FAA - Airlines Must Reduce Incidents Of smoke In The Cockpit
By Daniel Baxter
October 8, 2010 -
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Accident
Investigation and Prevention (AVP-100) continue to receive over 900
reports a year on smoke or fumes in the cabin and or cockpit of
aircraft. Hence, air carriers and operators must place a greater
emphasis on finding new ways to identify areas susceptible to smoke or
may become susceptible to smoke.
Flight 6 was a cargo flight operated by UPS Airlines. On September 3,
2010, a Boeing 747-400 flying the route between
these reports on a daily basis. In fact, it is not unusual for the FAA
to receive more than one report during a 24-hour period. For instance,
on one day in April of 2010, five reports of smoke in the cockpit came
in from one Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
121 air carrier. All these incidents prompted the flightcrew to declare
emergencies and divert to the nearest airport.
materials and the composition of chemicals that are used in today?s
aircraft have a large degree of safety built in. However, regardless of
the safety devices/functions designed and built in, when any material or
chemical is heated, it will reach a flash or combustion point.
Everything has a temperature at which it will burst into flames. This temperature is called a material's flash point. Wood's flash point is 572 degrees Fahre?nheit (300 C). When wood is heated to this temperature, it releases hydrocarbon gases that mix with oxygen in the air, combust and create fire.
There are three components needed for ignition and combustion to occur. A fire requires fuel ?to burn, air to supply oxygen, and a heat source to bring the fuel up to ignition temperature such as a spark. Heat, oxygen and fuel form the fire triangle. Fire?fighters often talk about the fire triangle when they are trying to put out a blaze. The idea is that if they can take away any one of the pillars of the triangle, they can control and ultimately extinguish the fire.
Prior to open
flame there is smoke, a byproduct of combustion. In many cases the
failed system, circuit, component, part, or appliance, etc may over-heat
and smoke will find its way in to either the cockpit or cabin via the
environmental system. The air carriers and operators that have
experienced these problems are required to submit a report to the FAA
for smoke/fumes in the aircraft.
placed on various types of inspection programs that have been developed
to find problems before they become serious. In addition, the air
carriers are also required to have a Continuing Analysis and
Surveillance System (CASS) for the performance and effectiveness of its
inspection program and the program covering other maintenance,
preventive maintenance and alterations and for the correction of any
deficiencies in those programs.
with all the safe guards built into modern aircraft and the operational
requirements placed on the air carriers to maintain the aircraft in
accordance with the instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA), and
the operators continuous airworthiness maintenance programs (CAMP),
smoke/fumes in cabin/cockpits is still a serious problem.
After each smoke
incident/event, the FAA recommends that the air carrier or operator
should ensure that the company follows policies, procedures, and
instructions in accordance with its manuals. The FAA is requesting that
at each CASS meeting the air carriers and operators put special emphasis
on the smoke events data and track it separately for trend analysis.
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