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Cockpit Fire Diverts UA 757 to IAD

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Cockpit Fire Diverts UA 757 to IAD

Old 17th May 2010, 11:18
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Cockpit Fire Diverts UA 757 to IAD

Plane Diverted to DC Area After Fire in Cockpit

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 7:04 a.m. ET
CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) -- A United Airlines flight from New York made an emergency landing outside Washington after a fire broke out in the plane's cockpit, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The fire aboard the Boeing 757 was extinguished before the plane landed Sunday night and no injuries were reported, FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker said.
United Airlines spokesman Mike Trevino said the plane took off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport bound for Los Angeles and was diverted to Dulles International Airport, where it landed at 9:36 p.m. All 105 passengers and seven crew members got off safely, Trevino said. He did not have any other details.
Baker said the FAA was investigating the incident but to her knowledge, there was no criminal activity involved.
Passenger Phil Lobel, who has a public relations business in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that about 30 minutes into the flight he detected an electrical burning smell.
He said flight attendants began going over emergency instructions with passengers in the exit rows and someone brought up a fire extinguisher from the back of the plane to the cockpit.
Lobel said the plane landed within about 20 minutes and a half-dozen or more emergency vehicles met the aircraft in Virginia.
Afterward, Lobel said passengers who had seats in the front of the plane showed him photographs they took of flames in the cockpit. Some of the passengers on the flight were celebrities, he said.
About an hour after the plane landed, Lobel received an e-mail from United apologizing for the ''experience'' he had on the flight.
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Old 17th May 2010, 20:24
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Airline Cockpit Fire Prompts Emergency Landing

Investigators are looking into whether long-known problems with the heating system in a cockpit window of the Boing 757 played a role in a fire that forced an airliner to make an emergency landing near Washington, federal safety officials said Monday.

From: ABC News
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Old 18th May 2010, 02:32
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can you imagine some paper charts on the anti glare panel, near the windshield, somehow catching on fire from a faulty windshield heater?
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Old 18th May 2010, 03:14
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In the last few years, there have been a rash of Window Heat controllers shorting (supposedly due to design change by the manufacturer-crossthreading screws, and approval by the FAA), and starting smoke, even windshield shattering!

Here is a report about one particular flight with the similar problem:

757 safety concerns

American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said the captain reported smoke in the cockpit about two hours into the trip of Flight 1738. As the plane made its descent into the airport in Palm Beach, the inner window pane cracked and sprayed glass into the cockpit. The outer window pane was not damaged and the plane did not lose cabin pressure, she said.

She said a passenger and the first officer on the plane were taken to the hospital. Later, the captain and three flight attendants were also taken to the hospital.


This has been a problem on ALL 757's and some 767's!
You all be careful out there.
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Old 18th May 2010, 04:23
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Some airlines ban the use of metal clipboards because they not only scratch the windshield, but can short-out the heating elements.

Maybe one of 'em threw a metal clipboard up there.
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Old 18th May 2010, 08:10
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Where is the heating layer on these aircraft? Is it really on the inside of the multi ply glass??
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Old 18th May 2010, 08:42
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Most windscreens are layered (glass-vinyl-glass etc). The windshield heat element (anti-ice) is normally on the inside of the outer layer and the defog element on the outside of the inner layer. The electrical contacts are normally on the top side of the frame to avoid damage from objects such as clipboards and are normally fitted with plastic terminal covers and/or another trim cover.
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Old 18th May 2010, 09:09
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This has been a problem on ALL 757's and some 767's!
Now that is quite a statement. The 757 and 767 are about the only aircraft where I have not had problems with windows cracking due to window heat. Happened on all other types. But that is only in about 14 yrs, 8k hrs on type... And such problems have apparently not been so frequent in our fleet to warrant inclusion in information letters to the pilot group.
Could these issues be specific to a certain fleet? Are there more than one window manufacturer?
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Old 18th May 2010, 22:25
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related?

BBC NEWS | UK | BA plane in emergency evacuation


www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/bay/7267214/British-Airways-flight-makes-unscheduled-landing-after-pilot-discovers-fault.html
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Old 18th May 2010, 22:44
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So do not pile crap on the glareshield!How many times have you been told?I don't care what type you fly. 6
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Old 18th May 2010, 23:02
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On the B1B its a sputtered gold coating with a high current. (>25amps). Does the 757 use such a coating?
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Old 5th Jun 2010, 20:37
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UA 757 Cockpit Fire - Corrections

As a windshield designer I can assure you the 757 / 767 main pilot windshields are the same, regardless of type.

The heater film is within the laminate and not exposed, so a metal clipboard would not short it out, else anyone touching the window inside the cockpit would get a shock.

The film on the 757/767 is a Transparent oxide film not the old film technology of the B1B which was indeed gold, light transmission is greater on this oxide film than the gold and as a civil plane no need for EMC capabilities.

If the power is turned off to the windshield any fire would self extinguish - which Boeing have issued in a safety bulletin but this appears to be the last thing on their minds when it happens in flight and using an extinguisher to put out the fire quickly, although this does not always work as the power is still on.

The fire starts from the flight cycling of the terminal connection screws on the aircraft wiring loom, this can loosen and cause the terminal to arc. The arcing generates such heat that the internal contacts within the windshield can melt and also start to arc (although there are different windshield manufacturers and the ones in the news are all by the same OEM - see NTSB report for cockpit fire over Canada in 2007) this will continue whilst the power is on, the heat generated is that great it can cause the glass ply to shatter when put under loading stresses, such as the UA757, the ply only broke when the plane started to decend towards final approach.

There is a Boeing design change for the aircraft wiring loom but this requires a mod kit and if an airline has not had installation problems would de-prioritise this. As the FAA have not made it an AD then it is not mandatory to change the connections. Although the new designed 777 and 747 windows have a connection which will stop insufficient torque from aircraft installation side or working loose during flight cycles.

nuff said I think
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Old 7th Jun 2010, 05:52
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Nicely written Windshieldman!

It seems that people who know what they are talking about are becoming a rare bread on PPRuNe ...
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 19:37
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Final PC Released 14Mar2011

Re' UA27 / 16May2011, flaming area just forward of Capt's position, diverted to IAD, P.C. available
ENG10IA029

the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
The ignition of the J5 power terminal located on the captain’s No. 1 windshield due to a loose electrical connection between the terminal connector lug and its respective terminal block. The loose connection resulted from a missing lock washer that allowed the resistance in the electrical path to increase sufficiently to generate high enough temperatures to ignite the terminal block.

Contributing to the probable cause was the lack of instructions to ensure the lock washer was installed in the J5 power terminal block in the Boeing 757 aircraft maintenance manual (AMM).

Additionally, contributing to the incident was the deferral of the related maintenance write-up before the incident, which resulted from information in the United Airlines AMM that stated, “When bus bar(s) show signs of blackening or burning, the condition is acceptable for continued service, although the window must be replaced within 50 flight-hours.
Prior flight had experienced problems with the same system (Windshield Heat to L1 windscreen panel) -- Mx then responded by releasing the next flight with that defect deferred -- and the Windshield HEAT still operating.

?? --- Funny, the source of that UA- Mx deferral was NOT any MEL, nor the MMEL, nor any UAL- derived MEL. Instead, NTSB cites the source of Maintenance deferral as UA's AMM. The NTSB's "final" doesn't comment on legality of such a non-MEL deferral .

***=== > I
s there some new method available to an airline, to ignore the MMEL, and merely cite the company's customized-AMM as the source for deferral (with no pilot cross-check to verify the item as a permissible exception to certificated-equipment explicitly listed in an MEL)?

Checking the B757 MMEL, Chapter 30, item 41-1, does permit a deferral with the inoperative #1 Window Heat, but the remark #4 states that the associated Windshield HEAT must be deactivated.

The NTSB's "final" also mentions some interesting motion-induce problems during fire-fighting, where the pilot's attempts to extinguish the fire [moving inside the cockpit to grab the Fire Extinguisher] twice stripped the pilot's O2-Mask & smoke Goggles from his face:
ENG10IA029
... shortly after the airplane had leveled off ... 36,000 feet. ... captain and first officer heard a hissing sound and saw smoke emanating from below the glare shield. ... “within a couple of seconds,”... he saw flames emanating from the top of the glare shield.... the smoke was not thick but that it was acrid. The captain got a burning sensation in his eyes and nose ...

... the captain, he got out of his seat because flames were in front of him and he needed to immediately reach the Halon bottle (fire extinguisher). The extinguisher was not reachable from his seat because it was located on the back wall of the cockpit behind his seat. As he reached for the Halon bottle, his oxygen mask and goggles were “torn off” because he moved beyond the reach of the oxygen mask hose. He retrieved the Halon bottle, re-donned his mask and goggles, and discharged the bottle. After he emptied the Halon bottle, the fire went out momentarily, but it re-ignited after a few seconds. His oxygen mask came off again when he opened the cockpit door to receive another Halon bottle from a flight attendant. He discharged the second Halon bottle at the fire, and it went out. ... first officer ... turned all four window heat switches off shortly after the fire re-ignited. After the fire was extinguished ...

Last edited by IGh; 16th Mar 2011 at 02:46.
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Old 16th Mar 2011, 19:09
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If the power is turned off to the windshield any fire would self extinguish - which Boeing have issued in a safety bulletin but this appears to be the last thing on their minds when it happens in flight and using an extinguisher to put out the fire quickly, although this does not always work as the power is still on.
He discharged the second Halon bottle at the fire, and it went out. ... first officer ... turned all four window heat switches off shortly after the fire re-ignited. After the fire was extinguished ...
Well there we are. Lesson learned. I'll make that a "Note to Self" just in case

Is there some new method available to an airline, to ignore the MMEL, and merely cite the company's customized-AMM as the source for deferral (with no pilot cross-check to verify the item as a permissible exception to certificated-equipment explicitly listed in an MEL)?
Does an AMM has "repair time frames" such as the categories (A, B, C & D) on a MEL?
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Old 16th Mar 2011, 21:30
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An older type....
L1011.
Two inches thick, six layers, four poly, one heating sandwiched in between, one tempered glass on the outside for abrasion resistance...and curved, retaining optical clarity.
Yes, arcing can occur, mainly due to poor conductivity at the wiring heat source or a faulty heat controller, and normally, the outer layer shatters (sounds like a rifle shot...wakes everyone UP) and then...press on...NO altitude nor pressurisation restrictions.
You can (and I have personally, during a demo...long ago, whilst on a test stand) fire a .45 caliber bullet from ten feet away, and....the bullet penetrated the poly and, did not go through.

Very tough.
Stronger than the airframe surrounding, absolutely.

Must be seen to be believed.
Of course, these windows are made in America...can't say about others...
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Old 16th Mar 2011, 23:59
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There are permitted discrepancies in the AMM which will normally have a repair limit i.e flight cycles or hours. Common in SRM [STRUCTURAL REPAIR MANUAL] and also for engine limits , i.e cracks/erosion etc. These are not MEL as they dont affect operation of equipment . I assume in the case quoted the manufacturer believed the operation of the windshield heat was ok in this condition , so not an MEL item . Guess they'll all be having a rethink on this now !
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Old 17th Mar 2011, 21:22
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mentioned by bvcu, on the 16th, regarding Maintenance corrective action (deferral) of a BURNT Terminal Block for Pilots Windshield HEAT:
"... permitted discrepancies in the AMM which will normally have a repair limit i.e flight cycles or hours ... These are not MEL ... I assume in the case quoted the manufacturer believed the operation of the windshield heat was ok in this condition , so not an MEL item ..."
Not the manufacturer. From the NTSB report, it seems that UA had somehow migrated some wrong words into their company's customized-AMM -- but nobody questioned the obvious err included in the company's AMM:
"... United Airlines AMM ... “When bus bar(s) show signs of ... burning, the condition is acceptable for continued service ..."
The next flight departed with the same problem, and with the defective HEATER still powered. Seems someone should have challenged the company's erroneous AMM, and especially that corrective action (deferral) done by company Mx.

No big deal in this case, but over the past seven decades, the biggest risk during an inflight fire was LOSS OF CONTROL -- and this case could easily have progressed to a typical airliner upset.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 04:37
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To be sure, these types have been in service for decades before this recurring problem arose, methinks a faulty supplier??
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 08:06
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You can (and I have personally, during a demo...long ago, whilst on a test stand) fire a .45 caliber bullet from ten feet away, and....the bullet penetrated the poly and, did not go through.
Any particular reason for a bullet-proof windshield, 411A?
Perhaps a pigeon with an AK..
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