737 Destroyed During Oxygen Refill Operation

737 destroy

A 737 aircraft landed at an airport near the Caspian Sea. 142 passengers had departed along with the 5 crew members. The crew reported that the cabin oxygen pressure was at 900 psi. The ground crew was attempting to trans fill the oxygen from an 1800 PSI oxygen source. It is reported that the ground crew tested the equipment to assure the supply gas was at 1800 psi. They disconnected the cabin oxygen regulator assembly and attached the equipment to transfer the oxygen to the depleted system.
During this operation, a spark occurred starting the combustion process. An explosion was then reported with fire destroying the fuselage. It is reported that the technicians jumped from the plane to turn off the supply oxygen, but it was too late. It took 5 minutes for firefighters to arrive and extinguish the fire. The aircraft was destroyed.
The investigation concluded that the aircraft was a total loss. They attributed the fire/explosion to a damaged oxygen line combined with hydrocarbons. The investigation also recommended that employees get proper training on checking oxygen systems and locating “peculiarities”.

737 Close up

Monday Morning Quarterback:
Reading the limited details of the incident, the crew reported low pressure in the oxygen system. There did not appear to be any report of the emergency oxygen being used. The first question a fill technician should ask is “why is the system losing pressure?” Taking time to locate the cause of the leak may disclose damaged or malfunctioning equipment.

Finding damaged lines on a high-pressure oxygen system would indicate a different approach than simply re-filling the leaking system. When dealing with any high-pressure gas system, operators require proper training. They must understand the components, proper operation, and associated risks. The technician should feel comfortable asking questions before continuing with a process. Providing a quick solution without understanding the underlying cause of a problem can be very risky.

Don Kinney

Don Kinney

I enjoy continuing to build the business based on safety since 1999. CTS focuses on the inspection of high pressure cylinders, the maintaining of the valves and basic maintenance of high pressure compressor systems. CTS stays current in techniques and tools to train both the new and novice employee. We publish articles, update training tools and have created an APP to assist during the inspection process.
#cylinder #safety #hazmat #training #cylinderinspectiontraining #cylindex

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