- 1999 OCT 13 -


99-10-13          0700    Morning routine.  I had a discussion with Andre TURENNE about the IFEN system that he has worked on for much of his time here.  He is reviewing the paperwork involved in its certification.  He advised that there has been no indication whatsoever of an actual problem in the overall system, or in any aircraft in which it has been installed.  The reason for shutting it down was that the system was hooked up to the fuse panel by four fuses that were independent of the bus shutdown system.  The pilots had not been informed that they could not shut it down except by pulling these four circuit breakers.  What was required was an automatic relay system that shut down the four breakers when one of the bus systems was turned off.  But it appears that this was just an oversight on the part of the engineers because it was deemed a non-essential piece of equipment, equivalent to a coffee pot or magazine.  TSB took the attitude that if it entered the cockpit wiring system, then it should be an essential piece of equipment.  There was also another problem with a high voltage wire in proximity to other wires, but that was an installation fault that could easily be adjusted.  But there is no history of faults with this system.  Other systems do have a history, including shocks at the seats and others.  However, due to the leak of information, the IFEN system suffered in the publicís eye and put all of the faults onto this one system.  So, Swissair was forced to pull the system.  Andre believes that the source of the leak was Greg FIFE of the NTSB.  He had access to the material as he was on the committees.  He lives in Washington and it was released the day after he returned home.  The details were too precise and accurate to be anyone outside of the committee, and his wife is involved in the US media.  As well, he is a media conscious type.  However, he has no proof.  But he has shut down the committee after the release and refused to work any further with FIFE.



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