Review of Canadian Flight Deck and Cabin Smoke and Fire Incidents: 2001-2010 2013-01-2307
This paper presents a review of the flight deck and cabin fire and smoke incidents reported to the Canadian airworthiness authorities over a ten year span. The fire and smoke related diversions are categorized to identify areas where efforts could be increased to improve safety. The costs of diversions are estimated to identify areas where operators could reduce costs by seeking technologies to reduce the number of diversions without any impact on safety. Only twenty-eight investigation reports into fire and smoke incidents onboard aircraft have been published over the past three decades. These reports are not sufficient to identify areas where operators can reduce their operating costs. The Canadian airworthiness authorities received over 1,000 smoke and fire incidents from the years 2001 to 2010, of which, over 680 reported fire and smoke in the flight deck and cabin compartments for various makes and models of aircraft. Some of these flight deck and cabin incidents were related to in-flight entertainment or galley systems that were remedied while in-flight and did not require a diversion in most cases. The remaining incidents were found to be related to ingestion of oil, de-icing fluids and equipment and electrical failures that, in many cases, prompted the pilots to declare an emergency and divert. This paper categorizes the flight deck and cabin related fire and smoke incidents to suggest specific areas for airframers and operators to focus their efforts in reducing flight diversions that will not only reduce costs, but improve safety.