The National Transportation Safety Board will convene a two-day hearing on July 12 & 13, 2006, to consider safety issues surrounding cargo aircraft and the potential risks of transporting cargo such as lithium batteries. The hearing, part of the on-going investigation of the February 7, 2006, fire on board a United Parcel Service (UPS) DC-8 at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, D.C. Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker has designated Member Deborah Hersman as Chairwoman of the Hearing.
"The public hearing will focus on an accident that occurred on a cargo plane that caught fire while carrying potentially dangerous goods," said Member Hersman, "We will examine this topic to determine what needs to be done to protect the crew, the aircraft, and the cargo on these types of flights."
On February 7 the UPS airplane landed at PHL after the crew reported a cargo smoke indication. The three flightcrew members received minor injuries, and fire caused substantial damage to the airplane and numerous cargo containers on board.
During the two-day hearing representatives from the NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration, UPS, Boeing, and the Independent Pilots Association will gather information from industry and government representatives on several topics including Airport Rescue and Firefighting response to the UPS accident; the design, testing and recalls of lithium batteries; regulations concerning the shipping of lithium batteries; and aircraft fire detection and suppression systems.
Information from the hearing will be used by the Safety Board to prepare a final report on the accident, including safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar accidents in the future.
An agenda for the hearing will be posted on the Board's website when available. The hearing will be webcast on the Board's website at www.ntsb.gov.