American Airlines 787s Covered In Fire Suppression System Malfunction

A dramatic video circulating today shows a fire suppression system malfunctioning in an American Airlines hangar holding two…

American Airlines 787s Covered In Fire Suppression System Malfunction

A dramatic video circulating today shows a fire suppression system malfunctioning in an American Airlines hangar holding two Boeing 787 aircraft. Both planes were quickly covered in special fire-fighting foam.

A fire suppression system malfunctioned in a hangar holding two Boeing 787s. Photo: Tom Boon/Simple Flying

Fire suppression system malfunctions in a 787 hangar

Video shows a fire suppression system malfunction that covered two Boeing 787s in foam.  The foam is seen spraying directly on the aircraft and some other equipment. However, there does not appear to be any people in the videos underneath the foam sprays. The incident created quite a mess:

Translation: Foam night in an American Airlines maintenance hangar! The fire-fighting system unexpectedly activated and sprayed foam on Boeing 787s.

Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines for additional details. American confirmed that there was no damage and no injuries to any employees. The malfunction, however, does require a massive cleanup.

Fire suppression foam

For safety reasons, aircraft hangars are equipped with a fire suppression system. The foam method is especially effective in case of a fire. It can be quickly released and effectively coat most of the hangar, drastically reducing fire damage.

American Getty Hangar
Aircraft hangars need to be equipped with a fire suppression system. Photo: Getty Images

In a hangar, there are plenty of ‘obstructions’ like large aircraft, scaffolding, jacks, and other equipment that can make traditional fire-fighting techniques difficult. Moreover, any kind of fire involving jet fuel can cause significant damage. The motto “better safe than sorry” registers strongly in the aviation industry.

It is unclear what caused this incident to occur. Likely, the system was triggered accidentally. However, sometimes, this foam system is set off intentionally either as a real-world emergency or test/demonstration. For example, here is a fire suppression system test at WestJet’s 787 hangar. Although, the WestJet hangar was empty at the time.

Fires can be very damaging– especially for aircraft. Thus, such a system is necessary within confined spaces like an aircraft hangar. However, such a malfunction can also cause a lot of damage. Thankfully for American Airlines, the damage seems restricted to a big clean-up operation.

These planes will likely stay on the ground a little while longer. After being cleaned, American’s engineers will probably need to inspect both of the aircraft thoroughly. Any leftover residue could be consequential during flight.

Incidents like this have occurred in the past. A couple of weeks ago, British Airways suffered a similar event in a Boeing 777 hangar. Meanwhile, at the end of March, a Delta hangar at LAX suffered an accidental foam discharge.

The Boeing 787s

American Airlines is moving towards streamlining its fleet. For the next couple of years, American’s long-haul fleet will be comprised of only Boeing 777s and 787s. This is a reduction from a large fleet that previously included Airbus A330-200s (now in long-term storage), A330-300s, Boeing 767s, and some 757s.

American Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner
The 787s are one of American’s primary long-haul aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Compared to those older aircraft, the 787s offer much better operating economics. There are two variants in AA’s fleet, the 787-8 and 787-9 . It is unclear which variants were in this hangar when the incident occurred.

What do you think about this incident? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Seattle’s Paine Field Flights Suspended Until August

Seattle’s swanky new Paine Field will see a temporary suspension of service starting on May 22nd through July…

Seattle’s Paine Field Flights Suspended Until August

Seattle’s swanky new Paine Field will see a temporary suspension of service starting on May 22nd through July 31st. During this time, the airport will conduct ramp maintenance and repairs.

Seattle’s Paine Field will temporarily shut for infrastructure improvements. Photo: Paine Field

Seattle’s Paine Field closed to passengers

The temporary suspension goes into effect next Friday, May 22nd. The airport, despite being a new terminal, needs to upgrade and repair some of its infrastructures to better support aircraft operations and ensure safety.

Paine field
The swanky new terminal will be shut for over two months. Photo: Paine Field

Initially, the plan was that this repair would be done in a phased approach over four months. However, the downturn in passenger numbers is proving to be an ideal scenario. Paine Field’s operating company, Propeller Airports, has elected instead to shut down operations all at once for just over two months. Not only does this halve the amount of time required for the upgrades, but it also reduces any inconveniences for passengers and operators once activity picks up.

Closing down airports for improvements is nothing new. For about two months this year, Stuttgart Airport was closed for runway work. Milan’s Linate airport was also closed last summer.

Paine Field
Instead of multiple phases over four months, Paine Field plans to do the upgrades in two months. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Before the onset of the current crisis, Paine Field saw 24 daily departures. However, that’s now down to just five. But once the airport’s upgrades are complete, it expects to see a full resumption fo 24 daily departures.

Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, had the following to say:

“The travel industry has never faced an economic challenge of this magnitude. We are going to use this temporary disruption to the advantage of Paine Field and our airline partners by completing necessary infrastructure improvements faster than we would have been able to while the terminal was open and flight operations were taking place.”

Airport
The closure of the airport means the upgrades can be done quicker with fewer passenger disruptions. Photo: Paine Field

Alternate flight options

Paine Field is located in the northern suburbs of Seattle in Everett. The airport is better known for Boeing’s operations there with manufacturing facilities for 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s.

An Emirates Boeing 777X under development at Paine Field. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

The best alternate option for travelers is the much larger Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). About 37 miles south of Paine Field, Sea-Tac is a hub for both Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Alaska E175
Alaska Airlines flies E175 regional jets to Paine Field. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Paine Field is designed to cater to passengers in the northern suburbs of Seattle. However, the airport is not terribly large. The largest airlines operating at the airport are Alaska and United– both using Embraer 175 regional jets. Of those two, Alaska Airlines has the lion’s share of operations. Although, for now, those operations have been scaled back to a minimum.

United 777W
A United 777-300ER under development at Paine Field. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Paine Field

Paine Field first opened up just over a year ago– March 4th, 2019. The airport drew lots of attention for being one of the nicest passenger terminals in the United States. The airport claims to offer passengers more convenience and comfort compared to the much larger Sea-Tac.

In the last year, the airport has served over one million passengers with nonstop flights to 11 destinations– and more on the horizon.

In the midst of this crisis, Paine Field also instituted new temperature checks for passengers. Before entering the TSA security screening area, each passenger will be assessed through a contactless temperature detection system. The airport is also using UV technology to clean high-traffic areas like check-in kiosks.

Are you sad to see Paine Field temporarily suspend flights? Which airport is your favorite– Paine Field or Sea-Tac? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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