Re: ValuJet speculation

Date:         08 Dec 96 04:12:38 
From:         Reid Fairburn <>
References:   1 2
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At 02:27 AM 12/5/96, you wrote:
>In article <airliners.1996.2481@ohare.Chicago.COM>, fritzs@ohsu.EDU (Steven
E. Fritz) writes:
>|>      The transcripts of the ValuJet crash that came out in the newspaper here
>|> today suggest that the pilots may have opened the cockpit side windows to let
>|> out smoke.  There is the sound of rushing wind on the recorder.  They were
>|> around 9,000 feet.  Would there have been enough pressure difference and
>|> fresh oxygen from the open windows to draw fire and smoke rapidly from the
>|> passenger cabin forward to the cockpit, thus making the situation even worse
>|> as far as ability to control the aircraft?
>Good point.  It certainly would not have made it any better, assuming the
>smoke was continuously coming from the cabin.

Once upon a time, in a flight of two F-4s over the Sea of Japan, the lead
airplane started getting smoke into the cockpit from a smoldering
electrical fire somewhere in the side panels.  The cabin pressure was
dumped which resulted in a heavy trail of black smoke coming out of the
chin vent...this was not sufficient to get rid of the smoke so the back
canopy was blown off.  Immediately upon the exit of the canopy, fire rose
out of the front cockpit and went out the back cockpit to a distance of
around 50 ft. behind the airplane!!  This must have gotten the front
seaters attention as the ejection sequence was started right away...both
the back seater and the front seater got ejected out and chutes deployed,
lowering both guys into the sea of  Japan.  I think the back seater was
picked up with severe burns but the front seater who was limp in the chute
all the way down, was never seen again...apparently died from the
heat/burning and sank into the depths.  Ever since this time, i have been
very careful about venting smoldering fires and try to be ready for
anything that might happen when I do.  These guys had on oxygen masks.

>I wonder if the cockpit was supplied with the required smoke goggles???
>Of course, if the smoke was really thick, the only thing the goggles will
>do for you is to tell you your visibility really is zero.

They will also protect your eyes so that they can be used after you are
so lucky as to get rid of the smoke.  Blind pilots are somewhat useless.

Reid Fairburn
Creative Kingdom, Inc.