Aviation safety investigations & reports

Boeing Co 747-438, VH-OJJ

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


At top of descent to Los Angeles, the cabin crew of the Boeing 747 aircraft reported smoke and fumes emanating from the cabin ceiling located in the vicinity of the rear right side (R5) emergency exit door. Smouldering paper tissues were found in an overhead light fitting. Cabin crew removed the tissues and discharged a fire extinguisher onto the light fitting, tissues, and surrounding area. The cabin crew remained in the vicinity and monitored the area until passengers disembarked at Los Angeles.

The company reported that the light fitting is a "night light" and is always "on". The light has a blue plastic cover that should always be in place, but was not fitted on this occasion.

The investigation was unable to determine why, or by whom, the tissues were placed in the light fitting.

Safety Action

The company issued an "Important Information" bulletin to flight attendants advising that any visible cabin light fitting must have a protective grill or glass covering the bulb.

General details
Date: 22 February 2001   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0500 hours UTC    
Location   (show map): 111 km E Los Angeles, Aero.    
State: International   Occurrence type: Smoke  
Release date: 08 August 2001   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 747  
Aircraft registration VH-OJJ  
Serial number 24974  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point New York, USA  
Destination Los Angeles, USA  
Last update 13 May 2014