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Singapore Airlines Cargo Hold Fire

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Singapore Airlines Cargo Hold Fire

Old 23rd Apr 2013, 22:02
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Singapore Airlines Cargo Hold Fire

This one caught my attention on Aviation Herald regarding a cargo hold fire on Singapore Airliners A330. It appears that it was contained, so not a significant problem.

Accident: Singapore A333 near Bangkok on Apr 22nd 2013, cargo fire

Forgive my ignorance but how frequent are these events?
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Old 23rd Apr 2013, 23:21
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Bloody hell - that looks like a close one!!! This sort of thing could really get ones sphincter puckering right up!
Well done to the crew!
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Old 23rd Apr 2013, 23:42
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I would like to see the cargo manifest.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 01:02
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Long Time to Control it.

from AVHerald...
needed more than 2 hours to control the situation


Why such a long time? Seems they could dowse the pallet(s) and drag them out quicker than that.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 02:21
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Ahem.

If DG were to be carried externally, they could be jettisoned when things threaten to turn ugly.

I'm thinking right now of the hardpoint on some aircraft for "fifth pod" (or fourth, or third) spare engine transport. There may be other options.

Civil authorities are certain to point to hazards to persons on the ground, but we should respond with the greater hazard of an airplane accident. The UPS 747 at Dubai could easily have killed hundreds.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 05:26
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Singapore - Dhaka. More likely to be passenger baggage than cargo. Lots of informal traders.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 07:12
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External DG

Barit1

If DG were to be carried externally, they could be jettisoned when things threaten to turn ugly.
Good idea , but what about the dwellers at ground level? If you can't drop blocks of frozen pee on them , then probably should not drop firebombs either.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 08:07
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According to comments made on Av Herald website passengers were deplaned down normal steps. With known cargo fire/smoke on board I would have been in more of a hurry to get off. I wonder if they opened the hold door before the passengers were off.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 10:09
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Los Endos

If there were no external signs of fire once on the ground then steps if available quickly are a much safer option for the Pax and the procedure is to get the pax off before opening any cargo doors.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 11:47
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Originally Posted by barit1
ahem.

If DG were to be carried externally, they could be jettisoned when things threaten to turn ugly.

I'm thinking right now of the hardpoint on some aircraft for "fifth pod" (or fourth, or third) spare engine transport. There may be other options.
Wouldn't that create too much of a drag penalty to be even commercially viable?

Would it not be better to have a designated Dangerous Goods hold on aircraft that is pressurised, but at the flick of a switch can be rapidly decompressed and if that doesn't sort the situation, the door can be opened and cargo ejected.?

I know, money, effort, weight, etc makes this somewhat unappealing to airlines and manufacturers. This is just a counter proposal to quoted idea.


Originally Posted by flynerd
Good idea , but what about the dwellers at ground level? If you can't drop blocks of frozen pee on them , then probably should not drop firebombs either.
Presumably such a procedure, and indeed my above proposed one, would involve also checking for populated areas below first!

Last edited by LiveryMan; 24th Apr 2013 at 11:50.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 13:51
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I believe that fire brigades have a device able to display thermal gradients of the airframe which might help in evaluating the source/location of a fire.

Nevertheless "evacuate or not" decision, is one of those grey zones for which, if nothing happend, people will say it was a good decision, but if it blowed up, then we will question your judgement.

Like mentionned, not opening the cargo door before pax/crew have disembarked, it is a normal procedure, as it depend on the cargo you carry,e.g.Radioactive, and fire brigade must be present.

I believe that detectors are not 100% unbreakable and that they are not always 100% reliable depending the load carried (cargo plane).

If you have a fire and that you evacuate, then legally nothing should happen. Despite having maybe your company questionning your decision.

If you land due to fire and that you dont evacuate based on your assumptions, you might be legally accountable in case of issues.

As written in the Boeing QRH " In all situations,the captain must assess the situations and use good judgement to determine the safest course of action".

I believe that if you base your decision on the elements you know for sure without forgetting that,e.g. if "smoke or fire cannot be positively confirmed to be completely extinguished,the earliest possible descent,landing and evacuation must be done", you might be not too wrong.

For the flight involved, i am sure that they have taken a decision based on the elements they had at hand. Good or not, i m not here to judge. I was not there.

Last, installation of thermal cameras might be of great help in assessing the best course of action when smoke,fumes or fire might be involved.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 15:04
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A flaming cargo pod or ejected cargo whilst potentially fatal is probably less fatal than an entire airliner falling out of the sky. At least the crew can make a decision about when to jettison, crew won't have any control over when the flames burn through control/fuel/hydraulic lines.
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Old 24th Apr 2013, 15:38
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I am shocked they opened the cargo door vs piercing and injecting agent.
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Old 25th Apr 2013, 04:00
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I suspect we shall never know more than already has been published from the SG CAA.
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Old 25th Apr 2013, 06:55
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In other parts of the world the immediate reaction would have been that such an incident could only have been a terrorist plot and they would have acted accordingly!

That aside fortunate these SQ guys were close to an alternate and not in a similar position mid ocean.
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Old 25th Apr 2013, 10:00
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Perhaps they were distributing the "new,improved, safe,stable" redesigned 787 batteries.

Sorry, just couldn't resist!
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 09:25
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Official enquiry about the manifest of the container that caught fire ?

So as not to leave this issue into oblivion, would it not be commendable to let an International Pilot Union (acting from highest levels) direct an Enquiry officially to Thai authorities, to put them under pressure to reveal the Manifest of that burning container, to avoid this rather interesting info being sanded down under some politically obfuscating (= 'correct') veil ?

Thereafter we could share this scoop here @ PPRuNe for all purposes ?
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 14:23
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Having had several nasty incidents over the years, including one that that still gives me flaking skin and another that could have filled the entire locker of an F28 with rock hard resin, I thing the best way to ship DG is just that.

PUT THEM ON A BLOODY SHIP.

Even with DG training, you can NEVER trust the "she'll be right" bastards consigning the nasties who do not want to go down the road of costly compliance.

The worst thing about the acid spill that caused the damaged skin was that Management at TN blocked me from filling out a report in order to not upset a Corporate. That company shut down 18 months later. Good one!! VH-TFC suffered a good deal of corrosion in the incident as well..
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 16:17
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Even with DG training, you can NEVER trust the "she'll be right" bastards consigning the nasties who do not want to go down the road of costly compliance.
Hmmm - ground cargo type person since 1969.

The best way to be safe is to accept DG. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but if you accept DG what you do is to catch 99.9999% of the DG officially, and handle it correctly.

As soon as you institute a "no DG" policy THEN the bastards REALLY mess you up.

And well-trained cargo humpers get a 2nd sense about stuff... sometimes you just "know" that something is not kosher.

Amazingly, the warehouseman is your friend. If you ever have the time get your fiendly local cargo manager to give you a tour of your cargo handling facility & talk to us slightly grubby people. You have to be able to stomach some pretty vile tea or coffee though
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 21:56
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Looks like the container did an excellent job of containing the fire to me.
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