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SQ-368 (engine & wing on fire) final report out

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SQ-368 (engine & wing on fire) final report out

Old 29th Jun 2016, 06:10
  #261 (permalink)  
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Videos from inside the ac show that the passengers were screaming and begging to get out. Other parts of the video show a significant amount of fire....


I didn't hear much urgency. Just an Aussie sounding voice drawling, saying "open the door, please."

The earlier video of the burning wing was even more chilled out-the background chatter seemed to have as much urgency as an office cafeteria at lunchtime. Strange.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 06:28
  #262 (permalink)  

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It's the toxic fumes ...
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 06:32
  #263 (permalink)  
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"open the door, please."
I wouldn't have been saying that. After checking through the window, I would have been opening a door on the left side myself. No 40 Kg "Singapore Girl" would have stopped me!

Just out of interest, I checked the press releases on the SQ website. No mention of the accident. It doesn't surprise me.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 06:33
  #264 (permalink)  
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Can you absolutely guarantee that 90 seconds from now that passengers won't deplaning into burning fuel?

IMHO it's a judgement call - one best made by the captain whilst communicating with other key players (eg RFF).

Good grief!!

This "new concept" of second guessing possible injuries from an evacuation when an entire wing is on fire must be nipped in the bud ASAP before an entire plane load of passengers dies from the shear stupidity of that concept.

The precedents being set industry wide should be a cause for serious concern and dialogue. An Allegiant Airlines captain was terminated for ordering an evacuation when there were reports of smoke in the cabin and RFF stated there was smoke coming from an engine. Safe decision by all accounts, but management did not agree.

Had this SIA crew seen the news about the Allegiant captain thus worried about the consequences of an evacuation?

I think we are all far better off with the occasional unnecessary evacuation with a few sprained ankles than the alternative analysis paralysis that could lead to a future disaster with a delayed evacuation (or decision not to evacuate) when an immediate evacuation was warranted.


Last edited by typhoonpilot; 29th Jun 2016 at 06:55.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 06:47
  #265 (permalink)  
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From my experience with firefighting..

The passengers don't appear to have felt much radiant heat. The flames are a good distance from the cabin in this respect. The wing sheilds the cabin from the greater fireball under the wing.

Perhaps the passengers were fairly chilled because they presumed there was no risk as after the turn back, they had been airborn for so long.

Also there was no communally felt bump or bang nor smoke in the cabin.
No chorus of arhhhh to get the adrenaline going.
So only those near the windows on one side would initially be aware of the scale of the fire.

So prolonged flight after the turn back, no bump or bang, no smell and no radiant heat effects, reduced the chance of panic.

Perhaps a light by each door that indicates if the nearby engine is running would be an aide to cabin crew to asses saftey of slide deployment? Especially if passengers are becoming rowdy and the sound of engines may be drowned out?

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Old 29th Jun 2016, 06:49
  #266 (permalink)  
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Still didn't see any evidence of screaming or panic,
The video and commentary by pax says that they were screaming to get out.

Aside from that, what would you be doing, sitting there while the ac burns? Looking at the video from the outside, that engine fire is significant.

EDIT: watching this again, the original news video has been edited, originally there was a segment from inside the ac, it was dark, and people were screaming....that segment is no longer there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf-QLDGgORk thankfully, much shorter response than 5 minutes...
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 07:05
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I'd certainly move to the nearest exit and wait I think.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 07:12
  #268 (permalink)  
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IMHO it's a judgement call - one best made by the captain
If the pax weren't jumping down the slides then the crew wouldn't be following them down the slides ... If the Captain was taking an unnecessary gamble then he was taking the same unnecessary gamble with his own life!
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 07:17
  #269 (permalink)  
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2 cents from the cheap seats...and like everything else on here, its just an opinion

As has been alluded to several times...as a Captain, it is incumbent on us to gather all the facts before we make ANY decision. Sitting on your hands for a moment or grabbing a piece of gum to chew on while you gather info from the available sources during a emergency is paramount to NOT making a rash emotional, decision. These things don't happen in a vacuum...it is fluid and ever evolving. I know what I would have done...I think I do, at least as I sit here at groundspeed zero, I do. But as much as we drill and rehearse these things in our mind...we never really know how we will react in the "heat of the moment"...no pun intended. We can only hope we make the right decision...whatever they may be

As for the so-called drivel that people are posting about...I find a tremendous amount of learning available in it...mostly as a study in Human Factors. We know that some will sit there waiting for direction and some will take it into their own hands to do what they perceive needs to be done to survive. All of these things represent something to keep in mind and account for if I should ever be faced with the choice that the Captain and crew were faced with in this situation. Survival has never been based on rash decisions...only on thought out ones...albeit sometimes they need to made in VERY short order.

A Captain is obligated to gather the information in committee and act in the best interest of his passengers and crew...A Captain is not beholden to, or is it suggested that in the course of his decision making process to consider the collective desires of the keyboard warriors on any public opinion forum. If faced with a similar situation, I can tell you that "what PPrune thinks" will not factor in the decision making process.

I guarantee you that at the end of the day...as the Captain played this out over and over in his mind...if he screwed up, he knows it. If he got lucky...he knows it. I will say this about the Captain though...clearly being the salty dog that he is...is in possession of the biggest set of balls on the planet.

One last thought ...and this is just a little rant item...if you are a Captain or First Officer for a passenger carrier, and you are posting on here saying that if you were in the back as a "passenger" on this flight, in this situation...you would have got up and blown the slide yourself on your own volition...that is pure Bulls##t and you know it! To make such a statement represents a tremendously hazardous attitude...Offer assistance, but you are not in command...as a professional you SHOULD know this. Rant done!

Thanks for allowing me to post my opinion...I do enjoy all of the other opinions posted here as well...no matter where they come from.

Be safe out there!
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 07:44
  #270 (permalink)  
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That fire was not a small event. It did not seem to respond well to the number of appliances and took a while to get under control. The RFF did not appear to be attacking the base of the fire as aggressively as i would like. Certainly nothing like what I have been taught. I will concede to not having training on airliner fires like they should have.

I would have been OUT. For the avoidance of doubt, OUT. They put windows and viewing ports in doors for a good reason. Use them.

I am sure others will have an alternate view of the world.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:09
  #271 (permalink)  
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That's a hell of a long time to sit there hoping that HUGE Fire will be contained..........

He's certainly a braver man than me.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:15
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Video shows fire tenders underway before aircraft stopped.
Reports suggest fire started when thrust reverses were deployed so the fire response was good, particularly if they were in station at time of the call.

Passengers were told by Captain that the reason for the turn back was an oil leak, not a fuel leak.
So the passengers were not pre stressed for an emergency on landing.

There was no smoke or heat or communally felt bump on landing, so it was only a minority of passengers, those with a view of the fire, that would have fed the panic.

I would hope if I was on board that I wouldn't rush the doors, praying that the captain knew the source of the fire was oil and not fuel and he had a stop watch on the fire tenders.

Perhaps "engine on" warning lights by the doors would help crew decide the safe deployment of slides?
Useful if passengers are rowdy and for four engine craft.

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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:19
  #273 (permalink)  
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All the right hand side exits had been unusuable (use of door 1R would have interfered with the fire brigade intervention) The fire brigade arrived fast enough to put special wide and easy to use rescue stairs on the left hand side in time to avoid some dangerous slide evacuation. Can't see any wrong decision. Nobody got hurt.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:24
  #274 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by typhoonpilot
Good grief!!

This "new concept" of second guessing possible injuries from an evacuation when an entire wing is on fire must be nipped in the bud ASAP before an entire plane load of passengers dies from the shear stupidity of that concept.
Again, we don't know the full situation. Some observations that I've noted:

- The fire appears to have been at a time when ambient light levels were low. Cameras generally evaluate the light level of the entire scene, and when something with high relative brightness occurs in the scene, the camera tends to over-expose it and make it look worse than it would at normal daylight levels when being recorded.

- Fuel feeds fires in different ways; to me this looked like a smaller quantity of fuel that had spread over a larger area resulting in a larger but less intense flame front. As undesirable as it was (putting it mildly, don't get me wrong!), I don't believe the chances of it quickly progressing to something larger were great in the immediate short term (being the a time needed for RFF to get on to it). Having seen photos of the (relative) lack of damage reinforces that. And yes I do know what's in the wings (I come from a military aircraft servicing background). I've also watched the complete meltdown and destruction of the (Chinese?) aircraft linked here - comparing the two I'm left with the feeling that they had a little bit of time to "sit tight" in this case - especially knowing the RFF capability.

Did the Captain get it right or wrong? In all honesty, I don't have enough information to answer (and I have as much as everybody else here). If in fact he did have reason to believe that there may have been fuel flowing to the port side - and knowing that RFF were only seconds away then who's to say that an evacuation presented more risk of serious injury and death? At this stage how do we even know that he wasn't in contact with the RFF commander - stating his preference for an evacuation - only to be advised that RFF recommend sitting tight for the next minute whilst they get some serious quantities of foam on it? Has anyone stopped to think "perhaps the guy isn't stupid - what reasons may he have had to NOT initiate an evacuation"?

I just think it's really bad form for any judge to pronounce the accused guilty without hearing from the defense. We seem to get this time and time again in this wonderful internet world - and more often than I care to admit, I'm embarrassed to say I got it wrong when I didn't have other pertinent information; what seemed so clear cut when I didn't have all the facts suddenly did a 180 when I did.

I'm guessing that one doesn't get to command one of these fine birds if one is a complete idiot - and on that basis I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:29
  #275 (permalink)  
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You are absolutely right. I wish more people on PPRuNe would follow your lead.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:29
  #276 (permalink)  
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"Special ready to use rescue stairs"? They may be painted Red and have Airport Emergency Services on the side but I'd hardly think they would be fast getting in place at the door. In fact it would be a brave Driver to approach an Armed door in those circumstances where he could end up with a slide in his face any second.

Pax going down a dual channel slide raft would exit the Jet much quicker as well if it developed and the stairs would only hinder a full EVAC.

So I'd be telling them to keep clear until the time when the Fire is under control and we are then not using the slides. i.e. After the Fire is out and not before...
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 08:36
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Having evacuated hundreds of pax from a wide body ........

... you've got to do it unless you control the situation and KNOW exactly what's going on .... Anything else is gambling.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 09:24
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These oversized stairs have pipes for foam and water pre installed and can use prestored cabin levels for faster operation. They are safer to use than slides and don't interfere with the firefight. These are regular fire brigade vehicles with comms and everything onboard and they are operated by trained firemen in some coordinated way.

That's not your old rusty pickup with aftermarked stairs mounted on top.

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Old 29th Jun 2016, 09:29
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Don't agree that they'd be faster, people slide down 2 at a time much faster than trying to stumble run down stairs.......I can just imagine the people falling over themselves trying to run down steps!!

If the Fire is contained/out and the threat is known by all means use those stairs, if the Fire is not under control then keep those stairs AWAY from my Aircraft as I'll be using the certified slides that came with my $200 million dollar Jet thanks all the same.

As an operator that frequently flies into WSSS I've never been informed by anyone that they have stairs they'd like me to use and not my slides in an EVAC.


PRECAUTIONARY DISEMARKATION required, by all means use those wonderful stairs.
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Old 29th Jun 2016, 09:36
  #280 (permalink)  
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Passengers opened the emergency exit after observing a tailpipe fire during engine start.
Presumably the PA would made before the pax jumped up and offed...

I wonder if the very first reaction from Row Zero, to a call from Ground that there's a few flames coming out the tailpipe, is to jump on the PA and shout "Cabin Crew At Stations!" (as poor englissshhh as it is...)

What about the cabin crew telling the pax who are up and running about to sit down immediately?
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