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Air Dolomiti ATR catches fire in Munich (25 Aug 2008)

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Air Dolomiti ATR catches fire in Munich (25 Aug 2008)

Old 26th Aug 2008, 10:33
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Thumbs down munich U/C fire

I suppose the prime aim is to emergency-evacuate as quickly as possible. I suppose some early-exiting able-bodied passenger who happened to grab an extinguisher on the way out could easily have beaten the fire services to it. Would that have been preferable in the circumstances? One kept wondering what was the temperature of the fuel tank above the fire. But the combination of passengers sauntering around the aircraft is frightening. A good bossy flight attendant with a megaphone was badly needed to speed things up. And the front escape system is surely an ankle breaker, although I suppose a damaged ankle is preferable to fear of being burnt. There are clearly lessons to be learned from this, as there was from the Manchester 73 fire years ago. So many people killed on an aircraft that never left the runway. As for the 60 seconds shown from the start of the film to the arrival of the fire trucks, I wonder what the response time was from the moment the crash button was struck by the controller. This film must be a teaching tool for all airlines.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 10:53
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Guppy - in a serious emergency needing people OUT, your cabin crew will not have time to BRIEF passengers..... Besides, remember that most have checked their common sense in with their bags!


"Excuse me sir, if I could have a moment to ask you to make sure your fellow passengers are kept together and moved away from the aircraft"

"Que?"

I rest my case fellah....
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:10
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Just one mistake after another.


Maybe things have changed since my day, but don't the crew tackle a wheel fire anymore? We had to train for that, but who knows these days.

Pax very near to the presumably very hot wheel as the first spray goes on. This is the most lightly moment of wheel fragmentation. Or has metallurgy changed as well.

What a mess.
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 11:36
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It took 22 posts but at last Loose Rivets has called it for what it was - a training video on how NOT to evacuate a burning aircraft. Chaos

ATR 72-200 has 2 Cabin Attendants. Once the engines have been shut down and the comms are completed, the FO should have left the cockpit via the emergency escape hatch and directed ops on the ground. Pax should have been directed at least 200 meters up wind of the a/c.

And yes, crew should have attacked the fire as there are at least 4 extinguishers on board.

The ATR is just below the regulation height that requires slides. However, I am amazed that no one was injured jumping out of the forward exit. Its at least a four foot drop.

How does a wheel well fire start during taxi out - brakes stuck on (or left on) maybe??
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Old 26th Aug 2008, 16:34
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Guppy - in a serious emergency needing people OUT, your cabin crew will not have time to BRIEF passengers..... Besides, remember that most have checked their common sense in with their bags!
You didn't happen to indicate if you've ever dealt with an aircraft fire or an evacuation. I have, both as a pilot and as a firefighter. Briefings are done before the engines turn, but as the airplane is being evacuated, directing passengers to exit the airplane toward the nose and get as far away as possible is certainly a function of conducting the egress.

The cabin crew, and in fact the flight crew, is still responsible for the passengers if they're at all physically able. This is a leadership function, and one must absolutely take charge.

When I signed on with one particular carrier several years ago, included in the groundschool was a live firefighting exercise in which every pilot had to extinguish fires by hand, dunk pools and raft control in the actual water, and lengthy classes and exercises on taking charge during an evacuation. It included specific direction, repeated over and over, loudly, firmly, and in a command voice to drop one's posessions, get clear, and run away.

When I have briefed passengers myself (on many occasions), I have always included direction to move as far away from the airplane as possible and not return for any reason. Passengers at exits are briefed on their special requirements in not only opening the exit, but helping others...that wasn't done here. People simply opened exits and began milling about.

I don't know if you've ever been in a mishap involving a crash or a fire. I have...and despite the confusion and a certain level of excitement (which certainly didn't appear to be the case here)...what occured in that video is far from the norm or what should be occuring.

And yes, crew should have attacked the fire as there are at least 4 extinguishers on board.
I disagree. Have you ever fought a fire? I have. Are you aware of the potential temperatures that a brake fire can reach, with magnesium wheel assemblies and burning metal...which requires a Class D extinguisher...and not the water/glycol extinguisher most commonly found in a cabin to extinguish burning interior materials? Putting an interior extinguisher on a brake fire could easily cause an explosion...and where a tire doesn't deflate with a thermal fuse, it can easily explode. Approaching the gear area during a fire should be left to professionals, to say nothing of the attire of the crew (often polyester or poly cotton...like wearing a giant matchbook)...really not something to wear to a fire. Attempting to put out a fire incorrectly can cause it to spread, make it worse, splash burning fluids or metals, cause an unwanted reaction, incite an explosion, spread the fire, or simply waste resources and make the situation worse for responders by giving them one more victim with which to deal.

Get the people clear, get them safe and secure, and let the airplane burn if it must. The airplane can be replaced. The people cannot.
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Old 27th Aug 2008, 11:11
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I recall being trained to mist the area...approaching from the front or rear. Not from the sides. Thermal shock from a wet product is just plain dangerous unless it is vital to stop the fire spreading to the main hull.

The thing is that the prop has to be stopped, so a little longer delay perhaps, but given the fire is correctly reported to the flight crew, then time is of the essence.

As far as I can make out, this fire was progressing steadily, and might have responded well to quick action while in its early stages.

After some years of experience, I always had a cunning plan to call on if a fire was reported. By this I mean a place and angle to turn to so that the fire was in a downwind position. Not always possible I know, but such a tremendous advantage if such a manoeuvre can safely be implemented.
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Old 27th Aug 2008, 11:43
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Can't help feeling folks are being a little overcritical about this evac.

There's only one Cabin crewmember at each end of the aircraft, so in the early stages you can't have somone controlling both outside and inside at both ends. On balance, retaining control inside is far more critical, better to have a large disorganised gaggle outside than a neat group of 3 or 4 outside and the rest inside dying.

By and large, people exited smoothly to the rear, and kept going. Some walked, some ran.

At the front, some moved away, some helped others out, which with those type 3 exits isn't a bad thing (as White Knight and I can testify to). Later on, although it looks like people are drifting back towards the fire, actually they are moving away from the aircraft, and towards the camera, crossing its field of view.

Getting out of the flight deck on the ATR isn't that easy either, so getting a pilot out in the early stages just isn't going to happen.

With 3 or four cabin crew, say a 737 or equivalent, you can have crew outside to organise. With an ATR thats just not going to happen.

What we see here is about as good as its going to get unless you happen to be carrying an unusual passenger load (e.g. all young and fit, or all military etc).

pb
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Old 27th Aug 2008, 17:37
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Guppy - you don't know it all buddy. I've been in the 'smoky cabin' simulator and put fires out - yawn!! Never needed to evacuate, I've always made it to the terminal...

Yes, you can brief the pax by the exits 'til you go blue in the face - but if they panic when an emergency happens - well, pointless 'innit? Anyway, in these days of youtube there's always going to be one or two who HEAD BACK TO THE FIRE to take a jolly video

Have you gone through an ATR hatch? I have and it's NOT EASY! Yes, the skipper is responsible - but where I work he's the LAST one out after making sure everyone else is!!

By the way - what is the temperature of burning magnesium wheel assemblies and burning metal? Spent many hours over the Indian Ocean trying to work that one out
Answers on a postcad to 'Super Guppy'
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Old 27th Aug 2008, 22:15
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Originally Posted by SNS3Guppy
Passengers at exits are briefed on their special requirements in not only opening the exit, but helping others...that wasn't done here.
As long-legged SLF, I frequently ask for exit seats.

I'm usually asked whether I'm prepared to open the door in emergency.

I've never been briefed about helping others, nor has anything about whether I should just get out and **** off or hang around to help others ever been mentioned - nothing other than opening the door. From memory, this goes for BA, Lufthansa, EasyJet, Olympic and Air France.

I hope I'd have the wit to direct pax away from the plane if the need arose. But it'd be entirely on my own initiative.
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Old 27th Aug 2008, 22:21
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Nostrinian - I'm not angry, I'm having a laugh Shame if you don't see that!!

Indeed wheel fires are serious - but I'll tell you what.. I'd rather have had a wheel fire on the ground like this when I was FLYING ATR's than a cabin fire over the middle of the ocean in what I fly now. Sadly Guppy is mistaken in thinking that pax are qualified, after a short briefing to act like policemen or firemen. That my friends is patently NOT the case. In fact, there are MANY documented cases of the so-called trained cabin crew 'losing it' during an emergency...

So anyway - what is the temp of that flaming magnesium
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 04:23
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White Knight

Hi White Knight,

From the depths of Wikipedia, regarding your rhetorical question:

Incendiary use: Magnesium is flammable, burning at a temperature of approximately 2500 K (2200 C, 4000 F), and the autoignition temperature of magnesium is approximately 744 K (473 C, 883 F) in air. The extremely high temperature at which magnesium burns makes it a handy tool for starting emergency fires during outdoor recreation.
I hope this helps you on your next Indian Ocean quest!

Tyres exploded, when brakes are on fire, and will be extremely harmful to any pax going near it, with a little fire extinguisher. Stay away and get away from the aircraft is good enough!
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 04:58
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I've been in the 'smoky cabin' simulator and put fires out - yawn!!
I've not done it in a simulator, but I have done it on the line with a burning airplane, and in a burning building, and in a burning forest. I can imagine it's not quite like a "simulator." Simulators don't explode, you see. I'm sure you've contemplated that on your long overwater legs, too.

You've probably never seen the air around you begin to burn (flashover), had the air in your SCBA tank so hot it was painful to breathe, your mask crazed over and bubbled from the heat, or the rubber and the nomex around your face and head melted. I have. And it's not something that incites a yawn. Believe me.

Have you gone through an ATR hatch?
Nope. In fact, I can't recall ever having even ridden in one as a passenger. It's not really relevant, though.
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 05:24
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Some facts concerning this incident with regards to www.mucforum.de

- LH 3390, I-ADLM, MUC-BOA
- Aicraft was ordered by ATC to abort Takeoff due to insufficient separation to the following, landing aircraft (completely inacceptable, had it myself one at MUC)
- Aircraft leaves RWY 08R via B12
- Tower informs about smoke from aircraft and calls RFF
- From the alert until 'fire out' it took exactly 2 Minutes, fire station about 1,5 km away (between S3 and S4)

Entire Thread (in german) here...

Regards MAX
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 06:51
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Guppy - it's your astronaut abilities that incite the yawn, and the fact that you think all passengers who've had a 30 second briefing became good 'egress workers'...
My point about the sim is that although I've done it (yes, without flashovers, dripping nomex etc) most of your average pax haven't so won't have the faintest idea just how disorientating it can be in thick smoke.. Or even in no smoke because they'll be generally going into some kind of shock when things don't go as planned.. Remember, flying frightens the sh1t out of many people.

As for the ATR hatch - well, you did comment that one of the crew should be first out to organise things on the ground... I'm just saying that it's not always easy! The ATR's I flew had 2 pilots and 2 cabin crew - one by the back door and one by the front emergency exit. They were BOTH required to remain on board to direct pax out of the exits - using loud commanding voices (didn't want to forget that), the pilot's both have checklists to run and decisions to make, that by the time they're done and get around to 'egressing' the evacuation of 66 pax (72) or 48 (42) will be finished.. And fire services may not be there for 60 seconds. And you are STILL surprised that things look messy
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 06:56
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Guppy - it's your astronaut abilities that incite the yawn, and the fact that you think all passengers who've had a 30 second briefing became good 'egress workers'...
My point about the sim is that although I've done it (yes, without flashovers, dripping nomex etc) most of your average pax haven't so won't have the faintest idea just how disorientating it can be in thick smoke.. Or even in no smoke because they'll be generally going into some kind of shock when things don't go as planned.. Remember, flying frightens the sh1t out of many people.

As for the ATR hatch - well, you did comment that one of the crew should be first out to organise things on the ground... I'm just saying that it's not always easy! The ATR's I flew had 2 pilots and 2 cabin crew - one by the back door and one by the front emergency exit. They were BOTH required to remain on board to direct pax out of the exits - using loud commanding voices (didn't want to forget that), the pilot's both have checklists to run and decisions to make, that by the time they're done and get around to 'egressing' the evacuation of 66 pax (72) or 48 (42) will be finished.. And fire services may not be there for 60 seconds. And you are STILL surprised that things look messy
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 07:30
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Guppy - it's your astronaut abilities that incite the yawn,
I'm glad my blue collar experience floats your boat. I wouldn't have thought to equate it to being an astronaut...but as you wish.

Remember, flying frightens the sh1t out of many people.
Yeah. Me too.

As for egress, it's just not rocket science to make sure every person out the door knows they have one mission in life; run as far away as possible. Say anything you want...stop, drop and roll. Just go. Run for your life. Head toward the big tree. Go anywhere but the fire...

Anytime a large gaggle of passengers saunters back into the fire...that's a bad egress. I don't care what kind of excuses you want to throw out there. You had a hard time getting out of the cockpit. You're understaffed. You've had a bad day. You're not paid enough. You have an ingrown toe nail. You were lost in thought over the Indian Ocean. When passengers start strolling back to the airplane and in particular the fire, something's seriously wrong.

From the point of view of the PIC, you're still responsible for those passengers, even if you're having a hard time extricating yourself from the "hatch."

Stop yawning long enough to quit making excuses and take charge. Perhaps if you'd been a little more impressed, and spent less time sleeping in the "simulator", you might be a little more motivated to coordinate those passengers. Point here...stop making excuses and make it happen.
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 08:23
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Guppy, from one who has a few fires and emergencies (not aviation) on the old CV, spot one!
White Knight, I'll avoid your airline like burning magnesium. Leaders who focus on problems instead of solutions don't cut it with me.
Per
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 11:22
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thread intrusion ???

Not sure if this will help in the discussion about exiting a burning aircraft.

Once, when we were air-lifting some things, with a wild west type crew, our chopper lifted the cargo and when in transition, it lost a lot of altitude, enough for the under-slung cargo to start scraping the top of trees in the path.

Despite the load master yelling at those on the ground by 2 way to get away, we were so fixated, most of the people on the ground were moving nearer to the chopper struggling to gain height, instead of away from it, and possibly avoid getting killed. This is despite the hours and hours of training and the loadie screaming in the two way.

Anybody care to explain why the real world reaction is far from the learning and training ??
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 12:57
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White Knight, I'll avoid your airline like burning magnesium. Leaders who focus on problems instead of solutions don't cut it with me.
Perhaps ATR pilots should be required to demonstrate they can teleport.
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 15:30
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I'm not sure teleporting is in order, though it would certainly be a neat trick. More along the lines of "have your picture taken with the teleporting captain for ten bucks" or "Star Trek, Deep ATR 9, now featuring Captain Bob, the teleporting PIC." Still, a neat trick.

Ecureilx, we all have a certain fascination with disaster. Some years ago I had a very similiar experience with a helicopter having an emergency. I was on the ground underneath it, and didn't understand he was having an emergency until a short time later when facination ended and running took over.

We have lost a number of firefighters on wildland fires to burn-overs...fires which overtook them before they could reach safety. One thing which has been cited repeatedly is the need to drop one's equipment in order to reach safety. Firefighters have died with hand tools,chain saws, even cans of gasoline in hand. Those items are lifelines on the fireline, and firefighters are trained to hold on to them going up and down mountains in exploding conditions, so no great surprise that subconsciously they take a death grip on them when on the run...and it ends up killing them.

A great deal of effort has gone into trying to drill it into firefighters heads to drop their equipment and run when facing an impending burnover. A few years ago I read a report by a team leader who was involved in just such an event. As he ran for a safe zone, he began overtaking a member of his team who was being handicapped by a large chain saw. He could clearly see that the man wasn't even aware he had the saw, as he ran for the safe area. He took charge, yelled, struck the man, and physically ripped it from his hands.

It wasn't until they both arrived at the safe zone that he looked down in horror to find that the saw was now in his hands...and he's fallen prey to the same syndrome as the firefighter from whom he'd just taken the saw.

There's no doubt that in an emergency, be it a fire or otherwise, people may do unwise things, elect to take inexplicable actions, and behave to put it mildly, in an odd manner. Some panic, some are at their best, and perhaps the majority experience combinations of sensory overload or senses of time compression...slow motion, swimming in glue, etc.

It's for that reason that directions must be very simple and leadership is required to focus.

Every place I've ever been seated in an exit row, I've been specifically directed to open the exit and provide assistance to others in leaving the airplane. Every briefing I've given, regardless of the size of the airplane, and this includes small Learjets and King Airs too, has included the same direction. It's also always included the direction to leave the airplane and move as far away as possible in an emergency, and not return.

Complex directions are hard to follow. Hard to remember. Leadership includes refreshing the evacuation order in real time as people are going out the door. This is what a flight attendant does. This is the chief purpose of a flight attendant, and the single most critical job that person does; supervise and conduct an evacuation, or attend to passenger welfare in an emergency. "Hi, my name's Sally, and I'll be your personal evacuation coordinator today."

Whether passengers bother to read them or not, most briefing cards with which I'm familiar include instructions to help others, and it's something (in the US, certainly) that the passengers seated in exit rows must verbally agree to do before the airplane is able to push back...the flight attendant must verbally ask every person seated in an exit row to verbally acknowledge that they are willing and able to perform the functions listed on the card, which include opening the exit and providing assistance to others in leaving the airplane.

These are known as "force multipliers," or people who are able to assist the crew and expand their presence by providing some measure of help.

I went back as a result of this thread to review our own crew evacuation duties, and lo and behold...they include clear directions on ensuring the safety of the passengers outside the aircraft. One crewmember is directed to leave with the passengers and tend to their safety. Perhaps the operation in question has no such direction. The point of my comments here, and clearly those of others, is that this event should be seen as a learning experience; if things aren't done right, rather than making excuses, then let's see what wasn't done right and put it right.

That's not so hard, is it?
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