Eddie Sez:

Here are two statistical facts to put all this in perspective:

  • If you don't put a cabin fire out in four minutes or less, you probably won't.

  • If you are on fire and don't land the airplane safely in fourteen minutes or less, you probably won't.

How do we know this?

The basic cabin fire plan of attack is to get the airplane on the ground as soon as possible. More about this: Abnormal Procedures / Cabin Fire. In the G450, the good news is all airplane interior fire/smoke/fumes checklists have been consolidated into one, starting on G450 QRH page EC-8. But by the time you run it, it might be too late. You should have a game plan memorized before this happens to you. It happened to me once and we got the airplane down in 12 minutes. Here's my game plan...


1. Point the airplane to a runway and get there fast.

You need to think these things through and practice in a simulator, but remember your overriding concern is getting on the aircraft on the ground in fourteen minutes or sooner, even if you have to break something. With each simulator practice we get better at this, but there is room for improvement:


2. "Where is the fire?" or "Where is the smoke coming from?"

You are likely to get a panicked "Back there!" so be ready to follow through with:


2. Decide.

You could have something as benign as a packet of hot towlettes that spent too much time in the microwave or you might have a smoldering laptop that will ignite and will not be put out. You may be at 50°N 30°W and not have any options but to stay at altitude. Or you may be overflying the longest runways in the country with the best fire rescue teams known in aviation. In any case, you need to make a decision. If you decide you have a fire or fumes that can asphyxiate all on board, you need to act...


3. Act.

If you have the option of landing immediately, take it. The PF should execute the emergency descent procedure while the PM does what can be done to fight the fire.

If you don't know where the fire is coming from you need to assume the worst and get rid of all potential sources. This procedure will do that:

If you have better intel on where the fire, smoke, or fumes are coming from, you can have the PM attack that problem while the PF gets the airplane on the ground. What follows are some pointers for each of these possible scenarios.

Galley Fire

Baggage Compartment Fire

Passenger Personal Electronics

Even if the bag works for you, get the airplane on the ground. Runaway lithium batteries have been known to explode violently and the bag may be good, but you don't want to test that. Get it on the ground and get that piece of ordinance off the airplane.

Air Conditioning

Electrical

When in doubt, leave the circuit breakers alone: Mishaps / Air Canada 797


Venting Smoke Using the Baggage Compartment Smoke Evacuation Valve

  • Ensure cabin pressure controller in FLIGHT mode

  • Place flight observer audio controller panel to H'MIC

  • Person using the valve can plug a headset into Smoke Evacuation Valve panel

  • Open internal baggage door slightly

  • Rotate Smoke Evacuation Valve to VENT SMOKE

  • Once smoke vented, enter baggage compartment to fight fire

  • Once finished, rotate Smoke Evacuation Valve to NORMAL OPS

The Smoke Evacuation Valve has two positions with no in between setting: it either deflates the baggage door seal or it doesn't. In the VENT SMOKE position, the baggage door seal is deflated. The internal baggage door becomes your TROV, the entire length of it. So when the procedure says to open the door slightly, it means so slightly you can just get a sheet of paper through it. Any more than that and you will depressurize the airplane. Once you turn the valve you should see the smoke rush aft to the door. You can modulate this by varying the opening of the door, but not too much!


To vent smoke through the TROV: