Re: A320 comments

From:         Pete Mellor <>
Date:         13 Oct 95 12:38:18 
References:   1 2 3 4
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>For an emergency landing, is it ever desireable to dump excess fuel to reduce
>the possibility or extent of a fire?  Would it make a difference or is fuel
>dumping only for reducing the landing weight?

Some time ago, I mentioned on "airliners" an accident that was referred to
in a reader's letter to a newspaper, without much detail other than that
it was an East German aircraft. Nobody commented, however.

According to the letter, the aircraft dumped fuel before landing, but
was placed on the stack. Due to peculiar weather conditions (hot and with
a temperature inversion) the fuel vaporised and hung around in a cloud.
On its next circuit of the stack the aircraft flew into the cloud of its
own vaporised fuel, which its engines ignited, causing an explosion and
loss of the aircraft.

Is this a feasible accident scenario, or another urban myth?

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability,
City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB
Tel: +44 (171) 477-8422, Fax.: +44 (171) 477-8585,
E-mail (JANET):