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Old 11-13-2022, 01:52 AM
rv8ch's Avatar
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 5,004
Default First Responders to aircraft accidents

Just ran across this website that Cirrus put together for their aircraft.

It was mentioned in this video done by a guy that was one of the first responders to a recent SR-20 crash.

As more and more aircraft get ballistic parachutes, and one of the most likely places to become a first responder for an aircraft accident is at an airport, and you probably spend more time at airports than "regular people", so I thought this might be helpful.

I was one of the first responders to a very minor gear-up landing at my airport, and I was pretty amazed at my complete ignorance of what to do. Everything turned out ok, but not due to any training or brilliance on my part, mainly just luck.

I found the 66-page PDF that Cirrus produced very enlightening - I just hope I never need that info.
Mickey Coggins
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Old 11-13-2022, 06:08 AM
moosepileit moosepileit is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 833

Run a line under the tail and pull tight, if inverted, and two people can give you a chance to breathe, and/or self-extract. Became the norm after the loss of Charlie Hilliard

Applies to RVs.
RV-6, bought from builder.
O-320, slider, carb, mags, FP

Last edited by moosepileit : 11-13-2022 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 11-13-2022, 06:29 AM
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grubbat grubbat is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: 1GA2 Flyin N
Posts: 738
Default Responding

Having extracted a lot of folks over the past 30 yr in traffic accidents and so forth (and enough PTSD to carry with me to retirement), I donít recall specific training for aircraft accidents, especially in rural Georgia. Years ago, dragging the JAWS with hydraulic lines and separate hyd motor and pump was a chore even for a young man. Trying to get the darn thing to crank was another. Now with the neat battery powered jaws and light weight, hauling it to the crash site is a lot easier. However, every accident is different and a challenge. The few aircraft accidents weíve had were basically recovery operations except for a comanche that landed on a logging site last year and I didnít respond to that one but two occupants survived albeit severe back injuries.

Interested in reading about experiences from the braintrust here on VAF on responding to aircraft accidents and what we can learn if we have the unfortunate fate of responding to a situation like that.

RV-3 Sold
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Old 11-13-2022, 09:14 AM
622BH 622BH is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 240
Default Excellent Link

Thanks for posting that link. I've forwarded it to contacts at our local airport, Fire, Police, and Sheriff's Departments. This information is critical if as you indicate "it's not every day" they get involved in an aircraft accident.
Thanks again for posting the link.
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Old 11-13-2022, 12:34 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL KCLW
Posts: 1,374

I am the EMS supervisor for a fire department and also work on an EMS helicopter so this is a close-to-home topic for me. We cover a fairly busy GA airport (KCLW) and every couple of years do training on aircraft responses, and that includes familiarity with the CAPS system - specifically where the system is located and how to avoid danger from it. That Cirrus training video is required training for us. I have also personally led some instruction on basic aircraft system design so that firefighters may be able to do things like find master switches, fuel shutoffs, etc on small aircraft.

On the helicopter side, we frequently do classes with local fire and EMS agencies and we always go over how to open doors and shut off the aircraft in case we happen to all be incapacitated.

For the most part the lightweight design of aircraft makes the actual act of extricating people from them pretty simple, but can be complicated by things like fire or fire risk as well as the inconvenient locations they can end up.

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16
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Old 11-14-2022, 05:34 AM
phapp phapp is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Walpole, NH
Posts: 75
Default 3 things

I was on my local department back when air bags became common and we trained on them. We did not train for aircraft. I did mention 3 things to consider for AC should we ever get that unlikely call:
1) Fuel shutoff
2) Master switch (switches can arc a spark)
3) Mags. How they work and that they should always be considered hot.
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Old 11-14-2022, 11:23 AM
Aer0bat Aer0bat is offline
Join Date: May 2022
Location: East Haddam, CT
Posts: 14

I'm an EMS first responder, but I've had this discussion with our fire dept. One thing to talk about in addition to master, fuel shutoff, etc. is the routing of fuel lines, especially in high-wing a/c. If they need to extricate someone and cut through the equivalent of an A-post, fuel may start pouring out from the line that runs through the post.
Kevin Cavallo
RV7 N326P
East Haddam, CT
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