Page 9 - InterPilot Vol 2 No 3
P. 9


Captain Lee moak, president of
the air Line pilots association,
addresses attendees at the
60th air Safety forum.

mercial or cargo aircraft from being
completely filled with lithium bat-
teries. In such cases, the aircraft’s
crew will receive a Notice to Captain
(NOTOC), which is of little use in the
case of an actual thermal runaway.
A NOTOC will not keep the process
from happening and does nothing
to mitigate the risks to crew, pas-
sengers, and the aircraft.
The FAA has been performing
tests over the last decade to simu-
late thermal runaway in an effort to
analyze different factors such as
airflow patterns within the aircraft,
pressurized and unpressurized con- Photo courtesy of Christoph Schewe
figurations, and aircraft fire expo-
sure ( Panelist Jonathan grated head-up displays (HUDs) and pilots’ training in the simulator is usually
Greene (AkroFire Inc.) presented a very coolant gel that absorbs temperatures from done with white smoke and no real visual
interesting approach to packaging solutions: thermal runaways. From a pilot’s perspec- impairment, and is usually only triggered to
using special fill materials that suppress tive, the technology solutions need to be get into a checklist. How many times do
thermal reactions inside the packaging layered and the risks fully understood by pilots actually land with their oxygen masks
boxes. the industry. There should be one level of on while training in a simulator? How many
Panelist Capt Bob Brown (UPS) gave attend- safety for all operations, both cargo and times are training pilots allowed to remove
ees insight into the work the UPS/IPA task passenger. the masks for comfort as soon as the check-
force has done - a task force created after list is completed or even beforehand? The
the UPS 6 accident in DXB in 2010. One of ‘Smoke in the CoCkpit – Where NTSB has been issuing a recommendation
the main facets of their work is the combi- SeCondS matter’ since 1978 for a full face oxygen mask, but
nation of two safety features on UPS flights: The next panel – ‘Smoke in the Cockpit - how often are combination masks still being
the full face oxygen mask and the Emer- Where Seconds Matter’ – focused on the used in today’s flight decks? Another rec-
gency Vision Assurance System (EVAS). The actual situation in the cockpit once the crew ommendation the NTSB has issued is tacti-
checklist design was also changed following detects smoke/fire. A short review of the cal training with the oxygen mask. You may
the accident, in order make it clearer and UPS 6 flight was presented. The flight con- only have one chance to get it right so it’s
easier to work with (numbered icons, condi- trols were compromised 2 minutes after the imperative that a pilot know exactly how to
tion and confirmation steps). In addition, fire warning sounded in the cockpit and put it on, set the flow to 100%, and clear any
the airline is conducting research with Fire only 3 minutes after the alert, the cockpit smoke out of the mask.
Containment Cover (FCC) manufacturers had completely filled with smoke. The cap- Another valid point was made about the
and Unit Loading Devices (ULDs) on fire tain’s oxygen mask was not working prop- accessibility of emergency equipment from
suppression. FCCs cover high-energy ship- erly so he (likely) left his seat in order to your pilot’s seat (possibly without losing
ments and unknown palletized freight and retrieve another mask from the back. The your oxygen mask). In 2008, the FAA stated
demonstrate a 1500°F temperature resist- FO had no sight of the Primary Flight Dis- that the emergency equipment should be
ance over 4 hours, while fire-suppressant play or Navigation Display and the aircraft attainable by any pilot from their seated
ULDs can contain a class A fire for 4 hours. eventually went down near a remote mili- position. In how many aircraft is this a real-
Today, there are over 2,000 fire-resistant tary base near Dubai International Airport ity?
ULDs in use. Unfortunately, they are not (DXB), while attempting a landing at Sharjah
mandatory and many airlines will choose to International Airport (SHJ). emergenCy reSponSe
ignore these for weight and cost benefits. The NTSB performed numerous tests in Next came a panel on ‘Responding to the
Capt Rich Hughey (FedEx) presented their facilities in ANC and SEA. The smoke Emergency – Using All the Tools’, focused
research that his company has been sup- that persisted during the UPS accident was on the reactions and training of flight crews
porting: main deck fire-suppression sys- black, sooty, and its particles and toxins dealing with an emergency. The emphasis
tems, and full face oxygen masks with inte- filled the flight deck quickly. In comparison, was kept on Crew Resource Management 
the Safety and technical Journal of IFALPA | InterPilot Vol 2 | No 3 | October 2014
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