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readytotaxi
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Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:58 pm

When an aircraft makes an Emergency landing at an airport what is the reason that the fire crew postion themselves so that they "chase" the aircraft down the runway?
Is there a benefit in having two or more fire trucks at the other end of the runway as the aircraft rolls out after a good landing to be on scene quicker?
Are there any airport that practice this or is standard procedure across the globe?
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Western727
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RE: Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:22 pm

Speculation only, but I'm guessing it's because, depending on the circumstances of the emergency, it may be difficult to guess exactly where the aircraft will touchdown and then come to a stop, hence the strategic and dynamic positioning of the fire crew vehicles.

During a DL MD-88 smoke-in-the-cabin emergency descent/landing at JAN (Jackson, MS), on which I was a pax, the equipment was pretty much clustered around halfway down the rwy and they were therefore able to "ambush" my MD-88 quickly with foam canons aimed at the rear of the aircraft (the air conditioning system was the suspected cause of the smoke which had quickly dissipated during the emergency descent once the crew disabled one of the air conditioning packs). No foam was required and after a few minutes the aircraft taxiied to the gate under its own power.

I'm taking an educated guess here, but I'm betting the JAN fire crews had been advised by the cockpit crew that:

1. The engines were both functional
2. There were no known hydraulic system issues (thus, a normal landing followed by normal braking were expected)

...and it was dry so normal braking friction with the rwy was expected as well.

On the other hand, my father experienced a #2 engine seizure after takeoff from DTW back in the late 80s. The DTW fire vehicles did a "chase" as you put it with a few vehicles "chasing" the aircraft on parallel taxiways on either side of his 752. I would imagine this might've been because of the unpredictability involved with an engine-out landing and assymetric thrust reverser rollout.
Jack @ AUS
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:42 pm

Quoting Western727 (Reply 1):
may be difficult to guess exactly where the aircraft will touchdown and then come to a stop, hence the strategic and dynamic positioning of the fire crew vehicles.

Exactly out here.The Fire trucks are parked at both ends & mid Intersections to the runway.After touchdown the ones at the end move aft of the Aircraft while the rest approach the Aircraft after it stops.
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rcair1
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RE: Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:51 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):

When an aircraft makes an Emergency landing at an airport what is the reason that the fire crew postion themselves so that they "chase" the aircraft down the runway?

Safety. You want to be outside the trajectory of the aircraft/debris.
The ones at midfield will typically be a bit back or have an escape route.

Also - positioning. It is very difficult to gauge the distance to an aircraft that is coming at you and where it will stop. You can learn that, a bit, but it is not as automatic as judging the distance from a car, for instance, coming at you. This is why there is an inordinate # of train/vehicle crossing accidents. People are used to judging the distance from a car at an intersection, and due to the difference in size of a train engine, they underestimate it's speed and overestimate its distance and pull out in front of it.

Most of the things that determine how we approach accidents/fires are related to safety. For instance, we try not to park under power lines.... We don't approach propane tanks from the ends....

And yes - I am a firefighter, but no, not aviation fire fighting trained (no airports here.) - well not quite true - we do train on helicopters....
rcair1
 
jlarsson
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RE: Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:56 pm

When I was working at Fire on GOT we had 1 truck standing at the other end of the runway so that the fire truck would meet the plane as it stops. This is also favourable for the firefighter operating the water canon.

When the plane would have come to a halt, the rest of the fire trucks would be directed to where they are needed the most.

regards.

Jonas
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contrails15
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RE: Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:19 pm

I asked my friend who works for PA police at JFK. He told me whats pretty much been said above. They want trucks along all points of the runway because they don't know where it will touch down. Plane touches down and they all chase after it.
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arffdude
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RE: Emergency Landing,Fire Crew Question.

Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:32 am

Just depends on the nature of the emergency and how many trucks the airport has at its disposal. Coming in on minimum fuel and the trucks will likely go to the approach end of the runway, flaps failure or something like that and we'll likely go to the departure end.

If the aircraft is having control problems and is all over the place, its probably a good idea to stay further back from the runway in case of a runway excursion.

You generally want at least one truck chasing the aircraft which is serving the dual purpose of looking for FOD, although some places may have a seperate ops vehicle do that.

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