Re: A/C on fire

Date:         20 Nov 98 02:30:29 
From:         <adopt@argonet.co.uk>
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In article <airliners.1998.1744@ohare.Chicago.COM>, jrp59@gte.net (Ron Parsons) wrote:
>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.

>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.

Some years ago there was an accident at Manchester, GB where
the aircraft caught fire on the runway.  The many fatalities
were associated with the chemical volatiles(?) given off in
the smoke... not just chlorine.. but hydrogen cyanide..
Basically immediately fatal with little more than one part
lungful.

Forget crawling through smoke.. it doesn't happen.  Nearly
all 'fire fatalities', in the home as well as in aircraft,
are through poisonous gassing or, occasionally, asphyxiation,
not heat.

I think, (but don't know!), that smoke-hoods can be purchased
by the safety-conscious traveller...  Seem to recall that the
60/90 seconds of additional survivability could have prevented
most if not all fatalities in the Manchester type scenario.

There was much discussion about smoke hoods being made available
for all souls aboard an aircraft - not just certain crew members.
Cost of installation seemed to be a prohibitor.. probably still
is... but is this still under discussion.. CAA/FAA.. et al..??

In the event of on-board/in-flight fire do or should the fire/gas
detectors immediately release the separate oxygen/air supply as
in a sudden cabin de-pressurization?  Do wonder if such might have
helped in the Swissair and ValueJet tragedies...

Bill
ZFC

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