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Spirit A320 RTO due to engine fire. Views from the cabin

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Spirit A320 RTO due to engine fire. Views from the cabin

Old 7th Oct 2021, 14:58
  #21 (permalink)  
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From the first video, people are standing up and the plane is still rolling down the runway. As the crew goes through the checklist the plane comes to a stop, the speed brakes are retracted and when the engine is shutdown the fire goes out. It looks like the fire was caused by the liberated blade striking an air-oil cooler in the coldstream. There is no fire warning protection in this area.

The evacuation was announced after the engine was shut down.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 15:05
  #22 (permalink)  
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Here's an idea. Automatic central-locking of all the overheads during takeoff and landing..
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 15:26
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Yes, because passengers blocking the flow of traffic from standing there for 5 minutes unsuccessfully trying to open the bins is going to help. And they won't know they are locked because they didn't listen to the announcements.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 15:56
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Why was there the delay? Is it that long to shut down the engines, perhaps that long to spool down?

The need to evacuate _seems_ clear. Keeping on board with flames under a wing/engine seems like a not-so-good plan, or at least one that seems likely to lead to panic among close-by passengers.

I do recall the debate on a similar incident on a wide-body somewheres in asia recently, i.e. that maybe fuel spill spreads under airplane means neither side is safe. So need to make sure, but surely that has to be based on what can be easily seen -- you can't wait 2 minutes for fire trucks to get a better view. As pointed out: Airtours or PW (or was it CP) in Calgary.

Instead of telling people to sit down, a not-so-convincing command in that situation, maybe tell them to get ready and remind them to leave everything behind, can get it later. The sit command, to me, leads to mistrust -- and as someone pointed out: fetching suitcases from overheads.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 17:05
  #25 (permalink)  
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Central Locking of bins

Never going to happen.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 17:22
  #26 (permalink)  
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Locked bins

Beware quick solutions - central bin locks.

First are bags really a problem; most likely in comparison to the design assumptions - people blocking the isle recovering bags, opposed to exiting with bags in aircraft with modern larger escape exits.

To some passengers locked bins would be seen as a challenge, need lever them open, carry a jemmy! (No, that would be a security issue). But people would still try; a greater isle blocking delay than in retrieving the bags (humans over focus on solving a problem - bins will not open, than changing the course of action - get out of the aircraft)
Other people would place bags under the seat before landing, perhaps a more significant obstacle of unsecured debris and cluttering the isle. More work and responsibility (hassle) for the cabin crew in enforcing ‘bags in bins’.

Every solution is an opportunity for a new problem; beware what we wish for.
Tech failure of bin locks before loading, MEL, …

Ban on-board bags ……… competitive, revenue, money before safety.
Minimise the need to evacuate; modern aircraft are more reliable, stronger structure, better fire containment - more time (but dont depend on it).

An observation; modern ‘plastic’ aircraft appear not to catch fire as easily as older types, but when they do burn, at a later time, the cabin structure seems to be more damaged. Toronto A340, SFO 777, Dubai 777.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 18:37
  #27 (permalink)  
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I don't think A340s and B777 are "Plastic", fuselage and wings are still metal with only things like flying controls, stabilizers and fairings being composite.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 21:25
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I always tough why that is not implemented…

Also jail punishment to whom ever deliberately doesn’t follow the commands or is hindering the evacuation like the one recording, the idiots taking stuff or people blocking the slide…
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 09:39
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There should be permanent cabin announcements about what the passengers are expected to do including reminding them to NOT take any carry on stuff or open bins. With visible flames people will be close to panic anyway and might initiate an evacuation themselves with unpredictable outcome if not instructed otherwise.

Last edited by Less Hair; 8th Oct 2021 at 10:04.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:32
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Sorry, but it’s not “their” fault! It’s our fault as an industry.

we fly around with full cabins and almost empty baggage holds because we have made it more expensive to check a suitcase in than it costs the passenger for their actual seat! Whereas once the shelf above the head was for the placement of Chapeau’s and other fine millinery. It later evolved into a horizontal cupboard for the stuffed donkey to accompany the Sombrero and later for industrial strength fabric closets for a complete backpacking adventure across the globe!

On top of this we bombard the passenger with a constant stream of menacing messages about keeping their baggage with them at all times less we will destroy it and bring about much wrath! Don’t forget! Don’t let it out of your sight! Societal evolution and the messages that we impart mean that their perception of their very existence is either in their hand or stuffed in those cases above their heads.

I am not sure why then we are so surprised when every evacuation video (helpfully videotaped) shows the passengers fighting to save their loved things with as much verve and vigour as they might save their children (perhaps more so!) I don’t recall many old film reels of passengers banging on the baggage holds to repossess a weeks worth of dirty underwear after fleeing down the slide! It’s the industry that needs to evolve because the passengers already have!
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 15:22
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It’s the human condition

It’s the human condition, safety culture, passenger reaction.
Fines for errant passengers can be countered by legal argument after the event.
During an event, there is a personal balance of perceived risk - humans are naturally risk takers. The value of the bags (at this moment) is more than a defensible fine.
“Danger of Death” or $1000 fine, psychologically illogical messages, but often used in ‘blame and train’, litigious rule based culture, a belief that human performance can be controlled.

An alternative situation, as promoted by many cabin crew, involves when to change behaviour - ‘when the fire is too hot, smoke too thick, water too deep’: its a personal judgement, in this case the passenger.
Safety assessments might consider this aspect. There may be little or no evidence of death directly due to cabin bags (historical risk), vs perceive likelihood of death from a known hazard, a subjective fear (projected risk).

The issue starts way back. Regulators allow more carry-on bags, commercial demand - what were the safety assessments based on at that time. Grandfather rights again; also note recommendation 22 in RAeS report - bags.
If evidence from recent events warrants reassessment of the safety case, then solutions might consider restricting number of passengers on board, revised requirements for timed evacuations with pax and bags, changing the aircraft design; all with commercial implications.

So the question is not ‘what is the risk’, but who holds that risk; regulator, operator, passenger. Passing responsibility downwards to the passenger (sloping shoulders) is an easy, and commercially attractive option with minimal regulatory action; but is this ‘safe’.
Ask the passengers, but they don't want to pay higher fares; so they take the risk - ‘it wont happen to me’, or if it does ‘I will know what to do’, until the fire is too hot … … smoke …

Meaningful change is unlikely without a very public major accident; cf Manchester 737. A sad sorry state for future safety thinking in a very safe industry, but we were warned, see work by R. Amalberti ‘The paradox of ultra-safe systems’.
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 09:01
  #32 (permalink)  
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Because there's a decision-making process to be made, which requires information to be gathered and considered. It's not like a car where you pull over into a convenient layby and get out to call for a tow-truck.

If you evacuate the aircraft, passengers will be injured, whether just by going down the slides / hit by airport vehicles / hit by hand luggage thrown by other passengers / cold / hot / wet environment etc etc. Even with very serious problems, quite often the safest place to be is on board the aircraft. Once the evacuation is initiated, it cannot be stopped.

Secondly, the evacuation command is not given until the very last line of the evacuation checklist, which also takes some time to run as it has to be done methodically, and likely requires another pause and considered decision before actioning the evacuation signal at the end.
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 15:31
  #33 (permalink)  
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There's a certification standard to evacuate pax within 90 seconds using half the exits.

What's missing is a certification standard for post RTO checklists to monitor the fire situation and recognize when it's about to breach the cabin 90 seconds before that happens.

Any firefighter will tell you that fire behavior is highly unpredictable. The only certification test is for tire fires post RTO.

​​​​​​Cabin staff have a much better view of the situation and should be able to let the flight crew know when evacuation is required immediately.

Checklists need to provide for minimal delay of evacuations initiated from the cabin.
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