Fire may have erupted on UPS plane

Discussion in 'The Latest UPS Headlines' started by cheryl, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    Fire may have erupted on UPS plane - Google

    The fire that broke out in a UPS plane that crashed last week in Dubai, killing both pilots, appears to have begun in a cargo compartment, according to people familiar with the accident investigation.

    Accident investigators are now trying to verify which cargo aboard the Boeing 747-400 was located just forward of the starboard wing, where the fire erupted, those familiar with the investigation said. Investigators also want to know if there were any lithium-ion batteries in that location. If a battery short-circuits, it can catch fire and ignite others.

    The location of the fire was identified so quickly because the plane was equipped with a sophisticated data transmission system that sent information via satellite to the company's airline operations headquarters in Louisville, Ky. The transmissions are so fast, people familiar with the investigation said, that UPS' airline operations half a world away had information in hand indicating the plane was in serious trouble before it crashed.
     
  2. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Undeclared Hazmat? Over here on the purple side we have lost several planes due to undeclared Hazardous Materials. Many shippers are unaware that many common materials that are OK to ship by truck or other means are extremely hazardous and/or forbidden for air transport. Luckily, our people were able to land and evacuate the aircraft before they were destroyed. I don't know how UPS handles Dangerous Goods, but the the more dangerous materials on our aircraft have to be accessible to the crew in the "Haz Can" which is equpped with a sophisticated extinguisher system and is loaded in Position 1, just behind the 9-G net. Less hazardous materials can be loaded as inaccessible, but must still be declared and have appropriate paperwork that notifies the crew where they are loaded (which container or pallet position) in the aircraft. I'm assumimg UPS planes are similarly equipped and follow the same regulations.

    This is a huge problem, and very dangerous to air crews. I really hope that investigators can provide an exact cause, and if it was undeclared DG, to get serious about educating shippers just how much trouble an innocent-sounding product can be in an airplane.
     
  3. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    Haz can? Hmm I'm guessing its a standard m1 pallet? As far the only incident besides this tragedy where the airframe was lost was the philly incident where s dc-9 burned because of lithium batteries shorting out
     
  4. Interesting that questions on the possible reason for the fire are centering on Lithium batteries. The PHL accident (Dc-8) was attributed to Lithium batteries, but it was not confirmed expressis verbis by the NTSB to be due to Li-batteries.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but the main deck of the UPS 747 freighter is NOT equipped with a fire suppresion system (compared to the FX aircraft, they have developed their own system, approved by the FAA with an STC = Supplemental Type Certificate), as cargo is accessible to the crew.
    Cargo holds in the belly must have fire suppression system.
    The routing of this flight is always indicated as Dubai to Cologne. Where was this 747 coming from? What was the initial load? Dubai is the center for UPS expansion into the Central Asian States (e.g. -stans and others). Questions will center on screening procedures applied by concerned parties, as well as training given to all persons involved in receiving, handling and loading this cargo. The NTSB knows its job. I can imagine that even though this accident happened in Dubai that there will be a hearing by the NTSB similar to the PHL accident.
    Hidden Dangerous Goods are worse than declared DG. There are economic interests for these Hidden Dangerous Goods (lower costs and charges). Possible indications that they might contain DG can be found with the shipper (nature of business, nature of products, etc.; in other words "profiling"). Proper training for handling of DG costs money, and the hazards of DG are not always realized or (intentionally) downplayed by argueing nothing has ever happened.