To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)
Send
Cancel

Thanks!

Close

Quiz: Can You Handle These 7 Real-Life Aircraft Fires?

While uncommon, aircraft fires are one of the most feared and deadly pilot emergencies. Are you ready to handle the following scenarios? Let's get started...

  1. 1) You're having trouble getting the engine to fire during a cold engine start and notice avgas dripping from the exhaust. What should you do?
    Swayne Martin

    If your engine is significantly over-primed, with fuel dripping from the exhaust, do not try to start the engine. Instead, make sure the engine is off, and open the throttle to full. This will open the engine's butterfly-valve, sending air throughout the engine, evaporating the excess fuel. Let it sit open for 10 to 15 minutes, or more, and go relax in the pilot's lounge. No rush!

    If your engine is significantly over-primed, with fuel dripping from the exhaust, do not try to start the engine. Instead, make sure the engine is off, and open the throttle to full. This will open the engine's butterfly-valve, sending air throughout the engine, evaporating the excess fuel. Let it sit open for 10 to 15 minutes, or more, and go relax in the pilot's lounge. No rush!

    1. Unchecked Checked
      Try to start the engine with the throttle fully open.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Try to start the engine with the throttle at a low RPM setting.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Do not start the engine; leave the throttle fully open.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Do not start the engine; leave the throttle closed.
  2. 2) You see flames while you're starting the engine and continue cranking the engine, per POH recommendations. If the engine starts, you should:
    Jim Raeder

    If, while cranking, the engine starts, let it run at a high RPM for a few minutes. Then shut down the engine and give it a quick inspection to make sure the fire has been extinguished.

    If, while cranking, the engine starts, let it run at a high RPM for a few minutes. Then shut down the engine and give it a quick inspection to make sure the fire has been extinguished.

    1. Unchecked Checked
      Shut the aircraft down and immediately evacuate with your fire extinguisher in-hand.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Let the engine run at a low RPM for just a few seconds, then shut down and inspect.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Perform and engine run-up and continue with your planned flight.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Let the engine run at a high RPM for a few minutes, then shut down and inspect.
  3. 3) During a pre-flight inspection, you notice a small amount of pooled oil in the engine. What should you do?
    Swayne Martin

    Over time, even slightly dripping oil can collect into a sizable pool which can ignite. You might have an oil leak and should get a mechanic to inspect the plane before you go flying.

    Over time, even slightly dripping oil can collect into a sizable pool which can ignite. You might have an oil leak and should get a mechanic to inspect the plane before you go flying.

    1. Unchecked Checked
      Clean it up yourself; it was only a little bit of oil.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Proceed with your planned flight and pay a little extra attention to the oil pressure gauge.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Have a mechanic inspect and clear the airplane for flight.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Add some more oil to the engine to compensate for the dripping.
  4. 4) You're at cruising altitude and realize that an engine fire has started. What should you do?
    Swayne Martin

    If an engine fire has been confirmed, an immediate engine shut down will likely be the procedure as recommend by your aircraft's POH or emergency checklist. If you have time, remember to communicate your emergency with ATC prior to turning off communications equipment.

    If an engine fire has been confirmed, an immediate engine shut down will likely be the procedure as recommend by your aircraft's POH or emergency checklist. If you have time, remember to communicate your emergency with ATC prior to turning off communications equipment.

    1. Unchecked Checked
      Begin a rapid descent to blow out the flames.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Cut the mixture to half, reducing fuel feeding the fire.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Keep the engine running and fly to the nearest airport.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Following the POH, perform an emergency engine shut down.
    5. Unchecked Checked
      Increase RPM and begin a rapid climb.
  5. 5) There is no airport within gliding distance of your location and you've shut down the engine to handle a fire. What should you do?
    Haley Howard

    Since the engine fire is usually started by a broken/cracked fuel line, oil line, or cylinder, you should never restart the engine. You'll only introduce more fuel flow to the fire, making your situation even worse. Your goal here is to get on the ground as quickly as possible to save your life, not to save the airplane. Using your judgement, decide whether or not you have time to glide to an airport or if you should land at the nearest survivable location.

    Since the engine fire is usually started by a broken/cracked fuel line, oil line, or cylinder, you should never restart the engine. You'll only introduce more fuel flow to the fire, making your situation even worse. Your goal here is to get on the ground as quickly as possible to save your life, not to save the airplane. Using your judgement, decide whether or not you have time to glide to an airport or if you should land at the nearest survivable location.

    1. Unchecked Checked
      Restart the engine to get within range of a nearby airport.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Restart the engine while you search for a suitable landing spot.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Begin flying towards the nearest airport so you'll be closer to help when you land off-airport.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Perform a forced, off-airport landing without restarting the engine.
  6. 6) As you reach the mid-point of your cross country flight, you notice that electrical components are acting abnormally. You also begin to smell something burning. What should you do?
    Swayne Martin

    If electric components, such as avionics, begin to randomly fail, that could be a signal that the electrical system has been compromised. Electrical fires are often initially noticed by a faint burning smell in the cabin. Grab your emergency checklist and follow the procedure for an electrical fire. Don't forget to contact ATC and declare your emergency (if possible) before you shut off communications equipment.

    If electric components, such as avionics, begin to randomly fail, that could be a signal that the electrical system has been compromised. Electrical fires are often initially noticed by a faint burning smell in the cabin. Grab your emergency checklist and follow the procedure for an electrical fire. Don't forget to contact ATC and declare your emergency (if possible) before you shut off communications equipment.

    1. Unchecked Checked
      You might have an electrical fire. Grab your emergency checklist, follow procedures, and begin flying towards a nearby airport.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Turn the master switch off immediately to stop the possible electrical fire.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Divert to the nearest airport and leave electrical equipment on.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Divert to the nearest airport and turn off all electrical equipment immediately.
  7. 7) During a gusty crosswind landing, you veer off the runway and clip a wing on the ground. The airplane spins around and comes to a stop with substantial wing damage; there's a possible fuel leak. What should you do first?
    Jason Pineau

    Rough impacts during landing can bend the airframe and rupture fuel lines. Your #1 priority is to avoid a post-crash fire by getting yourself and your passengers out and away from the airplane as quickly as possible, fire extinguisher in-hand.

    Rough impacts during landing can bend the airframe and rupture fuel lines. Your #1 priority is to avoid a post-crash fire by getting yourself and your passengers out and away from the airplane as quickly as possible, fire extinguisher in-hand.

    1. Unchecked Checked
      Look around to see what else has been damaged.
    2. Unchecked Checked
      Grab all of your belongings.
    3. Unchecked Checked
      Stay in the airplane and call for help.
    4. Unchecked Checked
      Evacuate the airplane.

Not bad... now you know which fire procedures you'll want to review.

You scored %. How do you stack up to everyone else? Share it and find out.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Pic

Good job! You know your emergency procedures.

You scored %. How do you stack up to everyone else? Share it and find out.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Pic

Well, you pretty much nailed this quiz.

You scored %. How do you stack up to everyone else? Share it and find out.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Pic

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

Images Courtesy:

Recommended Stories

Latest Stories

    Load More
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email