Event Details

Title:Cabin fire, BAC One Eleven 501EX, G-AWYS
Micro summary:This BAC One Eleven experienced smoke and fire during cruise.
Event Time:1998-01-04 at 0907
File Name:1998-01-04-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C98/1/1
Diversion Airport:Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, England, UK
Site of event:Cruise
Departure:Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove), Northern Ireland
Destination:Birmingham International Airport, West Midlands, England
Airplane Type(s):BAC One Eleven 501EX
Flight Phase:Cruise
Operator(s):British Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Diverted to:Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, England, UK
Executive Summary:During a flight from Belfast to Birmingham, the flight crew heard a series of 'popping' sounds and observed smoke coming from the 'hat-rack' stowage area behind the commander's seat. The senior cabin attendant (SCA) pulled the oven circuit breaker and went on to the flight deck to investigate. She saw an orange flame at the rear of the lower shelf on which were stowed the pilots' smokehoods, and fired a short burst of BCF extinguishant into the area. This extinguished the flame, but it subsequently re-ignited and two additional bursts of BCF were needed to finally put the fire out. The SCA, who had inhaled both smoke and BCF fumes, then removed the two smoke hood boxes, encountering some difficulty in unfastening the associated securing straps. She then returned aft in order to clear and secure the cabin, during which the passengers remained calm.

After closing the flight deck door, the flight crew donned their oxygen masks and transmitted a 'Mayday' call declaring their intention to divert into Liverpool. The appropriate smoke/fire drills were completed and the aircraft made an uneventful landing after receiving ATC assistance, which the commander later described as "excellent".

After the aircraft had been shut down, firemen retrieved a small oxygen mask pouch, made from a padded plastic material, from behind an electrical relay panel located at the rear of the lower stowage shelf. It was apparent that the pouch had fallen into this area through a one inch gap at the rear of the top shelf. Two burnt patches were visible on the pouch which, by their shape, appeared to have resulted from contact with two cables that were connected to pins on one of the adjacent relays. The insulation on the two cables was locally charred, and there was some 'sooting' evident on the neighbouring cables. The two damaged cables were tied back and the associated relay, which controlled the cabin sidewall lighting, was removed. The aircraft was then recovered to the operator's maintenance base at Birmingham for a more detailed investigation.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Bang, pop, crack, sizzle!
Operations - Cabin or Cockpit Fire
Operations - Cabin or Cockpit Smoke
Systems - Electrical
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