View Full Version : Loose screw caused AF 777 cockpit fire

27th Oct 2004, 17:33
Blaze sparked by loose screw

Jet was forced to land in Churchill

A loose screw caused a cockpit fire that forced an Air France flight to make an emergency landing in Churchill two years ago. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its report earlier this week about the Oct. 17, 2002, incident.

The Air France Boeing 777 -- with 172 passengers, 17 crew and one pet chimpanzee on board -- was en route from Paris to Los Angeles when passengers and cabin crew smelled a funny odour in the cabin.


The captain of the plane went to investigate the smell, and while he was gone a fire broke out in the cockpit.

The fire, which burned for about two minutes before being extinguished by crew members, cracked the windshield -- forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Churchill.

No one on board was hurt, but many of the passengers got in some unexpected polar bear sightseeing.

The TSB's report shows the fire started when a polysulphide adhesive in a terminal block of the windshield's built-in anti-fog and anti-ice system was ignited.

The report stated a connector screw that was supposed to have been torqued to between 25 and 30 inch-pounds was only tightened to five inch-pounds, causing the terminal to overheat two months prior to the Churchill incident.

At the time, the plane had only been in service for a month. The report stated the plane was likely delivered to Air France with the loose screw.

Air France put off repairing the terminal because a computer glitch indicated the parts weren't available when in fact they were, according to the report.

During the first incident, the solder joint at the connector degraded as a result of resistive heating due to the loose screw. Because the solder connection was compromised, electrical arcing occurred during the Churchill flight, which created enough heat to spark the fire, said the report.

Link to Winnipeg Sun article (http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/WinnipegSun/News/2004/10/24/682724.html)

27th Oct 2004, 20:31
my personal opinion:
To me it's getting amazing how many times a T7 is involved. Everything worked out ok at the end, but so many in- and accidents is not ok.
Today again a JAL with a cracked window (at the captains site) and all the others written here on the board and probably some we don't know...
It's one of the most beautifull planes, but with a lot of habbits...

27th Oct 2004, 21:13
Had similar on B747-200 recently. Document placed in corner of windscreen scorched. Appeared to be caused by high resistance contact developing at window heat terminal.