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Foaming Runways - Emergency Landings  
User currently offlineA320ajm From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 544 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3398 times:

After reading an avherlad article (http://avherald.com/h?article=4157d291/0001&opt=0) about an aircraft with landing gear failure, I noticed in the picture caption that the Airport FRS had foamed the runway. I remember seeing this in films about aircraft disasters when I was younger, but how common is it?

Thanks,
A320ajm


If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

Quoting A320ajm (Thread starter):
I noticed in the picture caption that the Airport FRS had foamed the runway. I remember seeing this in films about aircraft disasters when I was younger, but how common is it?

They tend to do it as soon as the aircraft comes to a stop. A Lear came down at Boeing Field a few years ago with their nose gear stuck sideways. They came to a smoky stop about mid-runway, at which point the Boeing Fire department turned the place into a foam party for about 100m in every direction.

Tom.


User currently offlineARFFdude From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 151 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

Overall I'd say it's fairly rare. There are several reasons for this.

First, foam is expensive. A five gallon drum is about $100 to $200 depending on the concentration (either 3% or 6%, 1% is not allowed for ARFF purposes). Note that that's the pure foam, which will yield much more than 5 gallons when mixed in with water. If I remember correctly, the Striker 1500 fire truck holds about 200 gallons of pure foam, so you're talking between about $4,000 and $8,000.

Also, it takes a long time to refill. So say that you foam one portion of the runway, but the plane doesn't land exactly there, or it skids off onto another unfoamed section. If you spent all your foam already, well now you don't have any left over for the actual crash.

This is an interesting quick read on the subject here. The FAA specifically warns against attempting to foam a runway with Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), which is the style of foam most widely used (by a very large margin, I would imagine), in ARFF trucks.


User currently offlineqblue From Canada, joined Jun 2004, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3223 times:

The other inconvenience would be the time required to clean the foam, you would need to wash the runway several times to get rid of the foam, Foam is slippery and not really environment friendly.

User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3096 times:

Foam also isn't traction friendly to emergency vehicles or rescuers. The slippery stuff can make it more difficult to get help to the right place. Foam can make it harder for pax evacuating an aircraft to get away from danger.

If there is an actual fire or smoking metal, tires, brakes, etc - foam is great to smother it. And knocking down the fire or parts hot enough to smoke is the first priority.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3010 times:

Reduction of friction is the bad side of foam.................


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2772 times:

No point in foaming the runway if you are just going to cause the airplane to run off the end into the apprach lights.

Its better to wait to see if you gave a fuel leak and then foam the puddle to keep it from lighting off.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2625 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
No point in foaming the runway if you are just going to cause the airplane to run off the end into the apprach lights.

Its better to wait to see if you gave a fuel leak and then foam the puddle to keep it from lighting off.

Also predicting the location where foam would need to be sprayed in advance will be very tough.



Think of the brighter side!
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