29th of July 2011
A Boeing 777-200 had operated an uneventful flight from Madina (Saudi Arabia) and was parked at Terminal 2 of Cairo International Airport at ~05.00 UTC. The airline's maintenance stcaff had completed the necessary maintenance actions to prepare for the aircraft next flight, scheduled to depart for Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) at 07.30 UTC.
The fire damaged right-hand side of the aircraft's nose section (Source & © AAICD Egypt)
The flight crew had completed their cockpit preparations and at 07.11 UTC they were waiting for the last passengers to board when the first officer heard a pop and a hissing sound from the righthand side of his seat. At the same time, flames and smoke were seen coming from the right side console below the right-hand aft cockpit window.
The captain immediately requested the first officer to leave the cockpit and initiate a rapid deplaning of the passengers and cabin crew from the aircraft. The captain used the flightdeck fire extinguisher in an attempt to extinguish the fire, the attempt was unsuccessful the fire continue to develop.
Smoke and fire damage to the forward cabin ceiling (Source & © AAICD Egypt) After the first officer instructed the cabin crew to deplane the passengers he went outside the aircraft in search of somebody with a radio to alert the emergency services. When he didn't find anybody around the aircraft he stopped a car on the service road in front of the aircraft and asked the driver to raise the alarm, and report the aircraft was on fire. Three minutes later the fire brigade arrived at the aircraft. During this time the cabin crew had deplaned the 307 passengers via the still connected airbridges on doors 1L and 2L. Also, the captain and cabin crew left the aircraft. Some of the occupants suffered mild asphyxia caused by smoke inhalation. At 08.45 UTC the work of the fire brigade was completed, the fire was extinguished and the aircraft was cooled down. The damage to the aircraft was so extensive it was written off as damaged beyond repair. The airbridge that was connected to the aircraft also sustained damage as a result of the fire.
The fire damaged flight deck of the aircraft (Source & © AAICD Egypt) An investigation into the cockpit fire was led by the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Central Directorate (AAICD);, assisted by several other parties like the FAA, NTSB and Boeing. The following probable causes were listed in the final report;
Electrical fault or short circuit resulted in electrical heating of flexible hoses in the flight crew oxygen system. (Electrical Short Circuits; contact between aircraft wiring and oxygen system components may be possible if multiple wire clamps are missing or fractured or if wires are incorrectly installed).
Exposure to Electrical Current.
The extensive report (172 pages) with detailed information from the investigation and a large number of pictures is available for your reference by clicking on the file below.