Removing the Smokescreen
"The best extinguisher on the market is the Halon."
Think back to last weekend when you were burning the leaves you spent all day raking into that huge pile. You’ve just lit the pile and now stand back to admire the flames going straight up. You feel the warmth on your face in the cool fall air and watch the big plumes of white smoke following the flames skyward.
Fire Extinguishers: Halon, Not Dry Chem
Halon and its newer alternatives are effective aircraft fire extinguishing agents. Things you bring with you in the cabin can make a fire much worse.
The idea of an inflight fire rightfully scares the bejabbers out of pilots. Uncontrolled combustion in a confined space is ugly enough—adding altitude and speed to the mix can make a fire lethal in short order. It’s no wonder that pilots dealing with an inflight fire have jumped out of their aircraft even though they had no parachute.
Putting Out the Flames
An inflight fire may be one of the most dangerous situations any pilot may face. The difference between safely extinguishing a cockpit fire or perhaps losing your airplane and your life hinges on three factors: having a fire extinguisher on board, knowing how to use it, and having it easily accessible. Although the Federal Aviation Regulations do not require general aviation aircraft to carry one, common sense would suggest a fire extinguisher should be standard equipment in every aircraft.
Fire Extinguishers: Halon is Worth the Cost
Forget consumer-grade stuff: A portable Halon extinguisher is the way to go, and products from H3R Aviation lead the market.
An in-flight fire is most pilots' greatest fear, surpassing even a mid-air collision. Although relatively rare, the unique combination of combustible materials and ignition sources available in the typical personal airplane means an in-flight fire must be dealt with quickly and decisively. Doing so usually means disabling systems to deprive the fire of its fuel or ignition sources and employing a fire extinguisher to smother it. A quick landing, even if off-airport, may be necessary.
Extinguishing Your Risk
Each year, a small number of pilots face an unexpected danger--a cockpit or engine fire caused by a broken fuel line or electrical short. While the odds of such an occurrence are slim, for those who experience it, lack of preparation can be frightening--or even fatal.