Starlionblue wrote:If there's anything that keeps pilots up at night, it's the thought of a cargo fire.
I hate to judge the dead. Pilots go to work intending to do the best they can. But in this case, it seems fairly clear that none of the flight crew had adequate situational awareness, and their CRM was atrocious.
A fire/smoke warning, especially in cargo, should be treated with extreme seriousness. An alarm may be spurious, but it may not be. Treat them all as authentic until proven otherwise. They spent four minutes dicking around when they could have turned immediately and maintained high speed all the way in. As the saying goes, "it's much more fun watching the plane burn while standing outside it, on the ground".
Depressurising would certainly have been an option, yes. It might have helped at least delay the spread slightly. But it was just one of many factors.
I don't know the L-1011, but in modern aircraft the cabin will depressurise completely on touchdown. However, some reading about the accident shows that the pressurisation system was on standby and thus the aircraft did not depressurise automatically. This was probably the final thing that doomed the passengers.
There isn't just one cause of course, but several. If you remove any of them, the accident would either not have happened at all, or would have been survivable.
- Dangerous goods in cargo and/or pax bags.
- Poor training.
- Poor CRM.
- Nonchalance in the face of a potentially lethal situation.
- Lack of urgency returning to the airport.
- Lack of urgency stopping and evacuating once on the runway.
- Unclear comms with ATC and cabin crew.
- Inadequate insulation material in the cargo hold.
- Depressurisation system on standby.
Of course, that's easy for me to say, at zero airspeed and zero altitude forty-two years later. It's very different when you're on the spot, and the industry has learned a lot since those days.
113312 wrote:There were many problems with crew communication and crew management that resulted in this accident becoming a teaching example. One of the many things that the F/E did incorrect was to mismanage the pressurization such that the airplane remained pressurized after landing. This made it impossible to open the doors. The Captain made many mistakes but one of the ones with fatal results was that he did not stop immediately on the runway. He passed all of the emergency vehicles that had to chase the plane to the point where it finally stopped. This allowed the fire to expand significantly.
Starlionblue wrote:The urge to vacate the runway and not block it is strong.
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