GCAA’s final report states that even now its investigators have
been unable to determine the initiating action that resulted in
the cargo fire."
I consider this vibration-acoustic inflammatory
risk "stab in the dark" to be an obvious red herring that, like
pilot suicide and terrorist hijacking theories, can only assist
Boeing and the FAA in muddying the waters for impending MH370
litigation..... and minimizing attribution of blame to Boeing
(and by implication, the FAA (and EASA?), for its over 3 year
tardiness in deliberating an effective final rule AD on the 777
oxygen system). It has no scientific footing, it's a theoretical
"punt". ... and lacks any real credibility.
Thus you have to wonder just who [and why] these
improbable L-ion MH370 theories are being disseminated by. There
is admittedly no denying that large consignments of Lithium
batteries are to be avoided due to the risk of an unfightable
fire due shorting of a single cell (per the 787 fire
conclusions). That MAS has seen fit to carry such shipments on
pax-carrying flights is to be condemned - however the fact
remains that a lithium ion battery fire takes some time to
develop - and even the UPS 747-400 crew out of Dubai had time to
continuously communicate their distress and recovery plans over
the 29 minutes from fire detection until impact (see yellow
highlights below). Whatever occurred to MH370, in a similar
scenario to the UPS event, the MH370 crew could still have come
up on 121.5mhz (which is usually kept tuned in on VHF-2) and
advised at least a PAN call (if not a Mayday emergency) to the
numerous aircraft within range monitoring that universally
monitored frequency. The fact that they did
not is clearly
indicative of a more instantaneous (and pilot-disabling)
occurrence The only two emergencies conceivable are an explosive
decompression or a lung-searing oxygen flare-fire of 5 to 15
seconds duration that would have immediately affected the
pilots, (even if not lethal to either/both). As per the Cairo
fire, an explosive/rapid decompression would likely have been a
later consequence of the oxy blow-torch effect on the cockpit
sidewall and hull (as per the on-ramp damage to SU-GBP).
fact that the moderators (Internet
Brandings) operating Pprune.org for its new proxy owners (Boeing
et al) have seen fit to allow all sorts of dopey theories but
totally delete (and disallow by mass poster bannings) any
reference to a possible MH370 oxy-flare fire? it's almost a
tacit admission of liability.
||Extract from: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20100903-0
L-ion battery fire (crash of UPS B747-400F in
Dubai - 2010)
The flight transited from UAE airspace into Bahrain Airspace
the fire bell alarm sounded on the flight deck. The airplane was
approaching top of climb (FL320) at the time.
Following the fire bell annunciation, the Captain assumed
control of the aircraft as PF, and the First Officer reverted to
PNF while managing the fire warnings and cockpit checklists. The
Captain advised Bahrain Air Traffic Control (BAH-C) that there
was a fire indication on the main deck of the aircraft. The crew
informed BAH-C that they needed to land as soon as possible.
BAH-C advised the crew that Doha International Airport (DOH) was
at the aircraft’s 10 o’clock position at 100 NM DME. DOH was the
nearest airport at the time the emergency was declared, Dubai (DXB)
was approximately 148 NM DME. The Captain elected to return to
DXB, and following the request to land as soon as possible to
BAH-C, the crew declared an emergency. BAH-C acknowledged the
request, cleared the aircraft for a series of right hand heading
changes back to DXB onto a heading of 106°.
At approximately 19:14, the Auto Pilot (AP) disconnected,
followed at 19:15 by a second audible alarm similar to the fire
bell. At about this time the flight crew put on the oxygen masks
and goggles. The crew experienced difficulties communicating via
the intercom with the masks on, which interfered with the
Cockpit Resource Management (CRM).
Following the initiation of the turn back to DXB, having been
cleared to 27,000 ft, the crew requested an expedited, immediate
descent to 10,000 feet. Following ATC clearance, the flight crew
initiated a rapid descent to 10,000 ft. BAH-C advised the crew
that the aircraft was on a direct heading to DXB and cleared for
landing on DXB runway 12 left at their discretion.
The Fire Main Deck checklist was activated. According to the
system logic, the cabin began to depressurise, PACKS 2 and 3
shut down automatically, and PACK 2 and 3 positions were then
manually selected to OFF on the overhead panel in accordance
with the checklist instructions.
At 19:15, PACK 1 shut down, with no corresponding discussion
recorded on the CVR. A short interval after the AP was
disengaged, the Captain informed the F/O that there was limited
pitch control of the aircraft in the manual flying mode, the
Captain then requested the F/O to determine the cause of the
pitch control anomaly.
During the turn back to DXB, the AP was re-engaged, and the
aircraft descent was stabilised at 19:17. The Captain told the
F/O to pull the smoke evacuation handle. This was not part of
the Fire Main Deck Non-Normal checklist.
The Captain informed BAH-C that the cockpit was 'full of smoke'
and commented to the F/O about the inability to see the
instruments. The Captain instructed the F/O to input DXB into
the Flight Management System (FMS). The F/O acknowledged the
request and commented about the increasing flight deck
temperature. It was not clear from the CVR if the FMS was
programmed for DXB, although the DFDR indicated that the ILS/VOR
frequency was changed to 110.1 MHz which was the frequency for
DXB RW12L. Based on the information available to date, it is
likely that less than 5 minutes after the fire indication on the
main deck, smoke had entered the flight deck and intermittently
degraded the visibility to the extent that the flight
instruments could not effectively be monitored by the crew.
At approximately 19:19,
during the emergency descent, at approximately 20,000 ft cabin
altitude, the CAPT, as PF, declared a lack of oxygen supply.
Following a brief exchange between the Captain and F/O regarding
the need for oxygen, the Captain transferred control of the
aircraft to the F/O as PF. Portable oxygen is located on the
flight deck and in the supernumerary area, aft of the flight
crew's positions when seated. At this point the recorded CVR is
consistent with the Captain leaving his seat, after which there
is no further CVR information that indicates any further
interaction from the Captain for the remainder of the flight.
The normal procedural requirement of transiting into the
Emirates FIR, inbound for DXB was a radio frequency change from
BAH-C to UAE-C. At 19:20,
BAH-C advised the crew to contact UAE-C. At
approximately the same time, the PF transmitted ‘mayday, mayday,
mayday can you hear me?'.
The PF advised BAH-C that due to the smoke in the flight deck,
the ability to view the cockpit instruments, the Flight
Management System (FMS), Audio Control Panel (ACP) and radio
frequency selection displays had been compromised. At 19:21, the
PF advised BAH-C that they would stay on the BAH-C frequency as
it was not possible to see the radios. The PF elected to remain
on the BAH-C radio frequency for the duration of the flight. At
approximately 19:22 the aircraft entered the Emirates FIR
heading east, tracking direct to the DXB RW12L intermediate
approach fix. The aircraft was now out of effective VHF radio
range with BAH-C. In order for the crew to communicate with
BAH-C, Bahrain advised transiting aircraft that they would act
as a communication relay between BAH-C and the emergency
At 19:22, the F/O informed the relay aircraft that he was
‘looking for some oxygen’.
Following the rapid descent to 10,000 ft the aircraft leveled
off at the assigned altitude approximately 84NM from DXB. At
approximately 19:26, the PF requested immediate vectors to the
nearest airport and advised he would need radar guidance due to
difficulty viewing the instruments.
At around 19:33,
approximately 26 NM from DXB, the aircraft descended to 9000 ft,
followed by a further gradual descent as the aircraft approached
DXB, inbound for RW12L. The speed of the aircraft was
approximately 340 kts.
approximately 10NM from RW12L, BAH-C, through the relay
aircraft, advised the crew the aircraft was too high and too
fast and requested the PF to perform a 360° turn if able. The
PF responded ‘Negative’.
At this time the DFDR data indicated the gear lever was selected
down, the speed brake lever moved toward extend and at
approximately the same time there was a sound consistent with
the flap handle movement; shortly afterward the PF indicated
that the landing gear was not functioning.
The aircraft over flew the DXB northern airport boundary on a
heading of 117°, the aircraft speed and altitude, was 340 kts at
an altitude of 4500 ft and descending. Following the over flight
of DXB, on passing the south eastern end of RW12L, the aircraft
was cleared direct to Sharjah Airport (SHJ) as an immediate
alternate – SHJ was to the aircraft’s left and the SHJ runway
was a parallel vector.
The relay pilot asked the PF if it was possible to perform a
left hand turn. The PF responded requesting the heading to SHJ.
The PF was advised that SHJ was at 095° from the current
position at 10 NM and that this left hand turn would position
the aircraft on final approach for SHJ (RW30). The PF
acknowledged the heading change for SHJ. The PF selected 195°
degrees on the Mode Control Panel (MCP).
The AP disconnected at 19:40,
the aircraft then entered a descending right hand turn at an
altitude of 4000 ft as the speed gradually reduced to 240 kts
until the impact.
Several Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) caution messages
were audible on the CVR indicating: Sink Rate, Too Low Terrain
and Bank Angle warnings. Radar contact was lost at approximately 19:41.
The aircraft crashed 9nm south of DXB onto a military
installation near Minhad Air Force Base.
1. A large fire developed in palletized cargo on the main deck
at or near pallet positions 4 or 5, in Fire Zone 3, consisting
of consignments of mixed cargo including a significant number of
lithium type batteries and other combustible materials. The fire
escalated rapidly into a catastrophic uncontained fire.
2. The large, uncontained cargo fire, that originated in the
main cargo deck caused the cargo compartment liners to fail
under combined thermal and mechanical loads.
3. Heat from the fire resulted in the system/component failure
or malfunction of the truss assemblies and control cables,
directly affecting the control cable tension and elevator
function required for the safe operation of the aircraft when in
4. The uncontained cargo fire directly affected the independent
critical systems necessary for crew survivability. Heat from the
fire exposed the supplementary oxygen system to extreme thermal
loading, sufficient to generate a failure. This resulted in the
oxygen supply disruption leading to the abrupt failure of the
Captain’s oxygen supply and the incapacitation of the captain.
5. The progressive failure of the cargo compartment liner
increased the area available for the smoke and fire penetration
into the fuselage crown area.
6. The rate and volume of the continuous toxic smoke, contiguous
with the cockpit and supernumerary habitable area, resulted in
inadequate visibility in the cockpit, obscuring the view of the
primary flight displays, audio control panels and the view
outside the cockpit which prevented all normal cockpit
7. The shutdown of PACK 1 for unknown reasons resulted in loss
of conditioned airflow to the upper deck causing the Electronic
Equipment Cooling [EEC] system to reconfigure to "closed loop
mode". The absence of a positive pressure differential
contributed to the hazardous quantities of smoke and fumes
entering the cockpit and upper deck, simultaneously obscuring
the crew’s view and creating a toxic environment.
8. The fire detection methodology of detecting smoke sampling as
an indicator of a fire is inadequate as pallet smoke masking can
delay the time it takes for a smoke detection system to detect a
fire originating within a cargo container or a pallet with a