Evidence of fire in or close to the Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11's flightdeck is accumulating as wreckage recovery off the Nova Scotia's coast continues, says the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC). Despite the onset of winter, the recovery operation has been continuing sporadically.

With 80% by weight of the aircraft's wreckage recovered, the TSBC says: "The operation continues to raise aircraft material that shows varying amounts of heat distress. The heat-damaged material includes small pieces of melted aluminium, from the ceiling area just aft of the cockpit door.

Other signs of heat damage include electrical wires with melted copper, arcing damage, and charred or missing wire insulation-the heat damaged material found to date is located in the forward upper area just forward and aft of the cockpit bulkhead. The damage is consistent with a localised high heat source or a localised fire in this section. To date there are no signs of fire in any other part of the aircraft."

In the 2 September accident, in which the aircraft flew into the sea, the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder stopped operating, as did radio communication, about 6min before impact.

Source: Flight International