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MD-11 Captain Adams Simple Suggestion From Air Safety Week
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Simple Suggestion

Capt. Ken Adams, a senior MD-11 pilot with Delta Air Lines [DAL], has a straightforward idea for determining the severity of an in-flight smoke event - put smoke/fire detectors in the air conditioning ducts. Locate the detectors in the ducts at the point where the air exits the air conditioning pack on its way to the cockpit/cabin. With such detectors, aircrews would have a ready means of determining "if you've got smoke coming from the pack," Adams said. Delta technicians presently are fighting a plague of in-flight smoke events with their MD-88 fleet. The challenge is to locate the source of unnerving smoke. "More than 80 percent of our in-flight diverts [precautionary landings] are caused by smoke from the air conditioning packs," Adams noted. If crews had the means to determine which pack is generating smoke, they could simply shut down the pack. Airliners typically are equipped with two or three air conditioning packs, depending on the model, for redundancy.

Adams believed that a modest program to install smoke detectors in the ductwork would reduce precautionary/emergency landings, would reduce passenger injuries from evacuations. The cost of installing the smoke detectors, cockpit warning lights, and such, "would more than pay for itself" in short order, Adams maintained. >> Adams, e-mail adamsk@alpa.org >>
 
Posts: 2569 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[quote]Adams believed that a modest program to install smoke detectors in the ductwork would reduce precautionary/emergency landings, would reduce passenger injuries from evacuations. The cost of installing the smoke detectors, cockpit warning lights, and such, "would more than pay for itself" in short order, Adams maintained[/unquote]

Good idea, but I hope he is not advocating continuing flight simply because he has identified the location of the smoke. Shutting down a pac to continue flight is away from good. I still say, and will continue to say until they put me in the ground...where there is smoke, there is a compelling need to land.
 
Posts: 58 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You would think that the best reason to have smoke detectors in the ductwork would be to detect smoke sooner!

quote:
Originally posted by Cecil02_99:
[qb][quote]Adams believed that a modest program to install smoke detectors in the ductwork would reduce precautionary/emergency landings, would reduce passenger injuries from evacuations. The cost of installing the smoke detectors, cockpit warning lights, and such, "would more than pay for itself" in short order, Adams maintained[/unquote]

Good idea, but I hope he is not advocating continuing flight simply because he has identified the location of the smoke. Shutting down a pac to continue flight is away from good. I still say, and will continue to say until they put me in the ground...where there is smoke, there is a compelling need to land.[/qb]
 
Posts: 90 | Registered: Fri March 29 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"I still say, and will continue to say until they put me in the ground...where there is smoke, there is a compelling need to land."

Cecil that is just one of the reasons I have a tremendous respect for your opinions. Your posts show that you were/are truly a professional. That is exactly what the TSB has recommended following the sr111 tragedy as they continue their investigation.

Barbara
 
Posts: 2569 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Barbara... What a nice thing to say, thank you. I have continued to state that position, one which
was reinforced during each and every recurrent training period. I am sure that Capt. Adams's
prime rational behind the smoke detectors is for an early alert to discovery, and a more direct
means of location. My remarks re continued flight were more of a spontaneous reaction, and not in any way intended to criticize his suggestion, as I am sure their procedure also is to land as soon as possible. I think the idea is good, and I agree that the cost impact would be minimal.
 
Posts: 58 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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