NTSB Cites Confusion, Lack of Training in Airplane Fires

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Confusion among crew members and a lack of effective training make fires aboard passenger aircraft a serious threat, federal investigators say. In a recent formal recommendation, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that “training programs still do not adequately prepare crew members to fight the type of hidden in-flight fires likely to occur on airplanes.”

Six years after 229 people perished when fire brought down a Swissair flight off Nova Scotia, several proposed safety improvements to prevent such accidents have not been required by law. U.S. and Canadian accident investigators are calling for improved training, removal of flammable material and rules to require smoke detectors and automatic extinguishers throughout planes. Aviation regulators have mandated many improvements in recent decades to protect flights from fires, and other actions are on the way. But regulators, airlines and aircraft manufacturers say that some of the proposals by safety advocates are impractical or could even make flights riskier, not safer.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-06-07-plane-fires_x.htm

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