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Posted: 1/10/2005 1:41:17 PM EDT
I was up with a student today, and after we had just finished a series of power on stalls I smelled smoke. I looked down, and saw smoke pouring out of the landing/taxi light switch. I immediatly pulled out the red checklist, turned off the master and avionics, and assesed the situation. After I killed the electrical system, the smoke stopped. I then landed back at the airport, and called the mechanic.

Electrical fires are one of the biggest killers in aviation, and I wasnt taking this emergency lighty. At least I am alive, so is my student, and the aircraft is reusable. I am pissed that the circut breaker didnt pop for the landing light switch. If the smoke would have continued after the electrical system shutdown, I would have put that damn cessna in the field sooo fast. I was really considering it. Now I cant get the damn smoke smell outta my hair and clothes, and even my nose.

The moral of the story....follow your checklist, and dont take emergencies lightly.

Now I need a drink.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:46:29 PM EDT
Good story, and great real-life tale of emergency handling. Did you talk through the red card while you were doing the emergency procedures for the student's benefit, or did you just do it? As a student pilot, I find that my CFI seems to get more of a handle on my progress if I talk through the pattern and so forth, and I get more from the CFI when she talks to me while demonstrating instead of just doing it then telling me about it after it's done.

"Smoke in the cockpit!" The words a pilot never wants to say or hear.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:47:40 PM EDT
So, how are your underwear?

Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:49:43 PM EDT
Glad you're OK.  Were you wearing your brown pants today??
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:51:57 PM EDT
Main thing is you're ok -and your student too. How did he/she react to the situation?
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:54:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 1:54:47 PM EDT by Airwolf]
Never had one (dead alt/batt in-flight a couple of times) but did hear one over the radio as it happened to another pilot.

He got it handled and on the ground without a problem but I do recall that his voice went up at least a octave or two higher during the event.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 1:54:29 PM EDT
I had an actual electircal fire in a C-130.
The HF power supply went tits-up and caught fire.
It's located in the upper fuselage just aft of the 245 bulkhead.

FL 18K, flames and sparks shooting out of a black box and everyone looking at it like "WTF"? while the fire gets bigger.

Me and the engineer both yelled "SHUT THE FUCKING HF OFF NOW!" at the same time.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 2:00:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 2:03:19 PM EDT by CFII]
Thanks for the replies. I read the checklist, and made the student perform them. I wanted him to learn a little, but I was also concerned about saving us and the aircraft. No need for an underwear change, suprisingly enough. If I had to ditch, I am sure things would have been different. The student was just suprised how severly I reacted to the emergency. I wasnt bullshitting around. After we landed, he realised how bad it was, and how quickly it could have been a whole lot worse.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 2:09:28 PM EDT
I had an electrical fire in an Audi GT coupe. Whole electrical harness melted in about 10 secs and filled the car w/ acrid smoke. Wouldn't want that up in the air.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 2:13:26 PM EDT
Is this like on a cessna? Did you open the windows to let the smoke out?
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:08:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By windom:
Is this like on a cessna? Did you open the windows to let the smoke out?

No. I didnt. You arent supposed to open windows or vents, it can encourage a fire. However, it dissipated quick enough for me to land.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:11:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2005 6:12:50 PM EDT by thompsondd]
Glad to hear that you, your student, and aircraft are all OK and will all see blue skies another day. Damn jam up job it sounds like. You sound like a great instructor.

Originally Posted By windom:
Is this like on a cessna? Did you open the windows to let the smoke out?

One thing a fire likes more of is a fast and steady supply of oxygen.
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