Re: 777 fire? (fwd)

From:         Pete Mellor <>
Date:         20 Jul 96 15:56:05 
References:   1
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(Before anyone jumps on me, let me say that I have seen the message
pointing out that durian was *not* responsible for the B777 incident.
I just thought you might be interested.)

In Article <airliners.1996.1064@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "Richard A.
Muirden" <richard@rmit.EDU.AU> wrote:

>The fruit is Durian. I don't know how anyone can eat it as it really smells

"Smells like hell, tastes like heaven." as they say in Malaysia. (I gave
a short course there last year, followed by a holiday.)

Durian is large (about the size of a football) and has a hard rough
segmented skin (a bit like that on a pineapple, but greenish in colour).
Its flesh is white and creamy (rather like a lychee) and is also segmented,
with many seeds, each about the size of a hazelnut and surrounded by its
own layer of flesh.

It grows on impressively high trees, and when ripe it drops to the ground
and pongs. The smell seems to be part of its breeding adaptation, since
it attracts apes from miles away in the forest to eat it and scatter the
seeds. On the island of Borneo, orang-utans are particularly fond of it.
Unfortunately, one needs to be an orang-utan to stand the smell, which is
indescribable, although it did remind me of the time the farmer next to
our house spread several tons of ripe pig-muck on his field.

> Carrying Durian is a problem, as it has a very high moisture
>content which affects the smoke detectors in all aircraft. Over the years
>there have been several false fire warnings caused by Durian.  Because of
>this, airline companies have special procedures for carrying Durian, such
>as only in certain baggage holds and wrapped up in plastic.

Interesting! I was wondering how durian managed to get transported
anywhere (having seen it on sale in London). In Malaysia, in every hotel
there are signs warning guests that taking durian into the rooms is banned,
and I believe it is actually illegal to take one onto a bus.

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