NTSB Identification: FTW97IA084.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. FEDERAL EXPRESS )
Incident occurred Tuesday, January 21, 1997 in OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Boeing 727-100, registration: N198FE
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

During the takeoff initial climb, the crew received an aural warning and the number 2 smoke detector sensor light illuminated in the cockpit. Crew members noted a strong smell, like lacquer and varnish, coming from the cargo area. No evidence of an in flight fire or hazardous cargo spill was found in any cargo container. Wood panels, painted earlier that day with a base coat (Kem-Flash E61A45) and a topcoat (Production Lacquer L61XX Laed-Free Custom), were found in cargo bin 5. The ramp agent, who loaded the boxes into the cargo container, did not notice any smell or fumes when the container was loaded into the cargo bin. Painted panels may emit a paint like odor during the curing process; however, once the paint has been used on the panels it is not considered a hazardous material and is considered nonflammable when it is still in a curing stage. The smoke detector operates based on the percentage of light transmitted. The smoke detector, Part No. 7740-01, Serial No. 2024, tested within the manufacturer's operation specifications.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

existence of fumes from the cargo compartment and activation of the cargo smoke detector for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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