Hello to all and Welcome to Aircrew Extractions. This site along with its corresponding facebook page is dedicated to providing firefighters, first responders, and aircrew members with the best possible information on how to quickly identify what type of aircraft is in front of them, gain access, shut-down aircraft systems, and remove aircrew members during an emergency incident and/or accident in your response area or community.

As you move through this site, you will find several different tabs as it relates to these procedures and topics for safe operations around these machines. Under the Aircraft Types & Procedures tab, aircraft are broken down into several different categories and sub-categories. Aircraft rescue procedures for each aircraft (if available) will be listed at the top of each page and is available for download for your use in a PDF format. Please feel free to download as many as you may need to develop your own book for your response area. As revisions or changes are made, the most current revision will be available for your use. All of the individual images are the property of the owner listed on the image itself. This site along with our facebook page could not be possible without the help of photographers from all over the World and we ask that you please respect their property and do not download these images. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of these images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the owner of the image and Aircrew Extractions with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Permission of use extended to Aircrew Extractions.

The Instructor and author for this site is Peter Zimmermann, a Retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Firefighter currently working for a Municipal Fire Department in Ohio since 1998. Pete is also a Lead Fire Instructor at the EHOVE FireAcademy located in Milan, Ohio, and has been the Coordinator for the EHOVE Aircraft Rescue Training Expo. An annual event started in 2011 which brings aircraft and firefighters/first responders together to received hands-on training on the aircraft flying in and thru their response areas. For more information and images from previous class you can check out the Schools page at http://www.facebook.com/EHOVEfire.

This site should be used as a reference only. The information and procedures shown for each aircraft are as accurate as possible at the time of posting but may have changed since that time. Information has been obtained from multiple sources to include actual site visits on the aircraft and contact with the pilots of each specific aircraft. I hope that you will find this information useful in the event of an aircraft emergency, but at the same time hope you will never need it. Readers should know that they are reading the information on this site at their own free will and that they are taking the information provided at their own risk.

With hundreds of different types of aircraft in-service and flying around the world, Aircrew Extractions is not in a position to visit each and every one to provide the necessary access and shut-down information. With that said, we are constantly looking for new images and information on aircraft to add to this program. Aircraft information can be added by contacting me at; aircrewextractions@gmail.com. Provide the type of aircraft you would like profiled and what kind of access you have to it, and we will work with you on developing a guide that can be posted for presentation on this site.

This site is intended to provide an avenue for information to for a better understanding of these complex machines along with establishing a safer working environment for rescue workers. At times, we as first responders and aircrew members may not agree with the information that’s being provided but this will give us an opportunity to discuss both sides of an issue to bring forth the best possible solution to the task at hand. Please remember these are public forums and the information you share is viewed by others. Aircrew Extractions ask that you treat others with respect, even if disagreements occur and please do not post material that could be considered an infringement of the rights of others. Aircrew Extractions does reserve the right to delete postings, or block users, that are deemed to be slanderous, obscene, soliciting, or threatening. The information provided here is for educational purposes and should be secondary to your training, operations, and policies.

Aircrew Extractions is not in any way attached to, on behalf of, or related to any of the author’s places(s) of employment of their employer(s). By participating in Aircrew Extractions social media site, you agree to indemnify Aircrew Extractions and anyone working with or for against any damages, losses, liabilities, judgments, costs or expenses arising out of a claim by a third party relating to any posts that we or you have made. By posting any content on this Site, you grant to Aircrew Extractions the right to reproduce, distribute, publish, or display such content and the right to create derivative works from your content, edit, or modify such content and use such content for any Aircrew Extractions purpose.

On a final note, just like with the photographers providing images to this site, I would like to thank all those who I have met and assisted me in starting this project. A special shout out goes to friend and fellow instructor Paul Hasenmeier, without his guidance this site would not have been possible. When you get a chance, please check out Paul’s training site, First Due Tackle at http://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Due-Tackle/ & http://www.firstduetackle.com

Enjoy, Stay Low, and Be SAFE!

2011 ARTE


I’m pleased to announce that the Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Working Group, based out of Grapevine, Texas has awarded the EHOVE Fire Academy and my work with a Certificate of Commendation at it Annual Conference and Awards Banquet on October 11th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Commendation recognizes the performance of an act of public service by any member/group of an authorized Airport Fire Rescue Unit be it civilian or military which brings a high degree of credit to the individual and/or the Airport Fire Rescue profession in general.  The award presented is for the efforts in developing the Aircraft Training Expo and assisting structural based firefighters with aircraft familiarization and aircrew extraction procedures.

For those of you who do not know, I’m the Developer, Coordinator and Lead Instructor of this event and I’m honored to be recognized by this outstanding organization.  The event started with a small idea to bring firefighters together with the medical aircraft flying in their response area and it has quickly grown over the last two years to include the starting of this site to promote the need for further training.

The ARFF Working Group is a non-profit international organization dedicated to the sharing of Aircraft Rescue &Fire Fighting (ARFF) information between airport firefighters, municipal fire departments, and all others concerned with aircraft fire fighting. For more information including membership please check out their web site at www.arffwg.org/

Update – CareFlite AW-109 Crash

On a follow-up to our first post on the CareFlite AW-109 crash which happened on September 30th, I was re-contacted by Lt. David Branch of the Eastland Fire Department who wanted to pass on some new information learned about their incident.

As we reported in the post, when first responders arrived at the incident site, aircraft engines were still running even after the pilot of the aircraft reported that he did turn-off the fuel switches to the aircraft.  First responders attempted to shut-down the aircraft engines through several means and even after speaking with another CareFlite pilot via cell-phone, their attempts were unsuccessful.  Engine shut-down was completed by flooding them with water.

Lt. Branch recently learned that the aircraft battery separated from the aircraft due to the force of the impact.  With the loss of the battery, electrical power needed to shut-down aircraft systems was not available.  For those of you who are not familiar with the AW-109 or did not have the chance to downloaded the Emergency Procedures for this aircraft from this web site, the battery is located in the nose of the aircraft.  If you would take another look at the images of the incident, there is significant damage to the nose area.  Their attempts to shut-down the engines via the aircraft throttles were also unsuccessful due to the connecting cables being severed in the crash.

Once again, I would like to thank Lt. Branch for passing this information on so that it can be shared and we all learn from it.

May we all have a great weekend and remember,

Stay low and be Safe!

CareFlite AW-109 Crash – Eastland, Texas

On Sunday, September 30th, at about 9:30 a.m., an AgustaWestland AW-109 operated by CareFlite crashed into a farm field a few miles South of Eastland, Texas after what is being described by published reports of a hard landing.  All three crewmembers on board the aircraft survived the accident and were all treated and transported for “minor to moderate” injuries.

Based on what I was reading thru the web, I came across several articles describing the incident and the one fact that peaked my interest even more than usual was that the engines were still running at the time of first responder arrival.  Being one on promoting aircraft training as it relates to access, shut-down procedures, and aircrew removal, I wanted the opportunity to speak with these same first responders and find out from their point of view how the incident was.  What went right?  Was there anything that went wrong?  And more than anything else, what could they pass on to others?

I made a “cold” call and had the opportunity to speak with Lt. David Branch of the Eastland Fire Department.  Lt. Branch was working at the time of the incident and he was more than gracious in assisting me in compiling this report.

Lt. Branch stated that the aircraft was inbound to the local airport to meet with a waiting ambulance to pick up a patient on a transfer.  As the aircraft was approaching the field, the pilot radioed to the ground crew that they were “going around” and making a new approach under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).  According to Branch, there was low cloud ceiling but at the time the ambulance crew could see the aircraft as it was approaching but the pilot could not see the airport.  Approximately three minutes after the Pilots last radio transmission, the Eastland Fire Department was paged out for an aircraft crash.

Upon arrival at the crash site, the aircraft came to a rest in a farm field not far from the road and it was lying on its left side with the fuselage very much intact.  Due to the impact with the ground, the tail boom had separated from the aircraft but was still in close proximity.  All three crew members had self extricated and were walking around with various injuries.

Both aircraft engines were still running despite the Pilot stating he shut-off the fuel valves.  Lt. Branch stated that their department does not receive any type of aircraft training as it relates to rescue.  Branch admits to be somewhat familiar with the aircraft type due to speaking with the Pilots during landing zone operations but not to the point of shutting down aircraft systems.  A Trooper with the Department of Public Safety arrived and having some limited aircraft training attempted to shut the engines down without success.  Branch contacted his dispatcher and requested a Pilot with CareFlite to call them and within several minutes he was on the phone with a Pilot attempting to walk them thru the shut-down procedures.  After several attempts and with the engines now running for about 20 to 25 minutes, the Pilot advised Lt. Branch that the only other options were to let the engines continue to run until all the fuel is consumed, or to flood the engines with water.

Taking the water option, the Number 2 Engine located on the right side of the aircraft and easily exposed and flooded with water to shut the engine down.  With the aircraft lying on its left side and the Number 1 Engine not exposed and towards the ground, first responders used a winch to upright the aircraft so that the same process could be completed with this engine.  Once engine shut-down was accomplished, the aircraft was returned to the position it was found on its left side.  A small grass fire had started due to the exhaust of the Number 1 Engine being in close proximity with the ground but it was quickly extinguished by first responders.

According to its corporate web site, CareFlite is based out of Grand Prairie, Texas and was established in 1979 with one aircraft being shared between two hospitals.  Today they operate a fleet of ground ambulances, a King Air 90 fixed wing aircraft, and five helicopters.

As I have stated before, firefighters and first responders working outside of an airport setting for the most part do not receive any type of aircraft training and this is a great example of the need to push this further.  Hats off too Lt. Branch and all the members of the Eastland Fire Department for not only their assistance with this post but also making the best of the situation at hand and coming up with a solution.  And to the CareFlite crew members, may you have a speedy recovery and the thoughts of many are with you this week.

Aircraft shut-down procedures for the AW-109 can be found on this site under the Aircraft Types & Procedures Tab, Sub Tab, AgustaWestland then AW-109.  The procedures are in a downloadable PDF version and available to anyone.

Stay low and be safe!

What’s flying in your area?

What’s flying in your area……..

Think about it for a minute, we go about our daily activities and at some point or another we hear or see an aircraft flying overhead.  For some, it’s just a faint sound of a jet engine and as we scan the skies above looking for a small silhouette of an aircraft, but we struggle to locate where it might be coming from.  At some point we match the sound to a commercial jet liner passing through high above, you may give it a look, and you may not, but then go about your business.

Other noises are more apparent, a general aviation aircraft or the distinctive rapid “thumping” of an approaching helicopter, all typically lower to the ground for us to get a good look at and even more so for the medical helicopters flying to another medical facility or accident scene.  As this happens, did you give it a good look or once again, go about your business?  But this brings the question to the front again.

What’s flying in your area……..

As first responders, we are always preparing ourselves for the “what if”, but have you ever prepped for and aircraft incident?  For all those times you might look up to the sky or even see an approaching aircraft, do you know what type of aircraft it is?  If the aircraft had an incident and or accident in your response area, are you or your department prepared today to handle the situation?  What type of additional resources might you need?  Do you know or have some basic knowledge on how to gain access, shut-down the aircraft if needed, and remove aircrew members?  These are all things to ask yourself.

What’s flying in your area……..

For some of you, you might say, aircraft training or familiarization is not important for me or my department.  This might be true but take the time and answer a few more questions and your initial statement might change.  Do you have an airport of any shape or size or a medical helicopter base in your response area?  Is there a hospital in your area which accepts helicopters for medical transports?  Does your department call upon medical helicopters for scene transports?  Is your department located in an area where any type of aerial spraying for farms occurs?  Even if you answered no to all of the above questions, the next and final one happens to be the catch all and trump card.  At any time, does any type of aircraft transit thru your response area on any given day?  I think what you might find is that you answered yes to a few of these questions.  So with that in mind, should some sort of aircraft training or familiarization be important to your department?  The answer to that should be YES!

This site will be dedicated to bringing aviation awareness and safety to the forefront not only for firefighters and first responders, but also aircrew members of these same aircraft.  We will highlight accidents and incidents, post articles and videos related to aircraft familiarization and firefighting along with just about anything else we feel is related to making our jobs that much safer while out in the field.  Feedback in encouraged along with openly discussing the issues at hand will help all of us be better firefighters, first responders and aircrew members.

So, once again, I ask………

What’s flying in your area?