ANNEX H

Origin and Propagation of

Inaccessible Aircraft Fire

Under Inflight Airflow Conditions

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They are in a hurry to request inspecting 737 fuel system wiring? This is speed? The FAA has been measured on performance in protecting air passenger safety and their score is far below acceptable levels.

Data_Source: NTSB Recommendations to FAA and FAA Responses. Rprt_Nbr: A-91-72. Last Updated: 09-21-94

On March 17, 1991, at 1618 Atlantic Standard Time, Delta Air Lines flight 15, a Lockheed L-1011-385-3, N753DA, was en route from Frankfurt, Germany to Atlanta, Georgia, at flight level [FL] 330 when it experienced a fire below the aft cabin floor and in the cabin.

The flight was conducted under the operating rules of Part 121 of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] and carried 218, passengers, 10 flight attendants, 2 pilots, and 1 flight engineer. Recommendations: A-91-72. Require that transport category aircraft manufacturers and airlines amend maintenance manuals as necessary to ensure thorough inspection and cleaning of areas where lint and other debris may accumulate and pose a potential fire hazard.

Responses:

FAA LTR DTD: 10/30/91 The FAA has drafted an airworthiness inspector's handbook bulletin entitled Origin and Propagation of Inaccessible Aircraft Fire Under Inflight Airflow Conditions. This bulletin provides information on the potential safety hazard applicable to all transport category aircraft from the accumulation of lint and other debris on wire bundles. This bulletin requests that principal maintenance inspectors disseminate this information to all operators of transport category aircraft. The bulletin also requests that principal maintenance inspectors review their operators' maintenance programs to ensure that they include inspection of aircraft wiring and removal of contaminants, especially in inaccessible areas. I will provide the Board with a copy of the bulletin as soon as it is issued.

NTSB LTR DTD: 04/29/92

In Safety Recommendation A-91-71 we proposed that the FAA notify principal maintenance inspectors and operators of transport category aircraft of the fire hazard posed by accumulations of lint and other debris on wire bundles. Safety Recommendation A-91-72 proposed that the FAA require that transport category aircraft manufacturers and airlines amend maintenance manuals as necessary to ensure thorough inspection and cleaning of areas where lint and other debris may accumulate and pose a potential fire hazard. We note that the FAA has drafted an airworthiness inspector's handbook bulletin entitled "Origin and Propagation of Inaccessible Aircraft Fire Under Inflight Airflow Conditions."

Pending the issuance of the bulletin and further evaluation, Safety Recommendations A-91-71 and -72 are classified as "Open--Acceptable Response."

FAA LTR DTD: 08/13/92

The FAA does not agree with this safety recommendation. In response to Safety Recommendation A-91-71, the FAA issued Handbook Bulletin 91-15 which addresses the inspection of aircraft wiring and the removal of contaminants, especially in inaccessible areas. I believe that this alternate action addresses this safety issue. I consider the FAA's action to be completed, and I plan no further action on this safety recommendation.

NTSB LTR DTD: 10/20/92

The Safety Board notes that FAA Handbook Bulletin 91-15 addresses the inspection of aircraft wiring and the removal of contaminants, especially in inaccessible areas, and recommends that inspectors review operator's maintenance programs to "ensure . . . effective quality control. " Based on this information, the Safety Board classifies Safety Recommendation A-91-72 as "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

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