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Home > Emergencies > Would the pilot be able to restart the engine after discharging the fire extinguisher?
Would the pilot be able to restart the engine after discharging the fire extinguisher?
Flying - Emergencies
Thursday, 27 August 2009 05:35

Hi Captain Lim,

I am a writer completing some technical detail research for a sequence in a novel. The particular sequence calls for the pilot to provide a diversion by deploying the engine extinguishers into an engine when there is nothing actually wrong with the engine.

To set the scene, the pilot is asked to provide this diversion so as not to tip off the villains of the story who are posing as airport workers on the ground. This diversion would provide a means for the hero of the story to exit the plane using the on-scene fire equipment as cover.

My question is, if he were to shutdown the engine then deploying the extinguishers while on the ground would he then be able to restart that engine after a few minutes?

I know this is a strange question but I like to get the minor details correct so my pilot readers won't pick the story apart saying things such as "That is just not possible".

Thanks in advance,

Charlie

Hi Charlie,

The answer is technically no unless further actions are taken to recover the “soiled” engine.

You see, when the pilot activated the fire extinguisher, he has effectively shut down that engine by cutting off the fuel supply and discharging the chemical extinguishing agent. The stained engine must be thoroughly cleaned before it could be released for flight again.

When the pilot has to discharge the fire extinguisher, he has to carry out at least two major actions, that is, activate the fire extinguisher switch and then discharge the fire bottles (normally two if the first one failed to extinguish it)

The first action has the effect of a series of consequences - arming the firing circuits and getting it ready for the discharge, cutting off the fuel to the engine, switching off the generator, deactivating the oil, hydraulic supply pumps and closing the engine bleed air.

The second action would then discharge the chemical agent into the source of the fire (normally the ignition or any leaked fuel lines within the engine).

Below, you can see how a jet engine is being cleaned in two You Tube videos:-


Cleaning a Boeing 737 Jet Engine



How to wash a Boeing 737 Jet Engine

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