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Home > Emergencies > SIA Plane on Fire
SIA Plane on Fire
Flying - Emergencies
Thursday, 30 June 2016 13:05

Moment Singapore Airlines plane SQ368 catches-fire
 
Hello Captain Lim,

What do you think of the recent incident in which an SQ plane's engine was leaking fuel?

Are pilots trained for this emergency?

Why didn’t the pilot land at a nearer airport rather than flying back to Singapore?

SK Chee

Singapore Airlines Plane Emergency Landing + Fire Fighting
 
Hi SK

According to SIA, Flight SQ368, a Boeing 777-300, powered by a GE Aviation engine, was en route from Singapore to Milan when an engine oil warning message forced it to turn back to the city-state about one hour and 45 minutes into the flight.

So as you can see, it was not a case of fuel leaking from the engine but rather a case of oil leak.

All pilots on the Boeing 777 are trained to handle such an emergency.

Yes, there were a lot of questions as to why the plane did not land at the nearest airport.

According to the normal procedure, an engine failure or an engine flying on idle power is not as critical as an engine on fire in the air.

However, if it were an engine fire, then that would require an immediate landing at the nearest airport.

I believe the SIA Boeing 777 had only an engine oil warning message. It was brought under control as I believe the thrust was brought down to idle power.

Remember, the Boeing 777-300 is certified to fly on one engine for 3 hours and so the flight crew's decision to return to Singapore seems reasonable.


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What I don't understand is why the crew didn't initiate evacuation, from what we saw with the EK incident in Dubai, the pax and crew on board SQ368 were extremely lucky the fire didn't escalated, but their action were against what we've been taught during from PPL, ATPL Ground school and line training!!
Steven Cheung , 20 Aug, 2016
@Steven Cheung - SQ368 emergency landing
To be clear, the aircraft was evacuated, though it was not done as an emergency evacuation. I would hesitate to put words in the flight's Captain's mouth, but I would suspect that he weighed the risk of a slower, safer evacuation with the certainty of passenger injury from an emergency evacuation via the escape slides.

From what I can gather, the fire was knocked down by Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) crews within 5 minutes, lessening the danger that the fire would affect the passenger cabin.

Perhaps, in hindsight, an emergency evacuation would have been better, but this was a decision that the Captain needed to make in moments and without benefit of all the facts we now have. I think the decision is justified, based on my knowledge of the event and my experience with commercial air transport.
Steve Brack , 07 Dec, 2017

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