Fire suppression in cargo components

Fire Suppression in Cargo Compartments By Fred Workley May-June 1998 Fred Workley is the president of Workley Aircraft and Maintenance Inc. and director of Aircraft Appraisals at AvSOLUTIONS, both in Manassas, VA. He is on the technical...


Step Two: After discharge of CO2, the system continues to monitor the cargo compartment and keeps the oxygen levels at a level that would not support combustion. This is now possible through technology-transfer that is now available for utilization on aircraft by using liquid CO2 released through a metering system.

As well as mandating changes to Class D cargo compartments, the FAA is proposing new reporting requirements. The new reporting proposed is in two parts. First, Part 121 operators would report to the FAA on a quarterly basis the serial numbers of the aircraft in that holder's fleet in which all Class D compartments have been retrofitted to meet Class C or E requirements. The operators would also report the serial numbers of aircraft that have Class D compartments yet to be retrofitted. Second, the FAA could inform the public of the operator's progress in achieving compliance.

The FAA wants to increase the safety of aircraft. It also wants to make the public aware of its efforts. Whether the comparison of the progress of different 121 airline operators is truly helpful to passengers is questionable. However, in contrast to the number of fatalities from fires originating in Class D compartments, there have been no deaths from fires in Class C compartments.

Nonetheless, Part 135 operators have argued that their operations are so different from Part 121 operations that they should be exempted from making any changes to their fleet's cargo compartments. No final decision has been made. The FAA has requested additional comments. These comments must be received on or before May 18, 1998. You can do this electronically to 9-nprm-cmts@faa.dot.gov refer to Docket 28937. Comments may be mailed in triplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Chief Counsel, ATTN: Rules Docket (AGC 200), Docket No. 28937, 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20591. For more information, contact Gary Killion at the Transport Airplane Directorate, (425) 227-2114 or 9-nprm-cmts@faa.dot.gov.

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