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Fire trucks

Old 24th Apr 2019, 21:52
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Fire trucks

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Originally Posted by LookingForAJob View Post
These days the controller will often have no option but to call out RFFS regardless of the reported problem.
I've had the fire trucks sent out after me three times (that I've noticed!). On none of the occasions did I declare any sort of emergency, although I did express some mild concern on one of them. I wonder how low the threshold is? - or whether they like to be called out at least a couple of times a day to relieve the boredom? - or what?
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 02:11
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A lot better have a truck there when you don’t need it, then not having it when you do.
Emergencies can escalate unexpectedly so the default should be to request rescue services to standby by whenever you are in a situation where safety margins are reduced
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 08:29
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Coming into Southend quite a few years ago, the gear motor burnt out. So the tower told us to buzz off over the sea while we sorted it (single Commache) Did the manual thing and got three greens, so returned for a straight in. Every fire truck and ambulance they had were lining the runway, along with lots of people on the roof viewing space. Sort of comforting....
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 13:27
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Had a suspected engine problem a few years back and diverted to Redding, a quiet place in northern California. I didn't declare an emergency but I did stay high as a precaution and circled down over the field. The firetruck followed us down the runway. Had a shop look at the plane while we did some tourism, they declared everything OK. Even so the firetruck followed us down the runway on takeoff too. I suspect things are pretty quiet in the Redding Airport fire service.
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 13:53
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I called a pan once when joining a circuit due to an engine problem which meant I wanted to be down ASAP.
The fire truck was waiting by the runway, I taxied to the apron and they followed me and we had a chat. There wasn’t really any risk of fire (unless I forgot how to land). It was more a bit of fun and a chance to do something.
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 14:23
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
From R&N:



I've had the fire trucks sent out after me three times (that I've noticed!). On none of the occasions did I declare any sort of emergency, although I did express some mild concern on one of them. I wonder how low the threshold is? - or whether they like to be called out at least a couple of times a day to relieve the boredom? - or what?
Maybe they've seen your landings before...
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 16:10
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Helpful pushers

Many years ago, the donkey stopped and I managed to glide onto the runway at the Bedford MoD station (as it then was). I'd forgotten to do the proper Mayday call, but instead called "engine stopped", and by the time I got down, was being followed by the two engines. No fire-fighting assistance needed, but the occupants kindly pushed me over to the hangers, so I could wait for the new, very expensive, engine to arrive a couple of months later..........
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Old 25th Apr 2019, 20:36
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Originally Posted by arketip View Post
Maybe they've seen your landings before...
I've only ever "seen", ie watched the video of, one of my landings.

It looked absolutely perfect, as videoed from the airport caff.

But of course I'd flown it, so I knew what it was really like.

From which I can only extrapolate that most landings are actually much worse than they look.
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Old 5th May 2019, 17:34
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I watched a wheels up landing of a light twin at Lasham a few years a ago.Since he knew he had a problem and was circling for over an hour to burn off fuel they had plenty of time to prepare. We ended up with two airport fire engines with foam cannons, The local fire engines a and our own fire truck plus four police cars. The pilot made a beautiful belly landing with very little damage (apart from not stopping the engines) and walked calmly away unharmed. At which point someone let fly with a foam cannon and totally buried the aircraft in dirty brown foam. The water in the fire engine had not been changed for ages and had got rusty from the metal tank.
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Old 5th May 2019, 17:55
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Many years ago, when I was still an innocent spotter at Antwerp EBAW, a VLM F50 was test flying after repairs/maintenance to the landing gear. Something must have been less than perfect, still, at one time the crew requested a low pass for visual inspection of the nose gear. And the pilot insisted "Antwerp tower, we are NOT declaring an emergency" - apparently she knew the tower crew and their habits. It didn't change the fact that, by the time they landed, the runway was lined not only with the full extent of the airport fire brigade but on top of that with several engines of the nearby municipal brigades. All of them sincerely grateful, I don't doubt, for a bit of "real world" practice.
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Old 5th May 2019, 19:49
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Many years ago, departed Exeter for the Channel Islands in a TB9, having filled up the tanks to the brim. 10 minutes after departure, climbing out towards BHD the rear seat passenger tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the clear fluid streaming off the trailing edge of the port wing. After changing to the left tank to use the fuel out of that side, called up Exeter to return for a precautionary landing. When we arrived I was a bit surprised to see all the available fire engines, blue lights flashing, waiting to enter 26 and chase us down the runway on landing. They didn't even let me shut down but immediately checked the fuel caps before clearing us to taxi off the active. It turned out tanks were full to the brim and fuel was venting as a result, so the trip continued uneventfully.

On the subject of fire trucks, does anyone else remember the fire crew on the Isle of Man in probably 2003 or 2004, received a brand new, state of the art, fire truck? They then took it out for a drive down the runway, "just to see what it could do" turned at high speed and rolled it on the runway. The airport had to be closed for the rest of the day till the fire truck was recovered.
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Old 6th May 2019, 11:24
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ATC and AFIS will usually declare at least a 'local standby' for any indication of a malfunction by a pilot. It's useful as well as being a 'just in case' for the aircraft, it allows the fire crew to check their response time (required by the CAA) as they may be on other duties like re-fuelling or baggage handling when the standby is called.
ATC/AFIS will ALWAYS err on the side of safety if a pilot reports a problem of any sort and you don't pay for it so don't be afraid to tell the controller/FISO if you have a 'problem', however trivial it might be.
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Old 6th May 2019, 11:53
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Over here, depending on the size/volume of the airport, in order to meet the requirements of 14 cfr 139, the emergency equipment has to roll a minimum number of times ( usually 1x/shift) and the equipment must be periodically tested (synthetic vision/thermal imaging, water cannon etc)

When someone asks the tower for a visual gear check or some other likely mundane issue, it gives everyone an excuse to test the entire system.
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Old 6th May 2019, 13:12
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Originally Posted by GWYN View Post
On the subject of fire trucks, does anyone else remember the fire crew on the Isle of Man in probably 2003 or 2004, received a brand new, state of the art, fire truck? They then took it out for a drive down the runway, "just to see what it could do" turned at high speed and rolled it on the runway. The airport had to be closed for the rest of the day till the fire truck was recovered.

I remember something very similar to that happening in Guernsey in the early 2000's.
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