Source: youtube

What is the need for and use of emergency equipment?

Emergency Equipment means equipment installed or carried to be used in case of abnormal or emergency situations that demand immediate action for the safe conduct of the flight and protection of occupants, including life preservation (e.g. fire extinguisher).

What do you mean by an emergency situation? In which of the following situations is emergency equipment required?

An abnormal situation is one in which it is no longer possible to continue the flight using normal procedures but the safety of the aircraft or persons on board or on the ground is not in danger.

Emergency or abnormal situations may develop as a result of one or more factors within or outside an aircraft. The situations in which it is necessary to have emergency equipment installed in aircraft are:

  • Fire on board the aircraft;
  • Aircraft component failure or malfunction (e.g. engine failure, landing gear malfunction or loss of pressurization);
  • Pilot incapacitation (e.g. as a result of illness);
  • Aircraft damage (e.g. as a result of collision, bird strike or extreme weather;- any of these situations might displace passengers from their seat / injure them.
  • Passenger(s) having an illness or injury which may be a risk to their life


Smoke detection systems are employed where continuous physical surveillance is not required.

Smoke and flame detectors operate according to several different principles:


It is designed to respond to a change in visible light or a change in infrared radiation. As light travels in a straight line through clear air , a photo-electric sensor is placed out of the line of sight of the light source , so that in case of smoke – if the light is scattered through reflection or refraction allowing some of the light to fall  on the sensor & triggering a warning.


Photo electric sensor cells are installed which measure electric voltage. In case of smoke, this voltage will drop – triggering a warning in the flight deck.

Smoke detectors are installed in CARGO COMPARTMENTS, LAVATORIES & AVIONICS BAY


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The various methods by which fire can be detected are:


These were fitted in older aircraft, they consist of a pair of contacts held apart by a fusible plug.

The fusible plug melts at a pre- determined temperature and triggers a warning

Source: unitedaviation.com

Resistive fire wire system has a negative coefficient of resistance. This means if temperature increases, it causes temperature to decrease. This gradually increases the current flow, until it is large enough to trigger a warning.

Fire detection system is installed in Engines and Auxiliary Power Unit.

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