Page 5

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice. Albert Einstein Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. Edgar Allan Poe Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality. - Jules de Gaultier If Darwin's theory should be true, it will not degrade man; it will simply raise the whole animal world into dignity, leaving man as far in advance as he is at present. Edwin Osgood Grover If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. -Thoreau

New Items will be added to the top and run off the end

In a message dated 10/04/1999 8:57:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time, BabsF342 writes:
The most refined estimate we have encountered puts the number of aircraft with Kapton wiring at slightly less than half the current fleet: 48 percent. It was prepared by Chris Smith, manager of aging aircraft nonstructural systems research at the FAA's Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

> Barb et al,
> Since this estimate of 48 % is made by the FAA, I have serious doubts as to its accuracy. Ask Ed Block for his opinion. You might ask Bill Hogan for his estimate. If he hasn't got one right away, ask him to put one of his
staff on coming up with a fair estimate. We need it.
> Patrick

Significant Relationship

Mark Brown of GRC International Inc. has produced a vivid graphic to back up 
his assertion that there appears to be a near linear relationship between 
aircraft age and the degradation of wiring due to chafing (see ASW, Sept. 
27). The relationship was derived from the inspections last year of the fuel 
tank wiring on some 450 Boeing 737s. The graphic essentially portrays the 
same data reported in tabular form in this publication earlier, but the 
pictorial is more eye-catching (see ASW, June 1, 1998). The illustration 
suggests there is about a one-in-six chance that there is bare wiring on an 
aircraft that has accumulated more than 70,000 wires. Separately, Chris 
Brown, who manages nonstructural research at the FAA's Technical Center in 
New Jersey, estimates that the failure rate (bare wire exposed locally) for 
737s with more than 70,000 hours is about 2.26 per million flight hours. For 
aircraft with 40,000-50,000 hours, he estimates the failure rate is 0.74 per 
million flight hours.

Regarding his graphic, Brown was careful to point out, "Although the data 
shown here is attention getting, the existence of a bare wire may not 
represent a risk to the travelling public." "There is a big difference 
between a bare wire near a fuel tank and one in the wingtip lighting. There 
is an even bigger difference in knowing that the condition of the wiring is 
in an aircraft prior to flight and just hoping that nothing serious is 
wrong," he added. That statement is relevant to the importance of the 
graphic: it is based on an inspection of some 1-2% of the wiring on a modern 
jetliner. Given these preliminary findings, Brown believes the sampling 
results are compelling enough to warrant inspecting all the wiring. To be 
sure, he's in the wire-testing business, but the point is worth considering, 
nonetheless. As Brown argues, the industry does not know how many bare wires 
are flying today, and on which aircraft. >> Brown, e-mail; 
Smith, e-mail << 

The Big Three

A review of some 271 mishaps in the U.S. Air Force between 1989 and March 
1999 attributed to electric/electronic problems found that certain types of 
failures dominated. According to George Slenski, a scientist at the Air Force 
Research Laboratory, conductors, connectors and electrical panel failures 
contributed to more than half of the electrically-related mishaps (relays, 
transformers, switches, generators, batteries, etc. made up the rest):

Conductors (wiring) 29 % 
Connectors 14 % 
Electric panels 8 % 
Total 51 % 

Mishaps in the Air Force can range in damage from $10,000 to $1 million or 
more. Most are minor but, as Slenski pointed out, minor damage can 
potentially lead to the loss of an airplane. Fighter aircraft appear more 
susceptible to aging damage. They feature more complex avionics in tight 
spaces, increasing the opportunity for chafing. Fighter avionics also are 
subjected to higher operating temperatures. However, in this respect, 
fighters may provide a form of "accelerated aging" that may provide insights 
regarding commercial aircraft. >> Slenski, tel. 937/656-9147 << 

Subject: Another AC interpretation (Puts FAA's AC 25-16 in a whole new light -i.e. Admissible as evidence of negligence)
> >> "Broome also objects to the district court's inclusion in                                                                                      08 Oct 99
> >> the charge of FAA Advisory Circular 150-5200/30,
> >> relating to maintenance of runways during bad
> >> weather. Broome argues that the circulars do not
> >> have the force of law and that the district court
> >> therefore erred in telling the jury that they may infer
> >> negligence from a violation of the advisory. We have
> >> held that FAA Advisory Circulars are properly
> >> admitted into evidence and charged to the jury to aid
> >> it in formulating a standard of care to assess
> >> negligence. In recent Air Crash Disaster at John F.
> >> Kennedy Int'l Airport on June 24, 1975, 635 F.2d 67,
> >> 77 (2d Cir.1980). Judge McCurn's charge, that failure
> >> to comply with the circulars may be considered as
> >> "some evidence of negligence, along with the other
> >> evidence in the case," was thus entirely proper."
> >>
> >> RELIANT AIRLINES, INC.; Linda Hendricks,
> >> Plaintiffs-Counter-Defendant-Appellees,
> >> v.
> >> BROOME COUNTY, New York, Defendant-Counter
> >> -Claimant-Appellant. 122 F.3d 1057, 1997
> >> WL 416912 (2nd Cir.)
> >>

This was a finding of fact in the same N-500L case:
 "N-500L never flew above 1000 feet; operating at this altitude was a
violation of Federal Aviation Regulations and a proximate cause of the
crash. Finding No. 15. The failure of the pilot of N-500L to keep the
L-1011 in sight, maintain visual separation and maneuver out of
its path violated the good operating practices of the Airman's
Information Manual and the Advisory Circular, was negligence and a
proximate cause of the accident."
> In re N-500L CASES. 691 F.2d 15 (1982), at 34

"It is undisputed that Franklin had a duty to be, and actually was,
familiar with information regarding wake turbulence avoidance published in the Airman's Information Manual and in the FAA advisory circulars.
See 14 C.F.R. 61.105(a). He prolonged his approach in an attempt to avoid the wake left by the helicopter, but tragically, those measures were insufficient to prevent the accident."
DYER v. U.S. 832 F.2d 1062 at 1070

"In addition to these general safety regulations, the
> FAA publishes information regarding wake
> turbulence in its Airman's Information Manual and in
> the FAA advisory circulars. Pilots are bound by 14
> C.F.R. 61.105(a) to be familiar with the information
> contained in these publications and in the Federal
> Aviation Regulations. These rules, information
> manuals and circulars constitute evidence of the
> standard of care among all pilots. Muncie Aviation,
> 519 F.2d at 1180-81; N-500L Cases, 517 F.Supp. at
> 833."
> DYER v. U.S. 832 F.2d 1062 at 1069

"In addition to the FARs, the FAA publishes the Airman's Information
Manual (AIM) in order to explain to pilots the application of the FARs  in various situations. FAA Advisory Circulars are also promulgated on various topics to advise pilots of methods of avoiding certain hazardous conditions. . . . The AIM and Advisory Circulars are evidence of the standard of care among all pilots, Muncie Aviation Corp. v. Party Doll Fleet, Inc., 519 F.2d 1178, 1180-81 (5th Cir. 1975), and it is assumed that all pilots have read and know their provisions. Associated Aviation Underwriters v. United States, 462 F.Supp. 674, 680 (N.D.Tex.1979)."

> In re N-500L CASES. 691 F.2d 15 (1982), at 28

Prototype First

07 Oct 99


It could take eight years, not the four years proposed, to properly assess the job and to replace metalized Mylar thermal acoustic insulation blankets in some 700 Douglas-built aircraft, according to the Air Transport Association (ATA). The organization represents major U.S. carriers and believes the price tag of
what it estimates may total a half-billion dollar effort could have a "staggering economic impact on the industry." Worse, a hurried replacement program could harm safety, rather than improve it, given the risks of disturbing wire during the thermal acoustic blanket change-out process. Thus, while installing more
fire-resistant "tinder," the effort could create more "matches" in the form of an unknown number of arcing sources. Indeed, this potential hazard has been raised by a number of independent aircraft maintenance and wiring experts.

Last August, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a massive change-out of metalized Mylar thermal acoustic insulation blanketing in Douglas aircraft over a 4-year period, a time ostensibly intended to allow for the work to be done during scheduled heavy maintenance, when interior furnishings are removed and access to the thermal acoustic insulation batts is easier (see ASW, Aug. 16 and Sept. 6).

In a Sept. 27 letter to the FAA, the ATA suggested a prototyping program to refine estimates of the amount of labor involved, and the best approach regarding material and installation.

In addition, the ATA argued that an 8-year change-out window would not only allow for prototyping to nail down uncertainties, it also would allow the industry to better accommodate the other shoe that has yet to drop: forthcoming airworthiness directives (ADs) concerning aircraft wiring systems. Indeed, many in the industry feel whipsawed by requirements to install modifications or perform inspections on the 737 rudder power control unit. Meeting the mandated deadlines caused major headaches and scheduling complications, which many in the industry are loathe to see repeated for thermal acoustic insulation, according to sources. The ATA, however, did endorse the replacement effort. Replacing metalized Mylar covered insulation, the organization said, "will, in our view, enhance aviation safety." >> ATA, 202/626-4172 << 

Two Prototyping Efforts
1. American Airlines will modify an entire MD-80 commencing Nov. 22, with work estimated to be completed January 21, 2000 (including final electrical and systems checks).

2. Swissair will change out the insulation in a prototype effort commencing Oct. 18, 1999, on one of its MD-11s, with work slated to conclude Sept. 12.

The prototype efforts are intended to validate recommended procedures in service bulletins issued earlier. For example, the bulletins address the fabrication of replacement blankets but do not provide guidance on how best to remove the old blankets or to install the new ones. In addition, the bulletins, in the ATA's
judgment, outline the least effective of four replacement options:

Option - A. Blankets provided in kits from manufacturer Merits/Demerits - The most efficient. Facilitates earliest replacement.

Option - B. Blankets fabricated from measurements in affected airplanes Merits/Demerits - Viewed as costly and time-consuming. May require supplemental type certificate (STC) for each installation configuration.

Option - C. Blankets fabricated using a kit of templates provided by the manufacturer Merits/Demerits - Viewed as prohibitively costly. The manufacturer may not be able to provide them in time to meet 4-yr schedule

Option - D. Blankets fabricated using removed blankets as templates as specified in the service bulletins.
Merits/Demerits - Viewed as the least practical as blankets can be damaged in removal, shrink during fabrication, and become distorted in service.

Source: ATA 

AIR EUROPA emergency landing at ZRH ukraenzle
10/04/1999 01:57 am EDT 
On Sunday, a B757 of AIR EUROPA (Spain) made an emergency landing with 202 + 
Crew on Board at Zurich-Kloten-airport. There was smoke in the plane. The 
aircraft was on its way from ZRH to Palma de Mallorca (PMI). Nobody was hurt. 
A second aircraft of the airline came in from MAD and transported the pax to the island off the Baleares. 

I believe you will find that this is an older 757 and as such, it was wired with BMS 13-51 KAPTON wire. I would appreciate any information from anybody, as to the Model and age of this 757 plane.

.From the TWA800 House S.C. Hearings

    Mrs. FOWLER. Thank you. I want to thank Chairman Duncan for allowing Congressman Barcia and myself to participate in today's hearing. I'm Tillie Fowler from Florida. And I thank my two colleagues here to step ahead of them for just a few moments here to get something on the record.

    Congressman Barcia and I want to express our interest in the area of airframe wire safety standards. And my question is directed to Associate Administrator, Mr. Gardner, however, if Mr. Kallstrom wants to respond, then I would welcome his comments as well, and I'd just like your response for the record.

    Mr. Gardner, on July 2nd, the Washington Post cited FAA officials suggesting that chafed wires could have played a role in the TWA crash. The Post also reported that an inspection of electrical wiring inside early Boeing 747s could have caused explosions if that had been left undetected.

    So even if faulty wiring turns out not to be the cause in this incident, it seems that we should be looking to raise our safety standards as it applies to wiring inside these planes. Now, I understand that FAA requirements for airframe wiring have not changed in 20 years. Yet the technology has advanced greatly in the meantime. There are several companies in this country that are producing a new generation of airframe wire that performs superior performance electrically and mechanically, and it's got virtually no flammability and smoke generation characteristics. And I understand the Defense Department has recognized and is using this new technology, but the private sector is lagging behind.
page 96       PREV page       TOP OF DOC

    So for the record, I hope you could answer whether we can expect that the FAA is going to take a more proactive role in moving industry toward safer wiring, especially in light of the revelations that faulty wiring is a prime suspect in this crash. And if my colleagues would grant unanimous consent for Congressman Barcia to do a follow-up on this, I would appreciate it, and then we would have our answers for the record.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Go ahead, Mr. Barcia.

    Mr. BARCIA. I thank the Chair and of course, the committee members, for their indulgence.

    I would just like to echo the sentiment of the gentlelady from Florida, Congresswoman Fowler, and raise some additional concerns with regard to this issue. I first brought the composite wire issue to the attention of the FAA on September 19, 1996, when I asked then-Administrator Hinson during a Science Committee hearing to look into the technological advancements made in airframe wiring in light of the fact that the current regulations governing airframe wiring were written more than 20 years ago.

    On March 13, 1997, I asked the FAA for an update on my original question during a Technology Subcommittee hearing, to which the FAA replied, and I quote, ''The wire industry is providing outstanding products to the airframe manufacturers, including hybrid composite wire insulation construction. The airframe manufacturers select the best wire type based upon their independent evaluations and installation practices.
page 97       PREV page       TOP OF DOC

    The FAA believes that with regard to flammability and smoke, the choices that are being made for today's aircraft provide outstanding performance. To assist manufacturers in the selection of the best available firesafe aircraft wiring, the FAA has developed smoke and arc tracking test methods for incorporation into an upgraded aircraft material fire test handbook, which will be published within the next 6 months.''

    While encouraged by this response, I am nevertheless concerned that an upgraded aircraft material fire test handbook would do little in addressing the safety issues recognized by the McDonnell Douglas and the FAA Fire Safety Section studies, in that such volunteer testing could make accurate wire testing either cost prohibitive or without appropriate supervision, would likely increase the possibility of human error.

    It is my sincere hope that in light of the thoughtful comments made by Congresswoman Fowler, its approval of and incorporation into our Nation's military aircraft and the testimony received today, we can work together in addressing this very important issue.

    [The information follows:]

    In a recent study conducted by the FAA, it was confirmed that wiring with composite hybrid insulation is being used in the manufacture of the newest transport airplanes, such as the MD95, the B777 and the B737. Consequently, we believe no formal government requirement for the use of such wiring is necessary.

    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Barcia. And with those statements by Mrs. Fowler and Mr. Barcia, we'll proceed with the questioning by Mr. LaHood.

In a message dated 9/30/99 3:30:28 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes: 

I am preparing a Resume of Issues and am currently condensing the 135 page Memorandum that was sent to KLM outlining IASA's submissions on Wiring Anomalies and Flight Safety. I have a number of questions that I would appreciate some input on: 

1.. An August 1988 FAA study that concluded that the thermal degradation process of Kapton results in carbonization of the insulation material leading to arc-tracking and in-flight fires. Is this the Study that formed the basis of the July 1989 FAA Report "Flammability, Switch and Dry Arc Tracking Tests of Aircraft Electrical Wire Insulations"? 

2.. is the 30 June 1997 letter (TWA to Boeing) in the public domain? I know that it featured on the Panorama programme but need to be sure. 

3.. In 1982 Capt. Donald R Eaton made certain findings available to the pentagon. Do we have any documentary evidence of his findings/concerns? 

4.. I note that in December 1981 the USN ordered the replacement of Kapton BUT Capt. Eatons comments follow in 1982 - which came first the chicken or the egg? There will no doubt be more and I apologise in advance if there are year 1, lesson 1 questions!

Dear Adam, 

1.)These FAA attempts to understand Kapton and wiring problems, go back to my briefing the Energy and Commerce Committee in 1988, and them sending out letters of inquiry to the FAA. The 1988 wet arc-testing lead to the dry arc-track testing where only Kapton arc-tracked. In the wet, cross-linked Tefzel also arc-tracked. This material is still being used by Boeing even though it was; banned by Grumman for manned aerospace applications due to its smoke toxicity, found by the FAA in 1995 that it had a 97% smoke obscurity rating compared to 2% from any other insulation, banned by NASA in oxygen enriched areas due to its flammability. 

2.)I have the TWA letter and I believe it is on Patrick Price's website. 

3.)I have Captain Eaton's Briefing and was a member of that Pentagon panel. In 1981 Capt. Eaton said no to Poly-X and Kapton, but rather to use XL-ETFE (cross-linked Tefzel). In Fiscal year 1983, he asked for $360 million to replace poly-X in the F-14 and to rewire with Kapton. No mention of XL-ETFE. 

4.) There was a briefing I gave McSweeny, the Navy, FBI, GAO. etc. in Apr 97 that covered every bit of this issue. After my 4 hour presentation McSweeny leaned over to Admiral Cook and asked, "What do you mean problems with poly-X?" This statement epitomized the disconnect between what the Navy knew and what they told the FAA. 

ED Block

FAA pulls plug on Interactive's
in-flight system 

Thursday, September 30, 1999


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration yesterday ordered U.S. airlines using
Boeing Co. MD-11 aircraft not to install Interactive
Flight Technologies Inc. entertainment systems like the
one on a Swissair jet that crashed off the coast of Nova
Scotia in September 1998.

No U.S.-registered jetliners have the devices, although
they have been installed on 15 MD-11s worldwide.
The Interactive Flight systems, which offer movies and
computer games, have been deactivated on Swissair
aircraft, the FAA said.

Interactive Flight wasn't immediately available for comment. 

Authorities haven't determined what caused the
SwissAir crash, which killed 229. An FAA review said
the entertainment system's electrical switching isn't
"compatible with the design concept of the MD-11
because it limits the flight crew's ability to respond to a
smoke or fumes emergency."

In such emergencies, the flight crew must shut down all
non-essential systems in the passenger cabin, including
entertainment systems. Pulling the system's circuit
breaker is the only way to cut off power to the system
on the MD-11, the FAA said.

Earlier this month, Swissair and other SAirGroup units
filed a lawsuit in Zurich against the three U.S.
companies that worked on the entertainment system.
The suit was against Phoenix, Ariz.-based Interactive
Flight Technologies, the supplier; Hollingsead
International Inc., which installed it; and Santa Barbara
Aerospace Inc., which certified it.
Monday, September 27, 1999

Ship to begin recovering Swissair's shattered remains         By ALISON AULD -- The Canadian Press
HALIFAX -- Investigators will begin sifting through the tiny, shattered  wreckage of Swissair Flight 111 after a ship arrives today to suction the remaining debris from the ocean floor. 

The Queen of the Netherlands was to position itself over the crash site Monday. 

Officials with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are hoping to recover critical pieces of wiring and plane wreckage that could explain why Flight 111 suffered a crippling power loss on Sept. 2, 1998, and plunged into waters off Peggy's Cove, N.S., killing all 229 people on board. 

"It's going to pick up everything and hopefully within that material there will be aircraft debris that we're interested in," said Larry Vance, deputy investigator with the TSB. 

"Hopefully there will be wiring and other pieces from the front of the airplane. That's the whole objective." 

Investigators are particularly interested in small pieces of wiring from the cockpit and forward cabin, where it's suspected an electrical firing might have started. 

Attention has focused on potentially flawed wiring, covered in controversial Kapton insulation and connected to an inflight entertainment system. 

Air-crash experts still haven't identified the cause of a fire that sent smoke into the cockpit of the doomed airliner. Although most of the plane, a Boeing MD-11, has been retrieved, little of the cockpit has been recovered. 

The ship will suction the material into a container on board. It will be unloaded at Sheet Harbour, a community on the province's Eastern Shore, and placed in a 100-metre by 200-metre dyke. Water will drain out at one end, leaving about 15,000 cubic metres of plane fragments, mud, rock and other material from the ocean floor. 

It will be sifted by hand by several retired RCMP officers and TSB officials -- a process that will likely take more than two months. 

Security will be particularly high for the sifting that could identify the cause of the crash. Investigators want to ensure the debris isn't 
contaminated or that crucial pieces of evidence are not removed. 

"We will check people going in and going out," said RCMP Sgt. Wayne Noonan. "These are people that we trust and we've checked, but by the same token, you never know." 

Members will also be made to wear special clothing that won't allow them to conceal anything. Cameras and supervisors will monitor the sifting process round the clock. 

Noonan said any human remains that are recovered will probably be subjected to DNA-testing. Family members will determine what happens after that. 

The remains could be added to others buried in Bayswater, N.S., on the first anniversary of the crash. 

The giant vacuum could also recover millions of dollars worth of diamonds that were on the plane that was bound to Geneva from New York. 
General Advice
AAC 6-71

Electrical Power - Circuit Breakers 


The electrical system within an aircraft can vary from the basic to the very complex yet the one thing each system has in common is circuit protection devices, commonly known as fuses or circuit breakers. The subject of this article is circuit breakers. This article is not intended to supersede specific approved data, but to highlight the general importance of circuit breakers. 

It is important to understand that these devices are not there to protect the equipment at the end of the wire but to protect the aircraft wiring. Usually when a fault is severe enough in the equipment to activate these devices damage has already occurred. 

Whilst an aircraft is on the ground CASA strongly advises against resetting circuit breakers without having first analysed and corrected the reason for the failure. Rearming a circuit breaker without having taken the necessary precautions could cause extensive damage and have serious consequences. One manufacturer recently reported an incident where a fire started after a circuit breaker, intended to protect the engine starting circuit, was reset several times in quick succession. 

When a circuit breaker trips in flight it is sometimes possible to reset it depending on the importance of the circuit it protects. As a general rule no more than one reset should be attempted, however, your flight manual may contain more specific instructions.  

Airworthiness Articles

AAC 1-78

Electrical Maintenance Practices


A fire on-board a Piper PA 23-250 aircraft during a VFR flight highlighted a potential problem with cable supporting clamps. The fire developed behind the instrument panel and a subsequent investigation revealed that the cable connecting the battery to the ammeter had melted coincident with the point where it passed through the metal supporting clamp. The investigation further revealed that the clamp did not have an insulating sleeve and was too large for the cable. This enabled the cable to rub inside the clamp thus damaging the cable insulation. This in turn caused arcing of the bare wire and resulted in a fire. Inspection also indicated that poor routing of the ammeter cable had allowed the co-pilots control column to rub against the cable.

Airworthiness Directive AD/PA-23/86 was raised to address the immediate problem with the Piper 23 Series aeroplanes. However, the problem may not be isolated to this aircraft type. It is strongly recommended that all aircraft electrical wire supporting clamps be inspected to ensure that they are the cushioned (insulated) type and that these clamps are in good order. Additionally, it is also recommended that all aircraft electrical wire be inspected on a regular basis for abrasions, defective insulation and wire routing methods. 

Monday Sept. 27, 1999
Airline orders pilots to fly 737s faster to avoid malfunction

PITTSBURGH (AP)-- U.S. Airways has ordered pilots to fly the Boeing 737 faster during  takeoffs and landings to avoid a rudder-control problem that is believed to have caused at least two fatal crashes.  That's according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today. 

U.S. Airways has told its pilots to fly 23 miles per hour faster during takeoffs and landings. The added speed gives pilots more time to correct rudder problems. 

Seattle-based Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board have recommended such speed changes as a precaution. 

Boeing spokesman Craig Martin says U-S Airways' decision is simply a direct result of the safety board's recommendations. 
>  Ed et al,
Kapton wire (BMS 13-51) wasn't as heavy as Raychem's Spec A55 wire.  When Boeing used Spec A55 (BMS 13-48) wire, they had to pay a WEIGHT PENALTY because it was heavier than BMS 13-51 (KAPTON) wire.  Boeing DID NOT want to
be bound to a SINGLE SOURCE SUPPLIER like they had been held captive by Raychem in the past.  That's why I was ordered to qualify at least TWO wire manufacturers or we couldn't use TKT  (BMS 13-60) wire for the 737 and 757
I still believe that an arrangement between Boeing and raychem was reached allowing BMS 13-48 wire to be used on 747, 767 and the new 777 models.
Otherwise Raychem would have put OUT of BUSINESS as far as supplying Boeing with A/C wire.
>  Patrick >>


Smoke became visible in cabin 14 minutes after take off. Crew emptied all fire extinguishers through decompression holes in an attempt to fight the fire. Plane landed 14 minutes after first smoke was visible.

Findings: canon plug of heater had signs of short. Arcing occurred igniting mylar blankets in vicinity which led to a secondary fire...

Very lucky all these 118 souls

However, the denatured version:
NTSB Identification: NYC99IA231
Scheduled 14 CFR 121 operation of DELTA AIR LINES

Accident occurred SEP-17-99 at COVINGTON, KY
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-88, registration: N947DL
Injuries: 118 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors.
Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

On September 17, 1999, about 2230 eastern daylight time, a McDonnell-Douglas

MD-88, N947DL, operated by Delta Air Lines as flight 2030, performed a precautionary landing at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Covington, Kentucky. There were no injuries to the 2 certificated cockpit crewmembers, 3 flight attendants, and 113 passengers. The airplane received minor damage. Flight 2030 was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan under 14 CFR Part 121. Flight 2030 was a scheduled flight between CVG and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York, New York. The airplane was pushed back at 2150, and was airborne at 2201. At 2214, as the airplane was climbing through  FL230 (23,000 feet), the flight crew reported that there was smoke in the cabin and declared an emergency. The airplane was handed off to Covington Approach Control for a return to CVG. The airplane landed on Runway 18L at 2230, and
was stopped on the runway. The emergency exits were activated, and the occupants exited the airplane. Initial examination of the airplane revealed thermal damage to a 5 by 5 foot area located under the main cabin floor, and about 2 feet behind the aft side of the forward cargo door on the right side of the fuselage.This was the area where the right side alternate static port was located. The damage consisted of sooting, and heat distress to the underside floor structure and a fiberglass potable water bottle. The covering on three metalized mylar insulation blankets was missing and the edges of the blankets were charred.

A fiberglass cargo bin wall panel in the vicinity was burned. In addition, in the cabin, soot damage was visible on the right cabin sidewall in the vicinity of passenger row 11. The heating element for the primary and alternate static sources was controlled from a cockpit switch, which could be activated on the ground or in the air. A thermal sensor regulated the temperature of the heating elements within pre-determined limits. The circuit breaker to the electric heat for the static ports, located in the cockpit, had not tripped. An insulation resistance check conducted on the right side alternate static port heater revealed lower than normal resistance. The heater element plate and associated hardware was retained for further examination.

 RAdm Eaton Briefed the FAA on use of Kapton in the "80s

 >> Eaton, who ordered Kapton removed from Navy planes in the 1980s, told USA TODAY that aircraft manufacturers should not continue to install polyimide wire on new jets.  ''The manufacturers need to seriously understand what they're doing and realize that there are better substitutes out there,'' he says.

''We're dealing with aircraft in the commercial fleet, and they operate in different environmental conditions than military planes,'' says Beth Erickson, director of the FAA's aircraft certification office.>>

 Beth Erickson knows more than RAdm. Eaton??  I DON'T think so.  She talks the same line as Tom McSweeny.  Two peas from the same pod.  The FAA has known how dangererous KAPTON wire is, as they were briefed back in the '80s by RAdm. Eaton, and the FAA Hughes Tech Center in NJ has published Pat Cahill's test reports on the dangers of electrical arcing of Kapton wire.  

 So the FAA takes the stand, that they have to compare oranges and apples (different environments).  Let us make another comparison.  You take a STICK of DYNAMITE and place it in a Indy 500 race car and place another stick of dynamite in a chauffeur driven limo.  Different environments but 2 sticks of dynamite that are dangerous.  Kapton wire is a potential stick of dynamite as evidenced by Swissair 111 and many Military jet aircraft.  So as long as the FAA maintains this attitude of "SELF DENIAL," people will die on commercial jets.  Rightly so, the lawyers of SR 111 victims, can sue not only DuPont, Boeing but also the FAA for NOT banning Kapton wire, as it does NOT meet the regulations of FAR 25 and they are well aware of the dangers of Kapton wire.

 RAdm. Eaton stated, . . . ."realize that there are better substitutes out there,'' he says."  Ask Boeing why they do NOT use TKT (BMS 13-60) on all of their jets.  We know why they use it on 737 and 757s because they could NOT sell UAL anymore 737 and 757 models with Kapton wire.  The TKT wire was suppose to be used on the 777 model but as I was told, politics came into play, and Boeing uses Raychem's BMS 13-48 (X-link Tefzel type wire) instead of TKT. 

 Was Boeing blackmailed into using BMS 13-48 for 747, 767, and 777 models by Raychem?  John Berlin, CEO of Tensolite, assured me that they could have supplied all the TKT type wire for the model 777 as needed.  So ask Boeing, why they do not use TKT type wire on all of their models in lieu of the following statement by Boeing engineering?

 In a letter dated May 24, 1991  B-GlOB-M9l-209 from Alex Taylor, Boeing engineer in charge of aircraft wiring that was a letter of commendation he wrote:  "We now have a released specification for new wire and cable design that not only we, but the whole company, can be proud of. As a result of your efforts, we are able to offer the Design Projects, Manufacturing and our airline customers an alternative to BMS 13-51 and BMS 13-48, an alternative that overcomes the arc resistance problems associated with the former and the weight penalties associated with the latter.


        We are the only airframe or aerospace manufacturing company that has developed a specification for, and qualified, lightweight, high performance, arc resistant, composite construction, general purpose airframe wire and cable. In addition, we are the first company in the aerospace industry to issue a wire and cable specification that uses SPC as the basis for assuring the quality of the product. BMS 13-60 is the standard to which the rest of the industry will aspire.  Thank you."


                                          Alex Taylor

 Patrick A. Price         

SAFE SKIES?                                                     JUNE 25, 1996

TRANSCRIPT  (Re-read this. Has anything changed?)

Kwame Holman reports on the House hearings on the ValuJet crash and the issue of airline safety. 

KWAME HOLMAN: Employees of ValuJet held a rally on the East front of the capitol this morning calling on Congress not to make a political football out of the problems at their now shutdown airline. Meanwhile, inside a nearby hearing room members of the House Transportation Committee were listening to a broad attack on the Federal Aviation Administration's oversight of ValuJet and the nation's other air carriers. Mary Schiavo has been inspector general of the Department of Transportation for more than five years. 

MARY SCHIAVO, Director General, Transportation Department: In answering the question of what's wrong at the FAA, at least for myself and for my office, we only have to go back to the history of what I have been doing for five and a half years. Starting in 1991, we were addressing these very same issues. We were asking what is wrong with FAA inspections? And we came up with a virtual laundry list of things that were wrong. We had a hearing. There were promises made and promises not kept. And this back in 1991. You know, a totally different leadership, a totally different administration, but the problems go on. We found problems in safety oversight, problems in maintenance, problems in repair stations, problems in foreign manufactured parts. ValuJet is kind of a microcosm for the problems that we have uncovered at the FAA. 

MR. HOLMAN: Republican Senator William Cohen of Maine has followed aviation issues throughout his 20-year congressional career. He contradicted statements by the FAA and the Transportation Department in the wake of the May 11th crash that ValuJet had no serious problems. 

SEN. WILLIAM COHEN, (R) Maine: A review of these documents, as well as FAA's inspection results since October '93, clearly show that ValuJet began having problems almost immediately after it began flying, and some of those problems persisted throughout its period of operation. But to me, one of the most serious violations was discovered in September of '94, when an FAA inspector found that a ValuJet aircraft made 148 flights while unworthy. And then a February '96 memo from the FAA to the president of ValuJet stated that the FAA had concern that ValuJet was not meeting--not meeting its duty to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest as required by law. And this memo further stated that ValuJet did not have a structure in place to handle its rapid growth, that it may have an organizational culture that is in conflict with operating at the highest possible degree of safety, and then, moreover, a February '96 report provided by three FAA inspectors recommend that the FAA considered having ValuJet go through an immediate recertification. 

MR. HOLMAN: And Jim Hall, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the FAA also has longstanding problems regulating airlines that like ValuJet contract out their maintenance work. 

JIM HALL, Vice Chairman, NTSB: The Safety Board first addressed the issue of FAA oversight of contract maintenance operations 20 years ago following an accident in Van Nuys, California. We addressed the issue of contract maintenance again in 1982, following a Boeing 737 accident in Washington. Now we are looking at what some have dubbed a "virtual airline," one that provides transportation but conducts none of its own maintenance and training. And this brings me to an observation, Mr. Chairman. Last week, the FAA announced that it would now require airlines to demonstrate the regulatory compliance of each of their major contract maintenance programs and facilities. The implication is that the airlines have not done that until today. If this is true, Mr. Chairman, then we may not just have a ValuJet problem here, we may also have an FAA problem. 

MR. HOLMAN: Moments later, FAA Administrator David Hinson told the committee his agency should have scrutinized ValuJet more closely before the May 11th Florida crash that killed 110. But he stressed the lack of oversight did not necessarily contribute to the crash. 

DAVID HINSON, FAA Administrator: There is no apparent relationship between the accident and any issues of compliance at ValuJet. The problems at ValuJet from a compliance perspective, in my opinion, are a function of their rate of growth--and require us to reassess the way in which we look at the rate that an air carrier grows. 

REP. JAMES OBERSTAR, (D) Minnesota: Appearance is given that the airline really was not at the highest level of safety; you just didn't know it. And the public flew in jeopardy for a period of time. That, at least, is an appearance. 

DAVID HINSON: I don't, I don't want to make it too academic, Mr. Oberstar, but it is, it is a logic problem, and it flows something like this. When an airline is compliant and it moves to non-compliance and based upon the data that we had that Sunday, the airline was compliant, how does that work? Last year, as you mentioned, we did ground five airlines, or someone mentioned. If you had asked me about any of those airlines a week before, two weeks before, a month before, six months before, my statement would have been something like this: the airline is compliant, Airline A is compliant, Airline B is compliant, and so forth. And, yes, they're safe. Yet, somewhere in that, in that timeframe because of inspector insights and investigations or for a host of other reasons, that airline migrated from being compliant to non-compliant and was asked to stop flying, or parts of the airline were asked to stop flying. At what point do you find out that they're non-compliant and then ground 'em? That is a logic problem that has caused the FAA lots of heartburn over many, many years. 

REP. JOHN DUNCAN, (R) Tennessee: I know you deeply regret this accident, as all of us do. Do you think that the FAA allowed ValuJet to grow too quickly? 

DAVID HINSON: Yes, sir, in retrospect, I do, and, uh, where I think the FAA could have done a better job is probably a year ago in April when they were flying I think about twenty-five airplanes and they grew to fifty by February, fifty-one when we asked them to stop growing. It's in that timeframe that, that we might have done a better job of saying to them, why don't you slow down, though your systems may not be quite capable of helping you manage your growth--and there are some lessons learned there for us. 

MR. HOLMAN: Florida Democrat Corrine Brown pointed out that not all low-cost airlines have poor safety records. 

REP. CORRINE BROWN, (D) Florida: Southwest Airline, a low-cost carrier with an outstanding safety record, how are those operations different from ValuJet? 

DAVID HINSON: Southwest Airlines has experienced their growth over a very long period of time since 1972, for example, so 24 years. Umm, ValuJet has been growing much more rapidly. Southwest Airlines has a system that's proven and demonstrated and in place for maintenance, particularly on the maintenance system management area, and ValuJet has had problems in this area. And I think in broad context, those would be the two principal differences. 

REP. CORRINE BROWN: Well, in keeping in mind that the growth in the industry is in these low-cost carriers, what precautions, umm, or what planning or how should we regulate the growth? 

DAVID HINSON: You have raised, I think, of all the things we've talked about today, you have raised one of the really important questions, i.e., to see if during the first part of an airline's growth, first, second and third year, for example, there are things we need to do differently than we have done in the past. I think that's a very legitimate question. We may decide no, I don't know what the answer to that will be; we may decide yes in some contexts, but, but you have put your finger on exactly an issue that we're dealing with. 

MR. HOLMAN: Late this afternoon, the House Transportation Subcommittee called its final witness. Lewis Jordan is ValuJet's president and as he has done since the tragic accident last month, he defended the reputation of his airline. 

LEWIS JORDAN, President, ValuJet: I would have grounded this fleet myself if I had had any reason to believe that the airplanes were not safe. The safety of our customers is our No. 1 priority and far and away ahead of any other priority. I simply do not understand the logic of those who think that running an unsafe airline could ever contribute to profitability, could ever contribute to marketing an airline in the public's eye. 

MR. HOLMAN: But Jordan will have to wait until ValuJet can prove it can comply with federal aviation standards before his airline can fly again. 

JUNE 8,1995  (a prior Valujet Accident)

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable
cause of this accident was the failure of Turk Hava Yollari
maintenance and inspection personnel to perform a proper inspection
a 7th stage high compressor disk, thus allowing the detectable crack
to grow to a length at which the disk ruptured, under normal operating
conditions, propelling engine fragments into the fuselage; the
fragments severed the right engine main fuel line, which resulted in a
fire that rapidly engulfed the cabin area. The lack of an adequate
record-keeping system and the failure to use "process sheets" to
document the step-by-step overhaul/inspection procedures
to the failure to detect the crack and, thus, to the accident. 

Rand: 'Party system' best for crash inquiries

The sometimes controversial practice of allowing airlines, aircraft makers such as The Boeing Co. and other interested parties to participate in accident investigations is likely to remain intact, a congressional panel heard last week. The so-called "party system" has been criticized by the families of disaster victims and others who feel it compromises the independence of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Last year, the board asked Rand Corp. to review the practice. A report is due out in about six weeks. Rand Associate Director Cynthia Lebow told the House Transportation aviation subcommittee the party process could be improved, but the NTSB could not function without it.

"Overall, the party system is something which is essential to the functioning of the NTSB given its size and its mission," Lebow said. NTSB uses the knowledge of these outside experts during the fact-gathering stage of an accident investigation. Its staff then drafts a report for review by the board. NTSB Chairman Jim Hall told the same hearing that theparty system was three decades old and had worked well.

Lebow said it was not possible for the agency's 149 aviation safety staff members to be expected to know every design feature of an airliner, or how to run a major airline. 

Wednesday - 06:57 09/22/99, EST 

Swissair Crash Families Say Airline Knew Fire Risk

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Swissair knew wiring aboard its Flight 111 posed a substantial fire hazard at least seven years before the MD-11 aircraft crashed off Nova Scotia, attorneys for crash victims' families said Tuesday. 

In a 23-page summary of ``facts, theories and contentions,'' filed in U.S. District Court, a committee of plaintiffs' attorneys said a fire sparked by general wiring probably was the cause of the Sept. 2, 1998, crash that killed all 229 people on the New York-Geneva flight. 

The Swissair crew reported smoke in the cabin minutes before the plane plunged into the Atlantic off Peggy's Cove. 

Canadian crash investigators found 13 wires coated with a material called aromatic polyimide insulation that showed evidence of superheating. 

The documents said both the wire coating, sold under the brand name Kapton, and the aircraft's blanket insulation material, known as metalized Mylar, were known safety hazards when Swissair bought the plane from McDonnell Douglas in 1991. Kapton and Mylar are made by DuPont Co. 

``Prior to and during 1991, Swissair had actual knowledge that the Kapton insulation used to insulate certain electrical wire could become degraded and worn in the ordinary course of its use ... creating a substantial risk of fire,'' the plaintiff's summary reads. 

Swissair, its code-share partner Delta Air Lines Inc. and Boeing Co., which bought McDonnell Douglas in 1997, are among defendants named in 167 lawsuits seeking $16 billion in damages over the crash of Swissair Flight 111.

Plaintiffs contend that the airline and the plane's manufacturer knew the wires and blanket insulation posed a special hazard when placed near each other. 

The list of defendants include Swissair's parent, SAirGroup, and SR Technics AG, an SAirGroup subsidiary, as well as Interactive Flight Technologies Inc., which provided the entertainment system that investigators believe may have been implicated in the fire. 

In a separate lawsuit, plaintiffs are suing DuPont Co. for $3.8 billion over its role as manufacturer of the insulation material. 

The summary document was filed at the behest of U.S. District Judge James Giles, who will use the allegations it contains to gauge how far plaintiffs can go to uncover actual evidence of culpability as a so-called discovery phase begins.  Attorneys for the Swissair and its fellow defendants were not immediately available to comment on the filing. 

The documents suggest that Swissair Flight 111's crew may have helped the fire spread by following McDonnell Douglas/Boeing procedures that call for circuits to be turned on and off. The action may have channeled more electrical energy through faulty Kapton-coated wires. 

The dangers of Kapton-coated wires were known as early as 1980 to U.S. military authorities who banned their use in warplanes later that decade. Trans World Airlines complained about the wiring to Boeing in 1977, blaming it for fires dating back to 1972. 

According to the documents, McDonnell Douglas knew about the military ban but continued to use Kapton wires on commercial jets including the MD-11. 

The documents said the aircraft maker knew of fires that occurred from 1993 to 1995 aboard aircraft in Denmark, China and Italy in which metalized Mylar was shown to have sustained and spread flames. McDonnell Douglas issued a service bulletin in 1996 recommending that operators stop using Mylar but took no steps to remove the material from planes it had built, the documents

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed an order to remove metalized Mylar from McDonnell Douglas/Boeing DC-10s and MD-11s because of the material's flammable qualities.

*********************************   ***********************   ************************************

Thursday September 23 6:32 AM ET

Lawyer: Swissair Knew of Dangers

By MEKI COX Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An attorney contends both Swissair and the manufacturer of MD-11 aircraft knew at least seven years before the crash of Flight 111 that wiring aboard the plane posed a fire hazard.

Attorney Lee Kreindler said evidence shows the airline and the manufacturer, McDonnell Douglas - which was bought by Boeing in 1997 - knew that insulation on the plane's wiring could wear down in ordinary use and pose a fire danger.

``That goes to the heart of why the manufacturers are liable, and conceivably liable for punitive damages,'' Kreindler said. The allegations were filed in federal court Wednesday.

The exact source of a fire aboard the plane has not been identified. Flight 111, flying from New York to Geneva, crashed off Nova Scotia on Sept. 2, 1998, killing all 229 people aboard.

Just before Flight 111 crashed, the pilots mentioned a strange smell in the cabin and then complained of dense smoke. Canadian investigators later found heat-damaged wiring on the wrecked plane, prompting U.S. air safety officials in January to recommend that airlines inspect all MD-11 planes for electrical problems.

Mike Holland, an attorney representing Swissair, Boeing and Delta - which had a ticket-sharing arrangement with Swissair - did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Defense lawyers have argued that the Death on the High Seas Act applies to the case, a law that only allows for the recovery of compensatory damages, or real losses associated with income and medical costs, and not punitive damages.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have rejected a settlement package worth about $300 million in compensatory damages for family members of those killed, saying they believe they can get $1 billion in punitive damages from a jury.

The plaintiffs' court documents maintain that when Swissair bought the plane in 1991, the dangers of the wire coating and insulation were well known. The products were made by DuPont Co., which is being sued separately.

Wednesday September 22, 8:09 pm Eastern Time

Swissair lawyer says charges a publicity stunt

By David Morgan

PHILADELPHIA, Sept 22 (Reuters) - A Swissair attorney on Wednesday criticized lawyers for relatives of 229 people who died aboard Swissair Flight 111 last year, accusing them of trying to win the case in the media.

Desmond Barry, representing Swissair in a $16 billion liability battle being waged in U.S. District Court, was responding to a 23-page summary of ``facts, theories and contentions,'' which a committee of plaintiffs' attorneys filed on Tuesday at the behest of U.S. District Judge James Giles.

The summary alleges among other things that defendants including Swissair knew aircraft wiring coated with an insulation material called Kapton was vulnerable to superheating, or arcing, before the carrier bought the MD-11 in 1991.

``We have already said we'll pay full compensatory damages under the applicable law. What does it get them to make accusations like this?'' said Barry, speaking by telephone from London.

``I've never seen a document like this in my 27 years of legal practice. I don't know what it is,'' he said.

``This, I would reluctantly view as more a PR effort than a legal effort. It's nothing more to me than trying to litigate this case in the press.''

Leading attorneys on the plaintiffs' committee were not immediately available to respond to Barry's remarks.

The document in question outlines claims of wrongdoing that relatives of the crash victims hope to substantiate when the discovery phase begins in the 167 cases that have been filed to date.

The summary was meant to help Giles assess how far plaintiffs can go to establish the alleged culpability of defendants who include Swissair, code-share partner Delta Air Lines Inc., aircraft maker Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA - news), Swissair's parent SAirGroup, and SR Technics AG, an SAirGroup subsidiary.

Giles has been pressing both sides to reach out-of-court settlements.

Another defendant is Interactive Flight Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:FLYT - news), which provided the entertainment system that investigators believe may have been implicated in a fire believed to have caused the September 2, 1998, crash off Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.

Minutes before the MD-11 aircraft plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, the flight crew reported smoke in the cabin.

Plaintiffs also contend that the companies knew insulation blankets made of metalized Mylar were likely to spread fire and that Mylar and Kapton-coated wiring were especially hazardous when placed in close proximity.

DuPont Co., maker of both Mylar and Kapton, is being sued by the same plaintiffs for $3.8 billion in a separate lawsuit.

Defendants are expected to address accusations in the plaintiffs' summary in a filing on Tuesday. 
Friday, August 13, 1999 

Mylar ban risks lives - critics 

Four years far too long to remove suspect insulation, transport group says 

By RICHARD DOOLEY -- The Daily News 

A Canadian aviation safety lobby group says commercial passengers are being exposed to danger in the skies because of regulatory foot-dragging. Transport 2000 Canada, a not-for-profit organization that speaks on transportation safety issues, is applauding recommendations made by crash investigators from the Transportation Safety Board looking for the cause of the crash of Swissair Flight 111. 

The safety board has determined acoustical thermal insulation blankets in the fuselage of the MD-11 that crashed near Peggy's Cove last year contributed to the spread of a fire aboard the plane. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators suspect a wiring problem. The TSB recommends metalized Mylar insulation blankets be removed from planes and fire safety tests for aircraft insulation be toughened. The Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., the world's leading aviation regulator, has ordered the removal of the metalized Mylar insulation blankets from 699 commercial planes, but is giving airlines four years to do it. 

Transport 2000 Canada spokesman Michael Murphy says that's too long and puts too many lives in danger. Murphy said the FAA has known about the problem for years. "It's already five years too late," said Murphy. "Giving another four years on top of that and we have a problem that's a decade in the making." There are no planes operated by Canadian airlines that incorporate metalized Mylar insulation blankets, but Murphy said foreign airlines flying into Canada could be using planes made with the inflammable material. He thinks passengers should know the risk. "The travelling, trusting and generally uninformed public is literally being taken for a ride," said Murphy. 

He suggests a Web site detailing which airlines operate planes manufactured with metalized Mylar be established or tickets issued to flyers come with warnings. Transport 2000 is also pushing Transport Canada to adopt tough new standards for aircraft flying with aging electrical wiring and stringent policies for dealing with electrical problems in flight. 
The lobby group wants Transport Canada to take the lead in airline safety rather than waiting for the FAA. 
"We have a lot of respect for the FAA, but they haven't covered themselves in glory with this particular issue," said Murphy. 

Relatives of crash victims air complaints

Lyn Romano (AP). 
Relatives of two victims of last year's Swissair jet crash off Nova Scotia complained Tuesday that the FAA was moving too slowly to address wiring and insulation issues. Lyn Romano, whose husband, Raymond, was killed in the crash on Sept. 2, 1998, and Barbara Fetherolf, whose 16-year-old daughter, Tara, died, said the agency failed to protect the public last month when it gave airlines four years to replace insulation coating that fails flammability tests. The agency also has said that the four-year schedule gives airlines enough time to do the work without creating problems with other equipment. Investigators still do not know what caused Flight 111, bound from New York to Geneva, to plunge into the ocean. All 229 aboard were killed.

** FAA: Dense smoke fills UPS 757 cabin on take-off

A. Type: Incident Mid Air:N Missing:N Entry date: 09/21/1999 
B. Reg.No.: 426UP M/M: B757 Desc: MODEL 757
WX: METAR KJAX 210156Z 00000KT 10SM FEW110 23/22 A2982 Damage: Unknown
D. Location City: JACKSONVILLE State: FL
E. Occ Date: 09/21/1999 Time: 01:58
F. Invest Coverage. IIC: Reg/DO: SO15 DO CTY: ORLANDO
DO State: FL Others: NTSB
G. Flt Handling. Dep Pt: JACKSONVILLE Dep Date: 09/21/1999 Time: 01:58
Dest: ATLANTA, GA Last Radio Cont: JAX GND CNTRL Flt Plan: IFR
Last Clearance: TURN RIGHT WX Briefing: Y
Re: Delta Airlines reports strange odor EAL1011
(40/M/Kentucky) 09/19/1999 01:08 pm EDT 
Yesterday, the NTSB began their investigation of the Delta flight 2030 (MD-88) emergency landing at CVG. It has been reported that a First Class passenger actually notified the crew of a problem when he began to smell an "electrical" odor and realized that the floor boards were beginning to get warm to the touch. Soon thereafter, smoke began to fill the cabin and the emergency was declared.

Officials believe that a heating unit above the forward baggage compartment malfunctioned causing the surrounding insulation to begin to burn. It must be remembered that the FAA has ordered eventual removal/replacement of insulation in Douglas built aircraft following the Swissair MD-11 disaster. This latest incident is certain to expedite the urgency of such an Order.

One incredible irony to this event was that a mock disaster drill was scheduled for CVG early the following morning. When the call went out to emergency departments that the Delta flight was returning, several area units were slow to respond thinking that somebody had inadvertantly jumped the gun on the upcoming mock drill. 
Delta 757 makes emergency landing in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) 04 Aug 99 - A Delta Air Lines plane made an emergency landing Tuesday at Kennedy Airport after the pilot reported smoke in the cabin shortly after takeoff from nearby LaGuardia Airport. More than 100 passengers aboard Flight 305 bound for Atlanta were evacuated byemergency chute onto the runway, said Port Authority spokesman Greg Trevor. No injuries were immediately reported. The smoke was reported shortly after the plane took off around 8 a.m. Port Authority police at Kennedy reported seeing a flame shooting from one engine as the plane landed but there was no fire in the cabin, Trevor said.
Another emergency landing due to fire [from: John Flatekval, Waldwick]
Sun, 1 Feb 1998 14:21:40 -0500 (EST) 

I boarded United flight 853 from Newark to San Francisco after a one hour wait to check in due to
computer problems. The Boeing 767 was not full as evidenced by the number of empty seats in
connoisseur class. Four hours into the flight, the smell of smoke permeated the cabin from the first
class section directly behind the cockpit. I figured there was an oven fire and all would be okay. Within
a couple of minutes, the interior lights turned off and the air ducts stopped. All passengers were
concerned, some more so than others, but the flight attendants continued their jobs as if nothing was

I noticed one flight attendant rush by with a large fire extinguisher covered by table linens. The
demeanor of the flight crew led me to believe that everything was fine. Finally, the head flight attendant
announced that all of the flight crew should report to the front of the plane. At this point all on board
knew there was a serious problem. We were told to that there was a fire on board and the pilot was
making an emergency landing. The passengers were told to read the emergency landing manual and to
practice the emergency landing position. 

The plane began to descend and turn quickly. As we practiced the emergency position the flight crew
told us to remove all sharp instruments, glasses, and pens from our person. When they yelled "brace"
we were to assume the position. One of the attendants was noticeably shaken and was instructed to
take her seat by the head attendant. At no point were passengers told at which airport, if any, the pilot
would be attempting to land. In fact the only time the pilot addressed the passengers is when he said "
Flight attendants, three minutes to touch down. Prepare for emergency procedures". Not knowing
where we were, I decided to look out the window. Within 5 minutes the plane had dropped from cruising
altitude to several hundred feet above snow capped mountains. Again, there was no indication that we
going to land at an airport. 

When the flight attendants yelled brace, we all held our breath until we felt the wheels touch the
ground. The plane quickly went to the gate and was surrounded by fire personnel. All passengers were
ordered off of the plane immediately. Luckily one of the passengers had been in the Salt Lake City
airport before, because no United employee addressed the passengers. All 57 passengers were left to
mill about the airport. The flight crew gathered in a huddle, knelt down and said a collective prayer of
thanks. The head flight attendant claimed that this was only the second time in her 29 years of service
that something this serious had happened. At no time did any United official address the emotional
state of the passengers, many of whom were noticeably crying and trembling. 

[Details of subsequent mistreatment at airport ommitted for brevity.] 

A couple of items need to be addressed. A.) Your web site contained a similar experience aboard a
United 767 from Zurich to London on January 12, 1998. I think United should look into this problem
immediately before the next emergency landing ends in disaster. B.) United personnel should be
trained in addressing the emotional needs of the passengers, particularly after a near tragedy. 

I have never been treated so poorly by so many different people in so many locations as I was by
United on January 17, 1998. I will request that my company not pay the business class airfare, and
rethink their carrier of choice. 

Emergency landing 
Mon, 12 Jan 1998 18:56:10 -0500 (EST) 

As a long-term UA customer, my faith in United was somewhat dented by an incident at London
Heathrow last week. I'd be interested if anyone has information about the "electrical fault" aboard
UA965 from Zurich, Switzerland to Washington Dulles on Jan 9, causing an emergency landing in
London? As the aircraft, a 767, started its engines in Zurich a continuous unfamiliar sound was heard
by passengers from one engine. The aircraft remained on the ground at Kloten for several hours while
the crew reportedly contacted UA's principal European base at Heathrow. UA London apparently
advised that the flight should operate, but less than an hour after take-off (while luckily the 767 was still
over land) the forward cabin and cockpit began to fill with smoke. The crew announced an emergency
approach into LHR and the airplane descended very rapidly, other traffic having presumably been
cleared. Once the aircraft came to a halt in London, where fire trucks awaited it, emergency chutes
were deployed, but one failed to function. 

The aircraft was evacuated and passengers were told by Heathrow fire crew to run away from the plane.
They were given blankets and waited in a grassy area for an extended period before they were picked
up by buses. The UA crew were reported uncommunicative and understandably shocked. Passengers
were then taken to an airport hotel, re-united with their carry-on luggage and offered psychological
counselling should they need it. Two were injured in the evacuation but there were no fatalities. I'd like
to know (a) what "electrical" incident actually occurred and why the plane filled with smoke, (b) what
concerns the crew had on the ground in Zurich about the airworthiness of the plane and why its
departure was delayed, and (c) if there were safety concerns, how were they dealt with or -- if
information from Zurich is correct -- why did the 767 attempt its flight after consultation with UA's
London office? 

As far as I know this incident has not been widely reported in the press, though it is recorded on the
FAA's database. I am told that two attorneys aboard the flight are considering a case against United. 
In a message dated 09/17/1999 2:47:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Why Not use TKT Wire?
<< One reason may be its greater cost. According to Mark Roberson, representing the Tensolite Company of St. Augustine, Fla., an aircraft costing $35 million will contain about $3,500 worth of his company's composite wire type, as compared to an estimated cost of $2,800 to install non-composite wire in the aircraft -- a $700 difference. >>

Lyn et al,

I would question that statement for the following reason. I asked John Berlin, CEO of Tensolite, if the cost of his TKT wire was more expensive than BMS 13-51 and BMS 13-48 wire. He replied that the TKT wire wasn't anymore expensive at that time. I asked him in 1997. 

Now, in order for Boeing to have made the decison to use BMS 13-48 on their 747, 767 and 777 models, Raychem might have reduced their price of their wire but Boeing has to pay a "WEIGHT" penalty for using BMS 13-48. 

Under "QUALIFICATIONS" on my site, there is a letter of commendation from Alex Taylor, chief engineer of A/C wiring for Boeing, that mentions that fact towards the end of the letter. If you want to call John Berlin regarding this fact, his phone number is 904 829 5600.


I want everyone to know these facts. In 1985 when the Monarch 757 "electrical arc tracking fire" forced an emergency landing, it was determined  that BMS 13-51 (KAPTON) was the culprit.
> 1. No FAA callout existed for "using arc resistance" A/C wire. 2. No FAA callout in FAR 25 for "arc track testing" of A/C WIRE.
> Boeing, own it's OWN INITIATIVE, set up a "arc tracking test lab' to explore the dangers of KAPTON wire. Knowing that it was dangerous, and that UAL would NOT buy anymore 737 and 757s wired with KAPTON wire, setup their own PROCESS SPEC for TKT wire (BMS 13-60) and under a ground rule that at least TWO mfgs had to be qualified to produce the new wire, issued the spec to potential wire mfgs. They did this on their own. They did NOT want to be held hostage to a single wire producer Raychem.
> The wire should be used on ALL NEW A/C. Then Raychem raised their ugly head and worked out some kind of arrangement that their wire BMS 13-48 would be used on 747, 767 and the new 777 models.
> This points should be explored as to:
> (1). Why the FAA will NOT call for TKT wiring in FAR 25 for ALL new airplanes, wiring repairs, and wiring modification kits.
> (2). What was the arrangement between Boeing and Raychem that prevented TKT wiring to be used in ALL Boeing models.
> I believe you would find a STRONG TIE between Raychem-FAA-Boeing, that goes contrary to promoting AIR SAFETY as far as wiring goes. There-in lies the big problem that prevents SAFE WIRE from being used throughout the industry.
> Ask Ed Block when Raychem exerted pressure on the FAA to change the SMOKE TEST requirements for 180 degrees to 60 degrees so that Raychem's Spec A55 would barely pass!!!
> I believe you could call that a "CONSPIRACY" existed between the FAA and Raychem, to allow their Spec A55 wire to be used in the A/C Industry, knowing that if the FAA didn't change the requirements of the smoke test, that their wire could NOT BE USED for A/C.
> Patrick
From: <>
To: <iasauk@worldoffline.nd>; <>; <>;
<>; <>; <>;
Cc: <>; <>
Sent: Friday, September 17, 1999 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: SWR 111: charges?

> Art et al,
> I would direct the lawyers to subpoena all the test records of the Boeing 'Component Test Lab - Arc Track Testing regarding testing of KAPTON (BMS 13-51) and X-Link Tefzel (BMS 13-48) wire types from Alex Taylor's engineering group. Boeing Engineering has many Videos of my tests, a copy of the NRL Kapton tests conducted by Frank Campbell., and all the test data
> recorded for qualifying TKT wire (BMS 13-60). I would direct them to subpoena the letter or letters from UAL to Boeing regarding NOT going to buy anymore Kapton wired 737 and 757s, being the reason for QUALIFYING BMS 13-60
> TKT wire for selling the 737 and 757s to UAL.
> The two letters of commendation from Alex Taylor to myself concerning the building of the arc testing lab and qualifying of BMS 13-60 wire. I have the latter letter posted on my web site under "Qualifications." Also all the Boeing "Service Bulletins" issued for particular KAPTON and X-Link Tefzel wire problems. The test records for "electrical arc testing" of a THRUST REVERSER to see if it would actuate "while in flight" and the worker who performed the test. It CAN ACTUATE in flight due to "electrical arcing."
> This would establish "Boeing knew all about the wire problems." Then statements from myself and a couple of workers and Lab supervisors in the "Component Test Lab" along with a statement from Pat Cahill of the FAA who witness me testing Kapton and TKT wiring, and statements from Boeing engineers, that I gave my test results to and witnessed my tests, - would TOP
OFF the pile of evidence.
> Patrick
Hazard Posed by Bad Aircraft Wiring Under Congressional Scrutiny

Aircraft wiring is taking on an importance equal to that devoted for some years now to aging aircraft structures. In fact, the suspected parlous state of wiring throughout the U.S. airline fleet has triggered the first known Congressional hearing devoted specifically to the subject.

Operators could be faced with political pressure to replace wire and install new, high-tech circuit breakers capable of detecting electrical faults.

Last week the House Transportation and Infrastructure Oversight Subcommittee took testimony from half a dozen witnesses on the general subject of aircraft electrical system safety.

Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Fla.), the subcommittee chairwoman, set the tone by asserting at the outset, "Old and damaged aircraft wiring may be one of the weakest links in aviation safety."

Indeed, wire failures may pose a greater hazard than hydraulic system failures. Since critical flight controls are at stake, hydraulic systems have triple or quadruple redundancy. Electrical systems, though, may be just as critical given the greater dependence of modern transports such as the MD-11 and B777 on electrically powered systems and controls. Whereas hydraulic faults tend to be more self-evident, the outcome of an arc-tracking incident or electrical fire can quickly lead to systemic confusion, fire, smoke and potential pilot incapacitation.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has documented at least 15 cases where electrical wiring malfunctions were involved an aircraft incidents and accidents. Yet there seems to be a generalized reluctance to face the implications. According to Dr. Bernard Loeb, director of the NTSB's aviation safety office, the Board's ongoing investigation into the TWA Flight 800 disaster and the Swissair Flight 111 in-flight fire and other recent incidents have "changed the way the industry looks at electrical wiring."

However, Loeb went on to say, "We are concerned. The industry seems to be defining what were are seeing as not very significant."

"We need to address this issue of aging systems and wire," he urged.

Indeed, Safety Board inspections of some two dozen airplanes provide powerful evidence that the wiring deficiencies found on the TWA Flight 800 accident aircraft were not an anomaly, but perhaps more representative of the general state of wiring in the fleet). Even new aircraft may be leaving the factory with problems, as evidenced by the discovery of metal shavings found in wire bundles on brand now aircraft. Over time, those metal shavings can "saw" through wire insulation, exposing conductor and creating the opening for dangerous arcing.

Richard Healing, director of the U.S. Navy's safety and survivability programs, described how the Navy shifted from wire types such as aromatic polyimide, or Kapton, replacing it with a type of wire known as cross-linked ethylene-tetrafluorethylene (XL-ETFE). Although its cut-through, scrape abrasion and smoke characteristics are less desirable, it has become the Navy's preferred wire choice for many aircraft applications because it is a homogenous material throughout the thickness of the insulation, and its plastic characteristics eliminate problems with longitudinal cracking and topcoat flaking.

Retrofitted as part of a comprehensive Navy-wide aircraft wire management program, Healing said the effort, "while not perfect," has been "about 88% effective in reducing risk and eliminating wire insulation-related problems." 

Newer, composite wire types -- for example one type that goes by the trade name Tensolite -- provide significantly better arc, flammability and smoke resistance than XL-ETFE. Less than 20 percent of the U.S. fleet is flying with such wiring. One reason may be its greater cost. According to Mark Roberson, representing the Tensolite Company of St. Augustine, Fla., an aircraft costing $35 million will contain about $3,500 worth of his company's composite wire type, as compared to an estimated cost of $2,800 to install non-composite wire in the aircraft -- a $700 difference. 

The Navy's success prompted Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) to bluntly suggest a similar program for the airline industry. "The Congress wants all faulty wiring to be repaired and replaced, and (to see) that monitoring is diligent," he declared. 

In addition to fitting aircraft with newer, safer wire types, witnesses discussed the potential of arc-fault detection circuit breakers -- downsized variants of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI's) finding their way into residential circuit breaker panels.

Capt. Paul McCarthy, executive air safety chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), said flatly, "The circuit breakers we have in the cockpit will not protect" against arcing events where the temperature of the wire does not get to a threshold sufficient to trip the breaker.

While AFCI breakers hold great promise, their development to the point of reliable performance is not a trivial issue, asserted Dr. Armin Bruning. The president of a Sterling, Va.-based wire testing company, Lectromec, Bruning explained that each of the four types of arcing presents a unique "signature." The AFCI breakers would have to be capable of reliably detecting each of the signatures).

The transition from household to aircraft use is years away.

Above all, McCarthy declared, regulations regarding aircraft wiring, unchanged for two decades, need to be brought up to date. He offered five "really quite simple" recommendations:

1. Enhance FAR 25.1353 and AC 43.13. Considering the expansion in the quantity and complexity of electrical devices on today's aircraft, and the resultant amount of wire, existing regulatory guidance does not adequately address the current technologies and practices.

2. Revamp design and installation practices. Specific areas to be addressed should include power sources, intermixing of insulation types in the same wire bundle, fastener design and bundling methods.

3. Incorporate modular construction. Modular wiring, McCarthy suggested, would allow for ease of replacement on a scheduled basis.

4. Evaluate/incorporate fiber optics. Aircraft entertainment systems, running 115v power into seats, and interior lighting, "seem two good candidates for this type of technology," McCarthy said.

5. Evaluate alternative signal transmission methods. Infrared (IR) and frequency modulated (FM) radio technology used in other industries should be considered for aviation use as well.

Which can say more than this rich praise, that you alone are you.*--Shakespeare

The truth of the matter is that you ALWAYS know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened at all. Cher

Hell begins the day that God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done, but did not do. GOETHE