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Aircraft Fire Hazards, Protection & Investigation

June 27-30, 2023

BlazeTech Corporation
29B Montvale Ave.
Woburn, MA 01801 USA

4-day course in-person. All participants must show proof of compliance with US federal and Massachusetts COVID-19 travel requirements at the time of the course; and those who do not will be denied entrance to the course.

By N. Albert Moussa, PhD, PE

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Course Outline

  • Review of Fundamentals
    • Outline of fire scenarios to be studied
    • Reaction types and fire classification
    • Screening ignition sources
    • Stages of fire development
  • Fuel Tank Fire and Explosion
    • Ullage flammability and deflagration
    • Predict fire/overpressure using BlazeTank
    • N2 Inerting: 9% vs. 12% O2
    • Penetration/perforation by debris/bullet impacts
    • SFAR 88: lessons learned (TWA 800, B747, NY)
  • Engine Fires
    • When to use hot surface vs. auto ignition temp.
    • Full-scale tests on AV8-B and simulated F-16
    • Protection systems
    • Oil fire (Trent 972, Airbus A380, Indonesia)
    • Post-landing engine fires (CFM56, B737, Okinawa)
    • Engine burst (CF6, DC-10, Sioux City, IA)
  • Post-Crash Fires
    • Pool fire (Air France 358, A340, Toronto, Canada)
    • Fuel misting due to impact forces (NASA crash test)
    • Impact (Asiana 214, B777, San Francisco, CA)
    • Rejected takeoff (Continental 603, DC-10-10, LAX)
    • Lightning strike (Aeroflot Flight SU1492, Moscow)
  • Li- Battery Fires
    • Primary cells, rechargeable cells, battery essentials
    • Battery fire hazards, standards and testing
    • Fire in packing facility at airport, Los Angeles, CA
    • Inadequate battery handling, Toluca, Mexico & LAX
    • Li ion battery fires in APU (JAL, B787, Boston, MA)
    • Cell phone fire (Qantas 7, A380, SW of Dallas)
  • Li- Battery Fires in Cargo
    • UPS 6, B747, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    • Asiana Cargo 991, B747, Jeju Island, South Korea
    • UPS 1307,DC-8, Philadelphia, PA
    • South African 295, B747, Mauritius, Indian Ocean
    • FedEx Express 0004, MD-11, Memphis, Tennessee
    • FedEx protection system
    • UPS protection system
  • Flammability of Polymeric Materials
    • Thermal degradation, ignition, flaming, smoldering, smoke, toxicity, flame retardants
    • FAR 25.853 test methods
    • Effects of pressure and oxygen concentration
    • Attendant uniforms
  • Cabin Fires
    • Breached fuselage vs. burn-through
    • Flammability of seats and panels
    • Flashover (full scale FAA tests)
    • Passenger evacuation (British Airtours, B737, Manchester, UK)
  • Fires in Cargo and Hidden Areas
    • Ventilation and smoke movement
    • Federal Express, Boston
    • Oxygen generator fire (ValuJet, DC-9 Everglades)
    • Asian Airlines 991, Jeju Int. Airport
  • Smoke and Fumes
    • Smoke movement
    • NBS smoke chamber
    • Air Canada 797, DC-8, Cincinnati, OH
    • Cockpit protection equipment
  • Electrical Wiring Fires
    • Wire types: Teflon, Tefzel, Kapton, TKT
    • Wiring problems, causes, fixes and challenges
    • Swiss Air 111, MD-11, Nova Scotia
  • Flammability of Composite Structures
    • Unique properties of composites
    • Fire test methods
    • Thermal degradation model
    • Composites v. Aluminum structures
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • External Hazards That Can Impact Aircraft
    • Classification of energetic/hazardous materials
    • Detonation and air blast from explosives
    • Internal explosions (Pan Am 103, B747, Lockerbie)
    • Structural response: local v. global deformation
    • Debris impact, hydrodynamic ram, leading to fire
    • Concorde disaster (Air France 459, Gonesse)
  • Fire Detection Systems
    • Types: smoke, ionization, thermal and optical
    • Pros and cons of various detector types
    • Use in various hazard zone classifications
  • Fire Suppression Systems
    • Passive and active fire suppression in fuel tanks
    • Halons and replacement agents, clutter effects
    • Hand-held systems
    • Ground-based AFFF fire suppression strategies
    • Environmental issues with AFFF
  • Drones and Safety Implications
    • Electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft
    • Flammability properties of hydrogen
    • Crash fire hazards of hydrogen vs jet fuel
  • Aircraft Accident Investigation
    • Investigative process (ICAO, NTSB, FAA)
    • Anatomy of a fire accident; accident precursors
    • Forensic tools, NFPA 921
    • Timeline and pathline reconstruction
    • Critical tests and modeling
    • Contributory human factors
  • Summary of Fire/Explosion Pattern Recognition
    • In-flight v. ground fires
    • Prev. post-crash fires (CRJ-100, Lexington, KY)
    • Explosions: solid v. fuel vapor (TWA 800, B747, NY)
    • Structural failures identification
    • Impact from debris v. ballistic threat
    • Casualties from smoke inhalation v. thermal injury

Discussions are encouraged throughout the course.


Dr. N. Albert Moussa PhD, PE