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faa missed warning on insulation burn test - metalized mylar

by:Cailong     2019-07-13
faa missed warning on insulation burn test  -  metalized mylar
McGuire is a young family.
The insulation expert read the technical documents 10 years ago when he suddenly thought of one thing: a description of the test used to determine the thermal insulation of the aircraft.
McGuire realized that he was not an aircraft expert, but was convinced that the test being conducted was "meaningless" and he sent a memo to the team in charge of the test.
This test involves placing a piece of insulation vertically on the lamp for 12 seconds, then observing how far the resulting flame travels and how long it takes to put out the fire.
If the fire goes out within 15 seconds and the flame spreads less than 8 inch, the material is approved for use as an aircraft insulation material.
In a memorandum to a subcommittee of the American Association for Testing and Materials on March 9, 1988, the standards of the subcommittee were accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration and other government agencies, mcGuire wrote, he was "shocked that the test was not more serious ".
The subcommittee largely ignored McGuire.
It was not until this year that senior FAA officials realized-
Including some of their own technicians. -
There is growing concern that insulation may help spread fires inside the aircraft.
A series of events last in Sept.
Flight Swissair 111 crashed 2 times, killing 229 people and using insulation as a medium
Key research projects are slowly spreading, 48,000-Employee agent.
The FAA's treatment of insulation issues is a case study of how to hide key safety issues in government agencies and how budgetary tensions can affect research, and how personal crashes and publicity around them can suddenly rearrange the air safety agenda.
In addition, it shows that the growth of the aviation business and its increasing complexity make it impossible for the agency to keep up with the emerging security issues.
Air safety officials say it is not clear whether the insulation-
It protects air passengers from the noise and cold of flight 37,000 feet-
Played a role in the Swissair crash. But on Oct.
14. the FAA announced that almost all insulation and sound insulation materials on 12,000 commercial aircraft worldwide must be removed and replaced within a few years, industry sources said, the cost could be over $1 billion.
The FAA said it would order a major overhaul because the new test confirmed a serious shortage of effective burn tests for 23 years.
In fact, many flammable products will obviously pass the current test.
The insulation incident caused the FAA officials to be so worried that they decided to go back and check 40-year-
Old institutions to assess potential safety hazards.
They will pay special attention to ensuring that sensitive security issues are brought to the forefront of the agency.
"I think it's more certain than today that we have a process that makes people feel comfortable to move things forward," said FAA Administrator Jane GAVI . ".
"We are re-examining what our real job is about," said Thomas Maxwell, the new assistant administrator of the FAA for supervision and certification.
"Our real job is to prevent accidents.
"The FAA has not taken decisive action, and there is no evil reason.
Instead, some decisions were driven by what seemed logical at the time: money was needed in other areas, or more information was needed.
In other cases, low
Senior officials have failed to communicate with each other or have not attracted the attention of senior officials.
In fact, when insulation industry officials gathered to regularly reconsider the defective flammable standards at the beginning of 1990 and 1980, the FAA did not even send a representative.
Then, with hundreds of government and industry people starting to focus on the issue in the medium term
1990, senior FAA officials do not know anything about the flammable nature of insulation, although an airline manufacturer has begun to take steps to warn airlines of problems with insulation.
Senior FAA officials say they are concerned about more pressing fire safety issues;
After all, no one died from a plane insulation fire, but hundreds died from a plane fire caused by other reasons.
The FAA is working to address how to identify emerging security issues.
Plans for information are in progress
Shared programs, including computer processing of a large amount of information from aircraft flight data recorders, to find patterns that may detect these problems before potential problems occur.
One lesson of the insulation decision, McSweeny said, is that engineers, including him, must avoid getting involved in technical details and focus on the big picture.
"As an engineer, you will be busy solving technical problems," McSweeny said . ".
"What you really need to focus on is that everything you do is to save lives.
Everything you do is to prevent accidents.
However, some industry officials are concerned that the FAA may overreact.
After the FAA released insulation
Replacement orders show that insulation materials that best meet the new flammable standards are not even in commercial production.
The standards established by the American Association for Testing and Materials for aircraft insulation flammable date back to 1975.
McGuire's 1988 protests appear to be the first attack on the standard, although this cannot be confirmed because most of the records of 1970 and 1980 are destroyed during normal business processes.
ASTM is a technical organization that develops and publishes thousands of industrial test standards on materials and products from ceramics to wood.
It has very few professionals, but almost all the work is done by the volunteer committee from the industry.
Aircraft Insulation is one of dozens of materials within the jurisdiction of the c16.
23 blanket and loose SubcommitteeFill insulation.
Prior to the meeting, each subcommittee member was given a copy of each standard and a vote.
If a member is not satisfied with the criteria, he or she will vote "no ".
"Since the subcommittee operates by consensus, every negative vote must be resolved.
McGuire, a young chemist who wrote the warning memo, served on the subcommittee while working in Indiana --
Rich industrial company that produces household insulation materials.
He said he usually "abstained" in non-elections ". home materials.
But he voted no on the insulation of the plane because he thought the Ben Sheng lamp test was "equivalent to crossing the candle flame with his fingers ".
"Almost all the materials will pass," he said.
McGuire, who is now.
Employee said that under the "gentleman agreement" with the subcommittee, he withdrew his negative vote in exchange for a commitment that the subcommittee would revisit the issue, something that had never happened.
McGuire says he has never made any independent effort to reach out to the FAA, something he regrets now.
Pete Hays, who works for an insulation company and is listed in the minutes of the meeting as chairman of the subcommittee, said he did not remember the issue.
However, he said the burn test could be one of hundreds of tests that the government has handed over to his testing organization over the years, a streamlined and money test --saving issue.
Despite the release and refinement of these tests by ASTM, Hays said the FAA would seek major changes to these tests.
ASTM does not have a research facility to do this, he said.
The FAA is not aware of the objection to the standard because it is not a member of the subcommittee.
"They're not there," said McGuire.
"They should be.
Where is the contact group?
Where is the feedback? "On Nov.
1993, something happened that caught the attention of FAA technicians.
MacDonald Douglas twinsengine MD-
87 taxiing towards the gate in Copenhagen, smoke starts from the rear of the cabin.
When passengers leave the plane, the smoke is getting bigger and bigger.
A fire spread rapidly.
No one was killed, but the plane was destroyed.
The Danish Accident Investigation Commission has identified insulation blankets as a source of fuel to help the fire spread.
McDonald Douglas jet had three similar fires. -
1994 in China and 1995 in Italy.
However, officials said that by 1994, the FAA research budget had been cut to a new low, and that the budget had been cut by other fire research, including fire Research --
Waterproof the interior material of the cabin and put out fire on the jet-sprayed aircraft.
The agency has also started an expensive research program to prevent rapid Burns
External fuel through the aircraft body-fed fires.
The project ultimately emphasizes the use of thermal insulation as a fire block after the aluminum skin of the aircraft melts, giving passengers an additional one to two minutes of escape time.
But this program is not meant to test if insulation helps spread more slowly.
Develop indoor fires.
McSweeny said that aircraft insulation flammable standards have been given "medium priority" in the research budget, and in recent years, the average annual level of all fire safety issues is about $6 million.
At the same time, McDonald Douglas is concerned about the fire on foreign aircraft, which seems to involve metallized Mera insulation materials on the aircraft.
The company warned its customers of this concern on 1996 and issued a service announcement on 1997 recommending the replacement of metallized mai la blankets at the first actual maintenance opportunity.
This is still not considered an urgent matter;
There are insulation materials in many parts of the aircraft, some of which can only be heavily maintained in four to five years.
On March 1996, Macdonald Douglas submitted the findings to the international aircraft materials Fire Test Working Group-
It consists of airlines, suppliers and government agencies.
The decision of the team to conduct a "cycle" test requiring eight independent laboratories to evaluate various methods of insulation testing would be an important decision.
In May 11 and July 17 of 1996 of happen the two fatal event submerged the Federal Aviation Administration and its fire and explosion budget ---
The value Jet Flight 592 crashed in the Everglades and exploded near Long Island on Trans-World Airlines Flight 800.
When the oxygen generator in the cargo hold was accidentally activated, the value jet actually turned into a huge blowtorch;
At first, Flight 800 was considered a victim of vandalism, but the accident was ultimately attributed to the explosion of the fuel tank.
Coincidentally, on May 24, just 13 days after the value plane crash, the Civil Aviation Administration of China produced documents that became one of the most important aircraft insulation documents.
But the file was lost in the crush.
China's report documented the role insulation played in several aircraft fires and advocated a new burning test.
Instead of briefly exposing the insulation material to the Ben Sheng lamp, the Chinese dropped a burning cotton swab on the insulation material and found that the insulation material was easy to burn.
In a report to the FAA, the Chinese suggested a change in the combustion test, and the FAA "responded quickly and positively" to insulation flammable ".
The FAA's Northwest Regional Office in Seattle oversees aircraft certification and handles an official response to China.
"While the tests you conducted are illustrative, they do not invalidate the certification of the materials," the Seattle office wrote . ".
But the letter seems to touch the nail, the other arm, FAA--
Atlantic City Technology Center-
The problem was not ignored.
On September 1997, the technical center released a report on the results of the "cycle" test required by the International Fire Group in March 1996.
Not very beautiful.
Although the report of the Technical Center is expressed in technical language, it is basically not enough to test the original lamp.
The summary of the report said, "the test data show that the cotton swab test produced a consistent test result, while the vertical flammable test did not.
"Work at the technical level continues, and in the third quarter of this year, FAA staff said at a meeting of the international fire organization that the swab test was not sufficient.
A new test plan is needed.
Nevertheless, there is no sense of urgency.
Despite a slight increase in the agency's research budget, funding is tight.
Other priority projects such as airport security continue to consume tight resources. "We have a well.
"The process of prioritizing our research," McSweeny said . ".
"This is basically driven by key requirements.
In September, however, insulation became a key requirement.
Swiss Airways Flight 111 crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia. 2. By mid-
On September, debris from the plane was salvaged from the Atlantic Ocean and showed that it might be in-board fire.
According to FAA officials, Dick Hill, head of the FAA Atlantic City Technical Center, was sent to Halifax to assist in the investigation.
Hill is well aware of the China newspaper and MacDonald Douglas service announcement.
He advised investigators to keep a close eye on signs of insulation that could have been burned.
Hill also informed Dave Thomas, director of the FAA accident investigation, that he had informed Max winey.
This is the first time the FAA headquarters has focused on insulation as a possible fire hazard.
McSweeny said he received a copy of the Chinese report and other insulation materials.
But they only took a look.
McSweeny was appointed as the top regulator of the FAA and did not take effect until October.
He hasn't even started moving to his new office yet.
The entire agency, including McSweeny, is also frantically preparing to announce a new aging aircraft safety plan.
Weekend on Sunday26-
27 McSweeny said that he looked at the report in more detail, "I know very well that we have to look at it carefully. "On Oct.
1. the same day of aging-
According to The Washington Post, the plane plans to announce that the insulation problem is becoming a possible problem in the Swiss Airlines crash.
On the same day, McSweeny received a new technical center report saying that the cotton swab test was not sufficient.
FAA administrator Garvey said that when the article called the day before the story appeared to ask for a comment, she learned about the issue for the first time. "Jane {Garvey}
I had my first discussion that day . "
Since then, crazy activities have begun around the FAA.
There is growing evidence that more urgent action needs to be taken, says Mr McSweeney.
McSweeny said he moved his office on Saturday, October.
By Sunday, he was convinced that the FAA had to take bold action. On Oct.
On the 14 th, FAA officials announced that the test showed that almost no insulation material would pass the new test.
With the exception of about 200 old Lockheed L1011s, each aircraft in the fleet must be refitted with new insulation.
Basically, the FAA has decided to raise the standards for aircraft insulation in several alliances.
Not through fire-
Spread test, insulation material must pass new, more difficult burningthrough test. The burn-
FAA is already developing a pass-through test and the agency is now planning to complete the study in six months instead of completing it in one month
The annual schedule originally set.
The FAA is also working on new rules for aircraft insulation.
For the first time, the FAA has named a specific product that passed the test: Curlon, covered with pi.
Curlon's patent is held by Orcon, a small California company.
There is a problem.
Curlon is not engaged in commercial production.
Len DiGiovanni, director of operations at Orcon, said that when his company bought patents from owners in England to Curlon, his company did not respond to any specific accidents and incidents
The company's main business, he said, is insulation of aircraft and has been looking for better products.
The company thinks Curlon is just a niche product at best, he said.
Now Orcon is building a new factory near Dalton, Georgia, to make Curlon.
DiGiovanni said the production line will run in the first half of next year.
Many in the aviation industry have complained that they were excluded from the process that led to the FAA's declaration of insulation.
There is also a second product mentioned by the FAA in the industry ---polyimide-
Covered with fiberglass-
Will pass the new FAAthrough test.
McSweeny admitted that there is no pi fire prevention for fiberglass products
But he said it was enough.
McSweeny said he insisted on "sharing" existing products so that airlines don't wait for Curlon or other FAA --
The approved products are widely available before starting to transform their fleet.
The tech center has assured her that fiberglass products will pass the planned new tests, Garvey said.
Garvey said the industry must be prepared to take the same dramatic steps on other security issues.
"If we need it, we have to be ready
Check our standards, "she said.
Meanwhile, Garvey said the FAA still has to live within a research budget that will never be as big as it needs.
In this case, accelerated insulation research will be funded by putting aside the priorities of previous years ---
In order to put out the fire inside the aircraft, water has played a great role.
After 23 years of fire testing, the FAA has accepted what it now considers inadequate insulation flammable standards.
It is developing a new one.
* The standard test for aircraft insulation is to apply the standard Ben lamp flame to the thermal insulation material placed vertically in the combustion chamber.
The flame was removed after 12 seconds.
To pass, the average length of continuous combustion must be 15 seconds or less, the burning area must be 8 inch or less, and any dripping water on the floor of the room must not exceed the average of 5 seconds.
* Madao, Boeing and the Chinese government have used different versions of the "cotton swab test" in which the burning cotton swab is placed on the insulation.
* Now, the FAA plans to heat the direct flame for a few minutes.
The exact nature of the test is under study.
Description: investigators took a closer look at a section of the fuselage of Swiss Airways Flight 111, which crashed on September, helping to push the aircraft insulation flammable and safety test issues to the forefront.
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