Re: A/C on fire

Date:         03 Nov 98 02:05:49 
From:         jrp59@gte.net (Ron Parsons)
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In article <airliners.1998.1722@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "Richard Rea"
<rrea@xmission.com> wrote:

>After pondering the Value-Jet and Swissair crashes (and other similar,
>aircraft fires leading to loss of control) I wonder if it wouldn't be
>prudent to plan to "crash-land" the aircraft.  The pilot would have to get
>down as fast as possible and in an area that would hopefully would give some
>measure of survivability.  But going low and slow enough might give the
>option of continuing on to the nearest airport or else crash in control if
>the situation rapidly deteriorates.  Is this a viable consideration?

A few years back a DC-10 in Europe attempting to land with a fire on board
did just that.

There were some survivors. The flight attendants reported that they were
unable to evacuate most of the passengers due to them already being dead
in their seats from smoke.

For what it's worth, aircraft are constructed of two main ingredients,
aluminum and PVC (polyvinylchloride). When PVC burns, it gives off
chlorine gas, which was one of the gases banned for further warfare use
after WWI.

Flight crews are provided with smoke hoods these days and they are even
available commercially for individuals, but so far not required equipment
for passengers.

The smell you are familiar with as electrical smoke, is overheated PVC
used as insulation on the wiring. Virtually the entire cabin interior is
constructed from PVC materials.

Ron