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"Somewhat scary one near Winnipeg" - The AC Master Incidents Thread

"Somewhat scary one near Winnipeg" - The AC Master Incidents Thread

Old Apr 10, 2024, 6:44 pm
  #4846  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger
Obviously. But then if there is arisk of fire, 40 minutes will be too much, kind of pointless to divert. Either they'll all be dead, or it will be clear that there was no fire after all.
This is why they have procedures. Cargo fire indicator means the extinguisher got deployed as step 1. No longer able to be deployed. Divert to nearest suitable airport.

​​​​​​Was there a fire? Is it still smoldering but now reduced? That's for airport fire crews & maintenance to determine. This was also a MAX, so there is a nonzero chance a door fell off and is now feeding the fire with oxygen .

Once you take into account descent time or complexity of turns, it can be more suitable to arrive 50 or more miles away than right below. Nearest suitable can also take into account emergency services. Sometimes it's a coin toss so commercial factor are taken into account. Is the runway long enough to take off from after landing? Rebooking & maintenance staff? Is there customs / immigration? Is there a MLL?
​​​​​​
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Last edited by expert7700; Apr 10, 2024 at 6:49 pm
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 6:02 am
  #4847  
 
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Originally Posted by expert7700
This is why they have procedures. Cargo fire indicator means the extinguisher got deployed as step 1. No longer able to be deployed. Divert to nearest suitable airport.

​​​​​​Was there a fire? Is it still smoldering but now reduced? That's for airport fire crews & maintenance to determine. This was also a MAX, so there is a nonzero chance a door fell off and is now feeding the fire with oxygen .

Once you take into account descent time or complexity of turns, it can be more suitable to arrive 50 or more miles away than right below. Nearest suitable can also take into account emergency services. Sometimes it's a coin toss so commercial factor are taken into account. Is the runway long enough to take off from after landing? Rebooking & maintenance staff? Is there customs / immigration? Is there a MLL?
​​​​​​
Not familiar with the specifics of the Max, but aircraft have 2 types of fire extinguishers in the cargo compartments. A quick release and a slow release system. They use halon to remove all of the oxygen from the affected area. The quick bottle goes first and the slow release then releases over a long period of time. If an aircraft is ETOPS certified ​, the slow release bottles will continue for the maximum ETOPS diversion time. (And usually a bit longer), 180 minutes for example.
The way these systems work is why Lithium ion batteries in checked luggage are extremely dangerous. LI do not need oxygen to continue burning and get extremely hot. Halon extinguishers are not effective at stopping them burning, they need to be cooled off, by water for example.
Do not put batteries in checked luggage!
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 8:27 am
  #4848  
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Originally Posted by PLeblond
There's a difference between declaring Mayday and a diversion. The world is not 1s and 0s.
Reminded me of an employee, when asked if she was pregnant, answered "more or less." Point being, fire is 1 or 0.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 8:38 am
  #4849  
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Originally Posted by Stranger
Reminded me of an employee, when asked if she was pregnant, answered "more or less." Point being, fire is 1 or 0.
Fire = Mayday 100%

Cargo Smoke Indication ≠ Fire (in all cases).

If one regularly reads AV Herald this is quite a common occurence. As with all things, run check lists, consult home base if needed, Flight crew has last call.

They diverted, they did not (from all accounts) declare an emergency. These are two very different things.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 8:46 am
  #4850  
 
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Originally Posted by PLeblond
Fire = Mayday 100%

Cargo Smoke Indication ≠ Fire (in all cases).

If one regularly reads AV Herald this is quite a common occurence. As with all things, run check lists, consult home base if needed, Flight crew has last call.

They diverted, they did not (from all accounts) declare an emergency. These are two very different things.
Let's also keep in mind the thing is not a helicopter, it can't just 'land now' or fly faster to the diversion airport then drop down in 3 mins...40 mins from 120 miles out seems like a reasonable time unless they have a true confirmed 'emergency', but even then you can't just point it at the centre of the earth from 30,000 feet+ and hit the closest Interstate...only in Hollywood do those things happen.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 9:12 am
  #4851  
 
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Originally Posted by billdokes
Let's also keep in mind the thing is not a helicopter, it can't just 'land now' or fly faster to the diversion airport then drop down in 3 mins...40 mins from 120 miles out seems like a reasonable time unless they have a true confirmed 'emergency', but even then you can't just point it at the centre of the earth from 30,000 feet+ and hit the closest Interstate...only in Hollywood do those things happen.
True, but the fire process is "land safely now". Various other problems might be "land asap at a commercially convenient location", where the pilots can talk to someone and figure out a station with some level of comfort, perhaps with corporate, partner or friendly maintenance types.

"Safely now" means without concern for customs, airline representatives, hotels, or food. Maybe not at a place where people with guns will meet you on the apron, but otherwise the closest place with a long enough runway.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 9:56 am
  #4852  
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Originally Posted by PLeblond
Fire = Mayday 100%

Cargo Smoke Indication ≠ Fire (in all cases).

If one regularly reads AV Herald this is quite a common occurence. As with all things, run check lists, consult home base if needed, Flight crew has last call.

They diverted, they did not (from all accounts) declare an emergency. These are two very different things.
In other words, you are more or less saying that they did not really believe the indicator. Possibly because it's too common an occurrence? What other reason could they have to more or less dismiss a fire alarm? I don't think they can send a crew member to check as in some freighters.

Which then raises the issue, what's the point of having one in the first place.

Given what can happen with lithium batteries these days, I would be very careful with the danger of fire in luggage.

But if fire indicators become a nuisance and crews start discounting them we could end up in trouble.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 10:17 am
  #4853  
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Originally Posted by Nightflyer787
The way these systems work is why Lithium ion batteries in checked luggage are extremely dangerous. LI do not need oxygen to continue burning and get extremely hot. Halon extinguishers are not effective at stopping them burning, they need to be cooled off, by water for example.
Do not put batteries in checked luggage!
We took very different chemistry classes.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 10:30 am
  #4854  
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Originally Posted by Stranger
In other words, you are more or less saying that they did not really believe the indicator. Possibly because it's too common an occurrence? What other reason could they have to more or less dismiss a fire alarm? I don't think they can send a crew member to check as in some freighters.

Which then raises the issue, what's the point of having one in the first place.

Given what can happen with lithium batteries these days, I would be very careful with the danger of fire in luggage.

But if fire indicators become a nuisance and crews start discounting them we could end up in trouble.
I'm not saying anything remotely close to that. I haven't the foggiest where you would have gotten that, except that I have known you as a poster for a long time, so...

As I stated several times: run check list, check with company if needed.

AC is one of the safest airlines in the world and i'm certain they did exactly what they were trained to do in these circumstances.

The points is they don't go from "cargo smoke indication" to Mayday. There are procedures and training and they followed them. The result, after following procedures could have been continue to YVR, Divert to an appropriate airport or Mayday and find the closest possible airport, or maybe others. In this case, they diverted to BOI.

And the result, as stated in the AV Herald link I posted earlier: "The airline reported a faulty sensor caused the diversion."

So textbook event.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 11:54 am
  #4855  
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Originally Posted by PLeblond
As I stated several times: run check list, check with company if needed.

[...]

The points is they don't go from "cargo smoke indication" to Mayday. There are procedures and training and they followed them. The result, after following procedures could have been continue to YVR, Divert to an appropriate airport or Mayday and find the closest possible airport, or maybe others. In this case, they diverted to BOI.

And the result, as stated in the AV Herald link I posted earlier: "The airline reported a faulty sensor caused the diversion."

So textbook event.
OK.

My point remains, if you get a fire alarm warning, then if it takes 40 minutes until landing somewhere, they somehow should have been pretty convinced there was no real fire.

Remainder, such as procedures etc. are details that belong in the process of reaching that conclusion. As to, AC is a safe airlines etc. One hopes so indeed. But safety is expensive, sometimes too expensive for bean counters, especially when accidents seem like a thing of the past.

And yes, after the fact, since there was no fire, indeed there must have been a sensor failure. But how could they tell the difference between a real fire and a sensor failure? Or if wanting to go into detail and hide behind "procedures," , what procedure could there be that clarifies that it was really a sensor malfunction rather than a real fire?
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 12:26 pm
  #4856  
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Originally Posted by Stranger
OK.

My point remains, if you get a fire alarm warning, then if it takes 40 minutes until landing somewhere, they somehow should have been pretty convinced there was no real fire.

Remainder, such as procedures etc. are details that belong in the process of reaching that conclusion. As to, AC is a safe airlines etc. One hopes so indeed. But safety is expensive, sometimes too expensive for bean counters, especially when accidents seem like a thing of the past.

And yes, after the fact, since there was no fire, indeed there must have been a sensor failure. But how could they tell the difference between a real fire and a sensor failure? Or if wanting to go into detail and hide behind "procedures," , what procedure could there be that clarifies that it was really a sensor malfunction rather than a real fire?
Someone with more flight-deck experience that I would need to answer that, but knowing the redundancy involved in commercial aviation I suspect there are multiple smoke, fire and temperature sensors in each cargo hold area. There is 100% a check list for this with various tasks and decision trees. Ultimately the flight deck decides based on traning and information at hand.

If you look it up on PPRuNe there are a lot of threads that elaborate on this.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 3:10 pm
  #4857  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger
OK.

As to, AC is a safe airlines etc. One hopes so indeed. But safety is expensive, sometimes too expensive for bean counters, especially when accidents seem like a thing of the past.
Really? Safety is expensive and accidents seem like a thing of the past? Maybe ask Boeing, Alaska Airlines, United and a host of others about that...kind of a few stories in the news that might counter the notion that 'safety' and quality are expensive...seems safety lapses and quality gaps are much more expensive.

Please be reminded, it's not the CFO that has the final determination if a plane flies, it's the pilot. If there is any suspicion or suggestion that an Airline in general is not respecting all of the industry standard safety procedures I'm quite sure the Chief Pilot is blowing the whistle on that. While the pilots may be employees of the Airline, they are also members of a Union with complete job security if they blow the whistle on anything, and presumably with a natural life preservation instinct so I'm not in the 'hope' business and feel pretty safe boarding any AC flight.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 3:44 pm
  #4858  
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Originally Posted by billdokes
Really? Safety is expensive and accidents seem like a thing of the past? Maybe ask Boeing, Alaska Airlines, United and a host of others about that...kind of a few stories in the news that might counter the notion that 'safety' and quality are expensive...seems safety lapses and quality gaps are much more expensive.

Please be reminded, it's not the CFO that has the final determination if a plane flies, it's the pilot. If there is any suspicion or suggestion that an Airline in general is not respecting all of the industry standard safety procedures I'm quite sure the Chief Pilot is blowing the whistle on that. While the pilots may be employees of the Airline, they are also members of a Union with complete job security if they blow the whistle on anything, and presumably with a natural life preservation instinct so I'm not in the 'hope' business and feel pretty safe boarding any AC flight.
Perhaps I would start by not capitalizing airlines or unions, or chief pilots. :-)

Of course accidents are not quite a thing of the past. But perception is relative. I always go back to the challenger disaster. When after two launches where the joint leaks did not lead to accident, "management" decided it was safe. Engineers told to keep their mouth shut, and as good whores they did, at least until after the accident, when Boisjoli came out of the woods. (I am an engineer BTW).

Bean counters are in charge at AC, and pilots can be susceptible to at least some pressure.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 4:18 pm
  #4859  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger
Perhaps I would start by not capitalizing airlines or unions, or chief pilots. :-)

Of course accidents are not quite a thing of the past. But perception is relative. I always go back to the challenger disaster. When after two launches where the joint leaks did not lead to accident, "management" decided it was safe. Engineers told to keep their mouth shut, and as good whores they did, at least until after the accident, when Boisjoli came out of the woods. (I am an engineer BTW).

Bean counters are in charge at AC, and pilots can be susceptible to at least some pressure.
I guess we took very different English classes...all are proper nouns as used and should be capitalized...but I digress...

"Good whores", seriously, that's the argument, they were good whores? "Management" over-rode the Engineers? The Engineers knowingly tried to send something they KNEW was un-safe into space? Are you saying AC pilots as a collective are "good whores" doing the bidding of the bean counters and sending un-safe aircraft into the sky knowingly putting themselves and hundreds of others at risk every day?

I will quote an old friend of mine who flew for the RAF...he always said "there are Old Pilots and there are Bold Pilots but there are no Old Bold Pilots"...any pilot worth their salt is not susceptible to any pressure ever, unless they have lost their innate life preservation instinct.

I trust the pilots.
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 4:29 pm
  #4860  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger
OK.
My point remains, if you get a fire alarm warning, then if it takes 40 minutes until landing somewhere, they somehow should have been pretty convinced there was no real fire.
As time went on DURING the crew's 40 minutes before landing, the crew's sense of urgency surely diminished. Until that time, they were probably very eagle eyed for any cascading warning signs of fire.

....what procedure could there be that clarifies that it was really a sensor malfunction rather than a real fire?
​​​​​They landed earlier than in their flight plans and it appears they let the fire & maintenance folks determine that overnight. Fire crews just might be trained to use thermal sensors and spot signs of smoke damage. Or there's the low tech approach: go home and look to see if the plane is in tact the next morning.

Heck it could have even been a good, working sensor that alerted on something with the same characteristics of smoke. To install and sell a certain brand of vape sensors, part of the certification process is to use smokeless aerosol spray to trigger a smoke alarm 100% of the time, and different product to trigger vape alerts.

FAA & Transport Canada requirements for each airplane brand & type are here:

For the B738, equipped with 2 cargo lower compartment fire detection systems - required for dispatch unless cargo area is empty. (likely installed to cover different sections)
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Last edited by expert7700; Apr 11, 2024 at 4:39 pm
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