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ON MINIMIZING SMOKE EVENTS
The following tips are
based on the review and analysis of in-flight smoke events on Boeing
airplanes between November 1992 and June 2000:
- Although not a serious
risk for propagating fire, several events occurring immediately
before or after airplane departure were attributed to engine or
auxiliary power unit (APU) maintenance activity during the previous
ground leg. Most operators have ground crew procedures for engine
or APU runs following maintenance. For an operator with concerns
in this area, a review of ground procedures that require engine
or APU run may be appropriate.
- Some known smoke events
are directly preventable. Paper may come into contact with hot
lighting, either in the cabin or crew rest areas. Food may be
left in an oven or a coffeepot heated while empty.
- Smoke or actual fire
events have been initiated by repeated circuit breaker resets
during ground troubleshooting. Even when performed on the ground,
circuit breaker resets should be performed cautiously. Important
considerations are the number of reset attempts, cooling time
between reset attempts, and the stationing of maintenance crew
monitoring for unusual sounds or smell.
- A flight crew may
be able to identify unknown smoke as air-conditioning smoke based
on subsequent indication. In an air-conditioning smoke event caused
by leaking engine oil, the first symptom noticed by the crew may
be a burning odor of unknown origin. Subsequent engine indications
might clarify an abnormal engine situation, and the corresponding
bleed air source can be isolated.
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