the APU had wandered into the air conditioning.
santi319 wrote:. Yes this also occurred to me since it started moments before taking the active. They clearly were starting no. 2, but again I had about 5 seconds to decide to jump up or do nothing. And I know modern Airbus and Boeings have warning sensors for everything, but that didn't help Swissair 111. Maybe I just know too much, but not enough ...Sidenote this may explain - NK is a lowcost and I believe their policy is to shut the APU when turning the plane, they also taxi with one engine only (and pack 50-60 more people than a regular airline) so that may have to do with the extra warm cabin and condensation...
CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:The Swiss Air pilots knew they had a fire and delayed landing. I’ll dig up the TSBC report, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t an issue with any warnings or sensors not working properly that hid the severity of the event to the pilots.
CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:aa87 wrote:No one at all seemed to notice or be concerned, and I had about 2 seconds to decide if it was condensation or an ACM overheat and possible fire. I jumped up took a few steps towards the back and yelled at the FAs "we have smoke coming from the vents!" They yelled at me to sit down, which I did.
So, every other pax thought I was nuts or a nervous flier. I've never done anything like that before.
Regarding your last two paragraphs, just so you know there’s numerous different bells and whistles that would be going off in the flight deck if the what you saw was anything to be concerned with. The pilots would be working the issue by the time you jumped up to say something. They definitely would not be rolling down the runway headed to EWR.
Always a tough call to say something as a pax. Most pilots don’t want to hear it. Unless it’s a screw or something that’s unmistakably missing, you’re usually just not understanding how things work. Which is understandable. Just make sure you accept and trust the explanation provided by the crew, which you did.
AirbusA343 wrote:I just ignored it and said nothing because if it was bad I'm sure the FAs/other pax would have noticed.
aa87 wrote:AirbusA343 wrote:I just ignored it and said nothing because if it was bad I'm sure the FAs/other pax would have noticed.
Well, I was hoping this thread was over, and in general the replies made me feel a little better. Now you made me feel like an idiot all over again; but at least I didn't do this:
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