Swissair111.org    forums.swissair111.org    Discussion  Hop To Forum Categories  SR111 Messages    Inflight entertainment system overheats in Canada

Moderators: BF, Mark Fetherolf
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Inflight entertainment system overheats in Canada
 Login/Join
 
posted
In-flight entertainment could be safety risk
Canadian Press

HALIFAX "” An entertainment system short-circuited, smoked and heated the insulation aboard two Canadian-operated aircraft, concerning some who see similarities to the crash of Swissair Flight 111 seven years ago.

An airline industry report dated Jan. 22 reveals that a taping unit related to the entertainment system on board an Airbus A320 gave off "sufficient heat to cause burning of the insulation blanket above."

The report states that the temperature was so intense that the unit, much like a VCR, showed signs of heat damage.

It doesn't appear there was a fire around the unit, but some aviation consultants say the incident has disturbing similarities to the chain of events that led to the crash of a Swissair MD-11 jetliner into the ocean off Nova Scotia in 1998, killing all 229 people on board.

"Five years later here is a similar kind of problem identified, visible and there's lack of replacement," Alex Richman, whose company AlgoPlus Consulting analyses aviation data for aircraft operators, said in Halifax.

"Here's a unit that has electrical problems causing smoking and damage to the insulation while the plane is 30,000 feet in the air. That's alarming."

The report also states that the troublesome unit is being replaced on the A320, but that the supply of modified ones has been slow.

The modifications come after an earlier incident in which the taping unit again short-circuited and heated the insulation on the plane, both thought to be operated by Skyservice. Skyservice officials were not available to comment.

"Only seven units have been made available on an exchange basis to date, which is half the quantity required for the aircraft," states the report, which was prepared for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the world's top aviation regulator.

Inflight entertainment systems have come under heavy scrutiny since investigators discovered the wiring for the one aboard the downed MD-11 may have caused or at least contributed to the accident.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded that wiring connected to the entertainment system or another source short-circuited and arced, causing a fire that ignited the adjacent insulation blanket. The blaze led to a catastrophic system failure, filling the cockpit with smoke and leaving the pilots helpless to prevent the disaster.

Clay McConnell, a spokesman for Airbus, said the recent incident bears no similarity to the Swissair crash because the heating occurred inside the unit and the insulation cannot catch fire, unlike the material on the MD-11 at the time of the accident.

"The risk of this propagating into some sort of fire is extraordinarily low," he said from Paris. "This is a minor incident."

McConnell disputed the report's claim that the insulation burned, saying it was only discoloured. He said technicians discovered that the taping unit had shorted out, causing it to smoke. He said that shouldn't happen on modified units, but couldn't explain why only half had been supplied.

Despite tightened regulations over the installation of entertainment systems and closer monitoring of them, aviation agencies have reported dozens of incidents related to the machines since the Swissair crash.

In a recent incident report by the Transportation Safety Board, crew aboard an Air Canada Airbus A319 detected an odour of burning plastic. They cut power in the forward galley and the smell dissipated. When power was restored, the video player was turned on and the smell returned.

Crew disabled the system for the remainder of the flight and later determined that a video monitor was faulty.

Vic Gerden, the Transportation Safety Board's lead investigator on the Swissair crash, said that accident led to more stringent rules for the installation of systems and more vigilant surveillance of existing ones.

"Everybody's monitoring them pretty closely these days," he said from Toronto. "I don't think there's an attempt to remove them on principle, just an attempt to make them as safe as possible and tighten the requirements."

He downplayed the seriousness of the most recent incident, saying "this was one those failures of a part that overheated and the adjacent blanket seems to have stood up and not created an undue hazard."

Lucie Vignola, spokeswoman for Transport Canada, said the agency is looking into the occurrence and any "corrective action to see if we feel there should be anything mandatory."

The scrutiny appears not to have slowed sales of the devices which, according to the World Airline Entertainment Association, were estimated to be $1.8 billion last year.


http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/111...6685_197/?hub=Canada
 
Posts: 2574 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
As usual, this article misrepresents the TSB's report. It should say that wiring connected to the entertainment system was involved in an arcing event that caused the fire... Additional wiring involved in the short-circuit that caused the fire may also have been part of the entertainment system but was not recovered.
quote:
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded that wiring connected to the entertainment system or another source short-circuited and arced, causing a fire that ignited the adjacent insulation blanket. The blaze led to a catastrophic system failure, filling the cockpit with smoke and leaving the pilots helpless to prevent the disaster.
 
Posts: 90 | Registered: Fri March 29 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Vic Gerden's remarks are also disturbing. If the TSB's premise is that the combination of faulty entertainment system wiring and poor insulation caused the Swissair 111 crash, one would hope that both problems would be promptly eliminated. The proposition that since no tragedy resulted there was "no undue hazard" is absurd. This is the kind of incident that needs to be taken serioiusly if future crashes are to be prevented.
 
Posts: 90 | Registered: Fri March 29 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Inflight entertainment system overheats, raises concerns about mid-air fires ALISON AULD
Sun Jun 19, 3:56 PM ET



HALIFAX (CP) - An entertainment system short-circuited, smoked and heated the insulation aboard two Canadian-operated aircraft, concerning some who see similarities to the crash of Swissair Flight 111 seven years ago.

An airline industry report dated Jan. 22 reveals that a taping unit related to the entertainment system on board an Airbus A320 gave off "sufficient heat to cause burning of the insulation blanket above."

The report states that the temperature was so intense that the unit, much like a VCR, showed signs of heat damage.

It doesn't appear there was a fire around the unit, but some aviation consultants say the incident has disturbing similarities to the chain of events that led to the crash of a Swissair MD-11 jetliner into the ocean off Nova Scotia in 1998, killing all 229 people on board.

"Five years later here is a similar kind of problem identified, visible and there's lack of replacement," Alex Richman, whose company AlgoPlus Consulting analyses aviation data for aircraft operators, said in Halifax.

"Here's a unit that has electrical problems causing smoking and damage to the insulation while the plane is 30,000 feet in the air. That's alarming."

The report also states that the troublesome unit is being replaced on the A320, but that the supply of modified ones has been slow.

The modifications come after an earlier incident in which the taping unit again short-circuited and heated the insulation on the plane, both thought to be operated by Skyservice. Skyservice officials were not available to comment.

"Only seven units have been made available on an exchange basis to date, which is half the quantity required for the aircraft," states the report, which was prepared for the U.S.

Federal Aviation Administration, the world's top aviation regulator.

Inflight entertainment systems have come under heavy scrutiny since investigators discovered the wiring for the one aboard the downed MD-11 may have caused or at least contributed to the accident.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded that wiring connected to the entertainment system or another source short-circuited and arced, causing a fire that ignited the adjacent insulation blanket. The blaze led to a catastrophic system failure, filling the cockpit with smoke and leaving the pilots helpless to prevent the disaster.

Clay McConnell, a spokesman for Airbus, said the recent incident bears no similarity to the Swissair crash because the heating occurred inside the unit and the insulation cannot catch fire, unlike the material on the MD-11 at the time of the accident.

"The risk of this propagating into some sort of fire is extraordinarily low," he said from Paris. "This is a minor incident."

McConnell disputed the report's claim that the insulation burned, saying it was only discoloured. He said technicians discovered that the taping unit had shorted out, causing it to smoke. He said that shouldn't happen on modified units, but couldn't explain why only half had been supplied.

Despite tightened regulations over the installation of entertainment systems and closer monitoring of them, aviation agencies have reported dozens of incidents related to the machines since the Swissair crash.

In a recent incident report by the Transportation Safety Board, crew aboard an Air Canada Airbus A319 detected an odour of burning plastic. They cut power in the forward galley and the smell dissipated. When power was restored, the video player was turned on and the smell returned.

Crew disabled the system for the remainder of the flight and later determined that a video monitor was faulty.

Vic Gerden, the Transportation Safety Board's lead investigator on the Swissair crash, said that accident led to more stringent rules for the installation of systems and more vigilant surveillance of existing ones.

"Everybody's monitoring them pretty closely these days," he said from Toronto. "I don't think there's an attempt to remove them on principle, just an attempt to make them as safe as possible and tighten the requirements."

He downplayed the seriousness of the most recent incident, saying "this was one those failures of a part that overheated and the adjacent blanket seems to have stood up and not created an undue hazard."

Lucie Vignola, spokeswoman for Transport Canada, said the agency is looking into the occurrence and any "corrective action to see if we feel there should be anything mandatory."

The scrutiny appears not to have slowed sales of the devices which, according to the World Airline Entertainment Association, were estimated to be $1.8 billion last year.

_______

This article appeared in the Canadian Press today and was written by a reporter who wrote several articles about the crash.
 
Posts: 2574 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
 
Posts: 2574 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Faulty VCRs caused smoke in aircraft


Broadcast News


Monday, June 20, 2005


ADVERTISEMENT




An airline industry report says an entertainment system short-circuited, smoked and heated the insulation aboard two Canadian-operated aircraft.
The report dated January 22nd reveals that a taping unit related to the entertainment system on board an Airbus A-320 gave off "sufficient heat to cause burning of the insulation blanket" nearby.

No fires were reported aboard the aircraft.

Both incidents are thought to have involved aircraft operated by Skyservice.

Officials for that airline were not available to comment.

But a spokesman for Airbus says the taping unit - much like a VCR - merely overheated and smoked due to short-circuited wires.

Clay McConnell says there was no risk of fire.

Aviation consultant Alex Richman says he's worried the machines on board certain aircraft could lead to fires much like the one that brought down Swissair Flight 111 seven years ago.

Investigators linked the crash off Nova Scotia to entertainment wiring.


http://www.canada.com/maritimes/news/story.html?id=4273...f7-9426-fc23232bf984
 
Posts: 2574 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
quote:
But a spokesman for Airbus says the taping unit - much like a VCR - merely overheated and smoked due to short-circuited wires.


You have to love this statement. Short-circuited wires can be a pretty nasty safety hazard at 30,000 ft.
 
Posts: 2574 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
quote:
The proposition that since no tragedy resulted there was "no undue hazard" is absurd. This is the kind of incident that needs to be taken serioiusly if future crashes are to be prevented.



Interesting, the CTSB's entire theme (and rightfully so), was that there should be NO flammable materials on an airplane. Hard to argue with that excellent point. Yet when they chose to diminish this incident with their comments, they went against the very thing they were most concerned about. The entertainment system itself, was a fire hazard and they should have been very concerned about that.
 
Posts: 2574 | Location: USA | Registered: Sun April 07 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Swissair111.org    forums.swissair111.org    Discussion  Hop To Forum Categories  SR111 Messages    Inflight entertainment system overheats in Canada

© YourCopy 2002