Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Electrical Fires in Flight

In-Flight Electrical Fires is an informative article that really put everything I have ever heard about electrical fires together. It emphasized the importance of making flying the aircraft your first priority in a situation like this--getting on the ground is paramount. The article said that the ability to recognize even small things that are out of the ordinary is an important skill for pilots to have. It also stressed the importance of not waiting for a major problem to arise before you take action.

A short circuit is an electrical circuit that allows current to flow somewhere other than the intended path. A short circuit could cause an electrical fire.

The procedure in the Semniole PIM and the article for what to do in case of an electrical fire were similar.  The article warned against resetting circuit breakers though, and the Seminole PIM says that it is okay to reset them, as long as you allow a short time between resets. Another thing that the Seminole PIM says to do is pull out all the circuit breakers if, after turning of the battery master, alternator and radio master, the fire still persists. I don't remember anything about that in the article. Both the Seminole PIM and the article emphasized the importance of landing as soon as possible.

In the event that I experience an electrical fire, I am going to try to remain calm and fly the plane first and foremost. I will have the memory items on the check list memorized, and go through them first. Then I will run through the checklist and make sure I checked everything. I would work fast to go through the checklist, try to get the fire out, and land as soon as possible.

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