|Title:||In-flight electrical fire, McDonnell Douglas MD-80, October 1, 2000|
|Micro summary:||This McDonnell Douglas MD-80 experienced an electrical fire during cruise flight.|
|Event Time:||2000-10-01 at 1618 CDT|
|Publishing Agency:||National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)|
|Site of event:||Birmingham, AL|
|Departure:||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
|Destination:||George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas, USA|
|Airplane Type(s):||McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80 (MD-80)|
|Type of flight:||Revenue|
NTSB short summary:
THE FAILURE OF MAINTENACE PERSONNEL TO FOLLOW FLEET CAMPAIGN DIRECTIVE ON HOW TO INSTALL A CERTIFICATE HOLDER.
During cruise flight, at flight level 310, an MD-80, operated by Continental Airlines experienced an electrical fire. An emergency was declared and the flight was diverted into Birmingham, Alabama, and landed without further incident. The examination of the airplane disclosed a 2 by 1 1/2 inch fire-damaged hole in the left jump seat wall.
NTSB factual narrative text:
On October 1, 2000, central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, N69826, operated by Continental Airlines as Flight 1579, experienced an electrical fire during cruise flight at flight level 310 near Birmingham, Alabama. Flight 1579 was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 121 as a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to Houston, Texas. The flight departed Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, at approximately 1720 eastern daylight time with two air transport pilots, one jump-seat rider, three flight attendants, and 141 passengers on board. The airplane sustained minor damage and the jump-seat rider received minor injuries; there were no other injuries reported. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the incident, and Flight 1579 operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.
According to the pilot, approximately 15 minutes into the flight, the cockpit filled with smoke and he heard a loud popping sound and saw sparks emitting from the jump seat area. The jump seat rider reported that he heard an explosion and leaned forward to avoid heat, which he felt on his left shoulder. When the jump seat rider looked at his left shoulder, he noticed that his shirt was burning. He extinguished the fire on his shirt, and put on his oxygen mask, since the cockpit was filled with smoke. The pilot declared and emergency and initiated a descending right turn. The flight diverted into Birmingham, Alabama, and landed without further incident.
According to the Continental Fleet Campaign Directive, (FCD), the registration certificate holder was modified on September 28, 2000. The FCD called for the holder to be modified in order to prevent loss of the certificate or damage of the certificate that would preclude dispatch of the airplane. The FCD required maintenance personnel to drill two small pilot holes just above the top of the certificate, and, in the case of mounting on a metal wall, install two screws into the pilot holes. A note is included on the FDC that allows alternate length screws to be used as required.
The examination of the airplane disclosed a 2 by 1 1/2 inch fire-damaged hole in the left jump seat wall. Several heavy gauge electrical wires were welded together on the opposite side of the wall. There were also four 50-amphere circuit breakers popped on the left circuit breaker panel behind the pilot's seat. The hole also included an area of the left edge of the registration certificate holder. The plastic cover of the registration certificate holder was melted in this area and soot damage was evident for several inches around the hole. The registration certificate holder was attached to the wall by 8 screws that extended into the cavity where the electrical fire occurred. The hole appeared to be on the left side, middle position of the certificate holder. This screw was missing; all of the seven other screws were present. The screws immediately above and below this middle position on the left side extended is approximately 0.5 inches into the cavity where the electrical fire occurred. The missing segments of wire were aligned with the center of the hole in the wall, and also with the position of the middle screw. At the point of the missing wire segments, a screw similar to that placed above and below the missing middle screw could have extended into the wiring. There is no mention in the FCD of steps that should be taken to insure that no damage is done to items on the other side of the wall either during the drilling process or by the screws themselves once they are inserted into the holes.
Corrective actions that Continental Airlines have taken are to remove all certificate holders that are on the EPC wall and to install a new 3-slot certificate holder on the galley wall, which has a honeycomb backing. According to the Engineering Authorization, the best location for the certificate holder approximately 32.5 inches from the floor, 3 inches below the lowest coat hook, and 4.5 inches in from the cockpit door.
|Learning Keywords:||Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!|
|Operations - Cabin or Cockpit Fire|
|Operations - Cabin or Cockpit Smoke|
|Operations - Maintenance|
|Systems - Electrical|
|Close match:||Electrical fire, Incident involving aircraft OY-KIK, 22 March 1998, Kiruna airport, BD county, Sweden|
|Fire and smoke, Incident involving aircraft SE-DUP in the airspace above Jönköping, F county, Sweden, on 2 February 2001|
|In-flight electrical smoke, Final Report of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau concerning the incident to the airplane McDonald Douglas MD 83, OH-LPH, Finnair on 15 april 2000 at Zurich Airport|
|Cabin fire, BAC One Eleven 501EX, G-AWYS|
|In-flight electrical problems, Boeing 767-322ER, N653UA|
|In-flight fire, Air Canada Flight 797, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, C-FTLU, Greater Cincinnati International Airport, Covington, Kentucky, June 2, 1983|
|Electrical fire during cruise, Douglas DC-9-15, February 20, 1997|
|Lavatory fire, Douglas DC-9-32, January 31, 2000|
|In-flight smoke and fire, Douglas DC-9-32, August 8, 2000|
|In-flight fire, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, November 29, 2000|
|Avionics fire, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, November 29, 2000|
|Fire near aft stairwell, Boeing 727-233, May 25, 2001|
|In-flight cabin fire, Boeing 757-225, December 11, 1996|
|In-flight fire, Boeing 757-222, January 11, 2003|
|In-Flight Fire Leading to Collision with Water, Swissair Transport Limited, McDonnell Douglas MD-11 HB-IWF Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia 5 nm SW, 2 September 1998|
|Cockpit fire—precautionary landing, Air France Boeing 777-228ER, F-GSPZ, Churchill, Manitoba 290 nm NE, 17 October 2002|
Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.www.fss.aero