UPS To Retrofit Air
Fleet With Full Facemasks For Pilots
By Mike Mitchell
1, 2011 - UPS announced it would retrofit the cockpits of
its air fleet with quick-donning, full-face oxygen masks
with integrated smoke goggles. Installation of the enhanced
pilot safety equipment comes at the recommendation of the
Joint UPS-Independent Pilots Association (IPA) Safety Task
comes after a UPS Airlines Flight 6 which was a cargo flight
operated by UPS Airlines crashed. On September 3, 2010, a
Boeing 747-400 flying the route between Dubai International
Airport and Cologne Bonn Airport crashed close to Dubai
airport, killing the two crew members.
aircraft had departed Dubai International earlier, but
returned after reporting smoke in the cockpit. It was the
first fatal air crash for UPS Airlines. The crash caused an
examination of safety procedures protecting airliners from
in April UPS had announced it would equip its air fleet with
the Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS),
becoming the first international air carrier to take such a
event of smoke in the cockpit, EVAS helps maintain a pilot?s
critical field of vision by displacing the smoke with a
transparent Inflatable Vision Unit (IVU). ?EVAS allows
pilots to see their flight path, vital instruments and
perform the key tasks of flying in dense-smoke situations,?
said Bertil Werjefelt, the president of Vision Safe, which
manufactures the device. ?It?s a real safety enhancement and
we?re very pleased to be working with UPS Airlines.?
?Safety is an absolute priority for our employees, our customers? shipments and our aircraft,? said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols. ?These facemasks will be an important inclusion in our cockpit safety environment. That is why we continue to adopt solutions like these facemasks to further augment the safe operation of our airline.?
Installation on UPS?s Boeing 747-400, MD-11, B-767 and B-757 fleets is expected to take place over the next 24 months, beginning with the MD-11 and 747 fleets. The UPS Airbus A-300 fleet is already equipped with integrated masks.
new, one-piece facemasks can be put on with one hand in just
three seconds, five times faster than the separate oxygen
mask and smoke goggle units currently on most aircraft. The
new masks meet performance standards for protective
breathing equipment established by the Federal Aviation
Administration and offer a better fit for crewmembers who
full-face equipment is manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace, a
French conglomerate whose Eros oxygen equipment is used by
many carriers, including UPS.
last fall, the UPS-IPA Joint Safety Task Force has been
researching strategies and technologies for improving flight
safety. Focused primarily on in-flight fire mitigation, the
group has worked extensively with the FAA, aircraft
manufacturers, safety vendors and other industry experts.
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