NTSB Identification: DCA86IA037.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 32301.
Scheduled 14 CFR AMERICAN TRANS AIR INC
Incident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1986 in CHICAGO, IL
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-10-40, registration: N184AT
Injuries: Unavailable

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

A CHARTER FLT ARRIVED & DEPLANED WITHOUT INCIDENT & WITH NO INDICATION OF SMOKE, FUMES OR HEAT. COMPANY MAINT PSNL HAD PLACED DAMAGED PASSENGER SEATBACKS (INCORPORATING SOLID-STATE CHEMICAL OXYGEN GENERATORS) IN THE FWD CARGO COMPARTMENT WITH SEAT COVERS & OIL. A COMPANY MECHANIC EXAMINED THE SEATBACKS TO FIND A SERVICEABLE UNIT. HE FOUND A LOOSE OXYGEN CANISTER & HANDLED IT IMPROPERLY BY ITS OXYGEN HOSE. SUCH HANDLING CAN RELEASE THE FIRING PIN, FIRE THE PERCUSSION CAP, TRIGGER A CHEMICAL REACTION, & GENERATE OXYGEN. THIS CAN GENERATE UP TO 430 DEG OF HEAT OUTSIDE THE CANISTER. A FIRE BGNIN THE FWD CARGO COMPARTMENT IN THE VICINITY OF WHERE AN OXYGEN CANISTER WAS FND (LATER) WITH A DENTED STRIKER PLATE. THE SEAT COVERS IGNITED, FIRE BURNED THRU THE CABIN FLOOR, & SUBSEQUENTLY, IT SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CABIN. COMPANY MAINT PSNL DID NOT KNOW THAT OXYGEN GENERATORS, CARRIED AS COMPANY SUPPLIES, WERE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. THE MECHANIC WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE REPAIR OR INSTALLATION OF THE PASSENGER SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN EQUIPMENT.

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

OXYGEN SYSTEM..INFORMATION INSUFFICIENT..COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL


Contributing Factors

SUPERVISION..IMPROPER..COMPANY/OPERATOR MANAGEMENT


Contributing Factors

LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH AIRCRAFT..COMPANY/OPERATOR MANAGEMENT


Contributing Factors

TIE DOWN..IMPROPER..COMPANY/OPERATOR MANAGEMENT


Contributing Factors

OXYGEN SYSTEM..NOT UNDERSTOOD..COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL


Contributing Factors

LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH AIRCRAFT..COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL


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