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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

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UPS Aircraft Down In Dubai

Old 15th Sep 2010, 10:04
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Guy D...

What a great, practical idea, from their altitude at that time, that would have taken, what......, about 8 or 9 minutes at most.

But....I know, nobody really thinks that's necessary, until it's to late to do it!

From an old maritime P3 flyer who's thought about such options, just in case, but thankfully never had to try it!

EW73
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 10:18
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From the 777 FCOM:

Air Distribution
[-200, -200ER, -200LR, -300, -300ER, -300ER/ULR]
The flight deck receives 100% fresh conditioned air from the left pack. The flight
deck is maintained at a slightly higher pressure than the passenger cabin to prevent
smoke and objectable odors from entering the flight deck.
[777F]
The flight deck and supernumerary cabin receive 100% fresh conditioned air from
the left pack. To prevent smoke and objectionable odors from entering the
occupied compartments, the flight deck and supernumerary cabin are maintained
at a slightly higher pressure than the main deck cargo and lower cargo
compartments.
So the B777 has it.
But I can't find this feature in any of the 744F or -BCF, B767 or MD-11 FCOM's.

But if they had a fire in the cockpit, like the UAE authorities now seem to report, it wouldn't have done the UPS6 guys much good.
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 12:58
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In a Wall Street Journal article that mostly covers proposed new rules for transporting Lithium batteries, this section was of interest:

The UPS jet's flight-data recorders have been downloaded by U.S. crash investigators, and early analysis is consistent with the theory that the blaze started in a cargo area, spread quickly and then pushed smoke into the cockpit, preventing pilots from seeing their instruments.
On Tuesday, investigators from the United Arab Emirates gave the strongest public signal yet that the blaze originated in the cargo hold. They disclosed that prior to smoke in the cockpit, there was a fire warning received by the crew. Such warnings normally come from sensors in or around the cargo compartments, not inside the cockpit
Tighter Curbs Expected on Lithium Batteries - WSJ.com
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 13:18
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Gulf news report re current situation

Dubai: An investigation led by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) into why the United Parcel Services (UPS) Boeing 747-400 cargo plane crashed in Dubai has revealed that smoke in the cockpit led to a fire warning about 28 minutes after takeoff.
The GCAA on Tuesday said the plane had been cleared for landing in Doha by Bahrain Air Traffic Control, but the crew decided to return to Dubai. Shortly afterwards they experienced visibility and communication problems.
Later airport authorities received an emergency distress call. The captain was in control up to the moment the recording ended.
The cargo plane crashed into the Nad Al Sheba military camp at 7.43pm on September 3. Eyewitnesses said it burst into a fireball before crashing.
The investigation, led by the GCAA investigation team, is still ongoing as they gather more evidence from the accident site.
They have also been downloading the flight recordings from the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CRV) (known as black boxes).
The two boxes were shipped to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Friday, under the custody and supervision of GCAA investigators, and are now undergoing technical analysis.
Engineer Esmail Abdul Wahid, leader of GCAA investigation team, says the investigation will continue until the cause of the accident is known.

Sorry if I reported the radio news this am, as slightly different version re "fire" in cockpit, but I do maintain that is what I heard.

glf
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 13:32
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Cargo fire

So that's becoming clear then; it was a cargofire.
A fire starting in the cockpit is quite possible, in electronics or electric equipment, but apparently that was not the case here.

Meaning that keeping smoke out of the cockpit would have made a difference. At least in inside visibilty. No telling which systems would be affected after the fire spread.

Hopefully regulators will soon mandate some changes in how the cockpit is kept clear of smoke, to the extent possible.

And how to keep ignition sources out of the freight, although that would seem a more difficult task.
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 16:46
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EW73

..not really trying to present ideas/suggestions, just trying to debunk the myth that they were overhead Bahrain (at any time).

Guy D.

p.s. you're not one of those p3s that persist in flying back and forward through our approach, while climbing/descending through all our levels and justifying it by being in "international waters" I hope! submarine p3s - who'd have thought!
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 17:25
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UPS

Hello all,

some words about that tragic event.

The B747-400 ERF checklist specifies that the smoke removal procedure should only be done when at it's worst, AND that smoke from the main deck will be drawn inside the cockpit if it happens to be a cargo smoke/fire.
The smoke removal is done by opening the smoke removal hole situated just behind the observer seat. Shooting the bottles will help ( Freon) as the first one discharges, the rest is discharges for some time, until touchdown where it's all discharged from the remaining bottle.
Said for the smoke/fire fighting capabilities.

Nothing can be said about their decision to come back to Dubaï till now.

Too high... It must have been frenzy in the cockpit. It is reported that they could not see their instruments, how dreadfull is this?

As a freighter dog, having such an event, is quite scary.

Thinking of it...

Cheers.
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 18:24
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Clearing smoke from the cockpit in case of a main deck fire, without opening an outside vent in the cockpit is not a big problem to design.
If you feed all the air supplied from the packs to the cockpit only, it will cause the flightdeck to be slightly more pressurized than the rest of the cabin, even when you completely depressurize the aircraft!

Its the same as smoking in your car and opening up one of the rear windows.
Even the slightest amount of air fed into the car from the dash-vents will cause the smoke to be drawn out the back-window.
Forgive me for comparing an a/c to a car but the idea should be clear.

It will not stop the heat from the fire doing its damage to the airframe but will at least provide the abillity to see the instruments.

I am amazed this does not appear to be possible in a 747, as its only a single switch in an MD-11.
I hope someone with knowledge of 747F systems can assist me on this one.

IFIX
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 19:05
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IFIX,

There is a way to do what your talking about on the Classic for sure because as I stated previously we would do this when someone wanted to smoke on the main deck below the cockpit. I will now go find my systerms manuals from my last flying job (it's been 6 years since retireing from flying) and see if I can figure out exactly how I accomplished that. My memory is not quite the same now. I do realise that the 400 is different.
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 20:05
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The smoke removal is done by opening the smoke removal hole situated just behind the observer seat.
Is opening the smkoe removal hole a reversible or an irreversable item?
Can it be closed again inflight after it was opened?
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 20:35
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.......Can it be closed again inflight after it was opened?
The original 747 Classic ( 100/200 series ) was designed to take a periscopic sextant as per the 707 - and other a/c of the period - for use by a navigator. By the time the aircraft entered service, INS had proved itself so no specialist navigator was ever carried, but the pressure lock hatch that allowed the sextant to poke through the roof of the aircraft was retained as a 'smoke removal port'

The sextant was inserted into the bottom of the hatch, making a pressurisation seal, then the roof flap was opened with a handle on the side of the assembly, and I can assure you that there were times when I thought that the pressurisation force would extract me with it ! certainly the sextant had to be held down firmly and only allowed to slowly ride up further, into place. After use the procedure was reversed, the sextant being pulled down far enough for the hatch to be closed again.

Certainly no modification to the sextant hatch was ever made to any 747 I flew, through to the - 300, so in those aircraft the short answer to your question is ..

Yes !

I know nothing about the -400, but I believe that there is no change ?
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 20:41
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Ups-6 Dxb

The document of Ultralife (and many other Li-battery manufacturers) might/will have to be reworked fairly soon, as indications are mounting that DOT/PHMSA/FAA will change the regulations in regards to transportation of Li-batteries in a significant way, subjecting ALL kind of Li-batteries (>3.7 Wh) to DG regulations. Time of publication not yet known. Time of implementation not yet known, but it might come faster than anybody is thinking.
See also
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704285104575492212976583750.html?ru=yahoo&mo d=yahoo_hs

Last edited by Floridacargocat; 15th Sep 2010 at 20:43. Reason: Additional info
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 20:54
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ExSp33db1,

Yes the DC-8 had the same hole and we used it for vacuming the cockpit in flight however, it was banned from use because some individuals sucked up nuts and bolts left by MX and they ended up stuffed in the vertical and horizontal stab. It was also used to suck the cigarette smoke out of the cockpit. Another trick we used on the DC-6 was opening an over wing exit window and one cockpit window thus allowing for smoke removal and air conditioning while operating in the far south. This was needed desperately once as we had a severe chemical leak in the cargo which was causeing us in the cockpit to suffer breathing problems, watering eyes and vomiting. We did not have supplimental O2 at that time.

Last edited by fesmokie; 15th Sep 2010 at 21:05.
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 21:44
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The 747-8 is (I believe) the first 747 to not have this smoke vent installed. Not sure why they kept it around for so many model changes but they have. At very low differentals I don't think this would do much good.
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 22:17
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Again, beside possible main/lower cargo fire, what about ruptured crew oxy bottles?

What's their location on 744?
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 22:31
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Not sure why they kept it around for so many model changes but they have.
Probably because it was cheaper than re-engineering, re-certifying, and re-programming the assembly line.

You think I'm kidding ?

One outfit I worked for bought some passenger seats for the upper deck of a freighter, they had the little video screens fitted in the backs, but of course no IFE equipment was on board to use them, so they just took them out.

The UK certification authority refused to certify the seat installations without new engineering drawings, manuals, etc. to show the empty space in the back of the seat.

This meant going back to Boeing for the engineering drawings to be created, and the FAA for certification of same -'cos it was originally a freighter from a previous US carrier - before changing the Reg'n. for the UK Register, at great cost, as you can imagine.

It was cheaper to put the screens back in and just ignore them !

Bureacracy Rules - O.K. ?
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 22:35
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Again, beside possible main/lower cargo fire, what about ruptured crew oxy bottles?

What's their location on 744?
They're just behind the cargo door in the forward lower compartment.

I doubt that would cause the fire and smoke as described. One broke loose in a Qantas(?) airplane a while back and wound up embedded in the overhead luggage bin behind the L1 door. Did some damage, but no fire...
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Old 16th Sep 2010, 02:36
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...meaning they are located on the lower (cargo) deck level, stbd side, just aft of the fwd cargo door...

EW73
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Old 16th Sep 2010, 03:13
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I know this suggestion may not go over well with the pilots - and I understand their reluctance to possibly give up command and put themselves into someone else's hands. However...

If we can remotely control a mini sub in the gulf, or a rover on Mars, or a drone aircraft in Iraq - then there should be a way that in an emergency, an airliner can be remotely landed from the ground.

Now, I know that this isn't going to help if a fire gets into the electrical or hydraulics systems, or causes a structural failure - but in a case where control is lost due to not being able to see the controls or runway...

It's not just a matter of fire. I remember the case a few years back of the plane that crashed when it ran out of fuel because the pilots had been incapacitated by hypoxia. And, there's always the chance of something like 9/11 where the pilots are no longer in control of the aircraft.

Could someone flying remotely make a "perfect" landing every time? Maybe, maybe not - but to be honest, if things have hit the fan sufficiently that you would need a remotely controlled landing, then a survivable crash at an airport may be the best result you're going to get. It could at least help to avoid additional casualties on the ground.

Yes, there would have to be some way to avoid having the system hacked so some teenager on the ground doesn't decide to play flight simulator. Maybe a "dead man's switch" that would turn control over to the ground if the pilots were unresponsive?
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Old 16th Sep 2010, 03:52
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Msg received today from a usually reliable source...

The UPS guys I've talked to in ANC tell a chilling story about this accident. The pilots were so overwhelmed with smoke in the cockpit that they couldn't even see to tune their radios, and couldn't tell their altitude, heading, etc, never mind find the airport. The pilots were asking the tower to tell them their height above the ground and heading when they crashed. UPS apparently removed the full face masks from the airplanes and replaced them with the old style mask and smoke goggles! They also don't have cockpit doors on any of their airplanes. When they dump the cabin to fight a fire (no main deck fire suppression system like on the FedEx MD-11’s), there is no door to wall off the flames and smoke, so guess where it ends up!
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