Aviation Investigation Report A98H0003

2.7.1  Swissair Checklist Options for Smoke Isolation

The issue of having two, versus one, emergency smoke isolation checklist was examined to assess whether having a choice between two checklists could have affected the outcome of the occurrence. For this to have been a factor, it would have to be assumed that the pilots would have reacted differently had Swissair procedures incorporated a single checklist for smoke/fumes of electrical, air conditioning, or unknown origin. The pilots assessed the smoke to be from an air conditioning source and did not deem the smoke to be enough of a threat to complete the Air Conditioning Smoke checklist. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the pilots would have performed the single checklist any earlier.

Providing a choice of two emergency smoke checklists to deal with smoke isolation presupposes that it is possible to assess the type of smoke with certainty. The SR 111 occurrence illustrates that an accurate evaluation of smoke type is not always possible using human sensory perception.

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