November 30, 2004
Airplane Explodes at Airport
Authorities in Lafayette are investigating an explosion of a small plane at Lafayette Regional Airport. A Cessna in the Paul Fournet hangar suddenly exploded as a crew was investigating reports of a possible fuel leak.
The plane was badly damaged, but there were no reports of any serious injuries. One worker received minor injuries.
Traffic at the airport was not affected.
For an explosion without a fireball, there are several possible causes.
Local pilot Dick Melcher sat down with TV 10 to show us some pictures of the kind of plane involved and what might have happened.
Dick Melcher/Pilot: You service the oxygen and cause oxygen to flow into the tank at too fast a rate, it will cause overflow and the potential for explosion. Oxygen tank is located in the back part just inside the pressure buildhead in the airplane itself. It was in the tail. If the explosion was centered in that area it would cause the back end to blow off. And, the other possibility could be that if in fact there was fumes that accumulated. One of the options they have on this particular series of airplane is either one or two wing lockers that would contain fuel. And, if there was a possibility of some fuel not being vented properly or some of the vents being plugged, there was fuel accumulation and you were to hit the starter, it would also cause the potential for an explosion. But, it doesn't sound like that's a possibility in this case because there was no fire...
Melcher tells us those are just a few possibilities for an explosion of this type. http://www.klfy.com/Global/story.asp?S=2629002