Fire extinguishers

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buhwana
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:38 am

Fire extinguishers

Post by buhwana »

I noticed that my friend Tom Langston carries a fire extinguisher in his Falco. Never thought about it until he mentioned it but I don't like the idea of a medium sized cylinder becoming a missile during a crash or quick stop.

After seeing the possible damage just a cell phone could make when my daughter had a car accident several years ago I have been looking for something smaller and better.

I found this in my Griots Garage catalog and did some research (too expensive to buy it there). Jay Leno has a video for the E50 fire Suppression extinguisher on Youtube.

Here is the manufactures website and after checking the prices at Amazon, Normalguysupercar.com and the manufacturer's website (https://elementfire.com) I found the manufacture to be the best price. Light weight, long burn time, and a clipping system that makes it secure. A bit expensive but I plan on putting one in my New Corvette as well as the Falco.

https://elementfire.com
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Dvale
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:07 pm
Location: LFMZ / EGBD

Re: Fire extinguishers

Post by Dvale »

I see this extinguisher has no control so once activated it will continue to discharge an Oxygen robbing chemical. This may be OK in a ground situation where you can distance yourself from a fire, however within the cockpit you cannot and a conventional aircraft extinguisher with the proper mount albeit a lot more expensive would be my choice everytime
G-OCAD based LFMZ :D
Alan Evan Hanes
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:41 pm
Location: Johannesburg South Africa

Re: Fire extinguishers

Post by Alan Evan Hanes »

Not sure anything we can carry in the cockpit is big enough. Halon is mandated by the South African Civil Aviation Authority for all aircraft.

In May 1983 I had the adventurous misfortune to be a passenger in a Fairchild F24R aircraft that caught fire in flight. So before the requests start I will expand. The truly awful Fairchild Ranger engine is best used at marine ballast. It is an inverted inline 6. It has a propensity to run some cylinders rich and others lean SIMUTANEOUSLY. There is good reason why very few Grumman Widgeon's today use them.

This one burnt through no. 2 piston, which pressurized the crankcase and blew out all the oil seals. It had the inclination to do this over mountainous farmland where the smallest hillock was about an acre. There was just nowhere to land so we kept going for around half an hour heading directly for the coast line. First there was the oil smell. Then smoke in the cockpit. Through the tears we then noticed oil splatter everywhere and a very rough running engine. The smoke got so thick I could not see the instrument panel I could normally touch! I tore my stomach muscles coughing. It has wind down side windows like a car which we opened to get fresh air and assess any forced landing spots.

All that did was suck smoke through the firewall, my hands were splattered like being just above a chip fryer. Every now and again you could see the flash of a flame through the holes in the firewall. Amazingly the pilot kept the engine going although it felt like it was about to shake itself off the mounts. We were unable to maintain level flight but luckily the terrain also fell away toward the coast.

We just happened by pure luck to get to the coastline (aiming for a beach or shallow water landing) where an airfield of 1200ft was within distance. We had long ago given up all hope of navigating through the tears and coughing fits. The pilot landed downwind, there was no way we could have made it onto finals and we ended up breaking the plane substantially at the far end. I broke my back and tore stomach muscles in the incident.

The pilot escaped undamaged except our pants were oil soaked below the knees where ones legs go under the instrument panel. Had I been wearing a parachute I would have jumped. The plane was rebuilt and it crashed two and a half years later again at an airshow where I was present. This time fatally spinning in from 500ft when returning following an undiagnosed engine problem.

Around May 1992 I actually used a cockpit fire extinguisher once when PIC of a Piper J-3 Cub that caught fire when starting. The guy prop-swinging it found he did not feel like carrying on sucking the flames up into the over primed carb, not that I blame him. No damage other than to my ego. The carb was set for 6000ft+ mixture (it had a non-cockpit adjustable mixture) and this was our first experience of trying to start it at sea level. Getting it right for the first start of the day was a challenge. Of course it happened at an airshow with hundreds of spectators. As it always does, like bad landings.

But to get back to the topic, they are big dangerous expensive missiles in a crash, and not big enough for any real fire. In other words, just a bureaucrat's wet dream.

The ultimate expression of this is in our CAA's regulations - our first aid kits have to contain a digital thermometer! Never mind the fact that in a century of light aircraft aviation no one has ever actually used the first aid kit!

Fit one if you have to, else use the useful load for something better.

Rant off, I will get my hat and coat on the way out.
Get there fast to take it slow
buhwana
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:38 am

Re: Fire extinguishers

Post by buhwana »

Funny story. For what it's worth, I'm not getting in an airplane with you...lol
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