Bloomberg reports on the call for Pilot Masks for cargo aircraft. Ventura Aerospace agrees that use of full-face oxygen masks and enhanced vision systems will provide an increase in safety. Unfortunately, these devices do not eliminate the real threat of fires, they only provide additional tools and time to deal with the threat.
An aircraft fire suppression system is the only way to effectively deal with these types of tragedies. The first rule of fire fighting is to put the fire out. Without an on board fire suppression system the only way to put the fire out is to land the aircraft. But containment of a fire is simply that, containment.
While containment can buy the flight crew more time, the question becomes how much time for what kind of fire? Battery fire, paper fire, Hazmat fire, what kind do you test for? What kind of fire will you have? Can you contain the worst case battery fire that has propagated to all the freight in a container?
Ventura Aerospace believes that if a fire is suppressed, the flight crew has as much time as they need to land their aircraft safely.