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#180496 - 08/26/09 03:23 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: KenK]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
From reading accident reports, it seems that if the aircraft is under control at the time of the crash, ie. being flown to a crash landing there is a good chance of survival and minimal injuries. If the aircraft is out of control ie. stall/spin, disorientation in IMC, death spiral, etc. there won't be much left.

Side note: The media knows nothing about aviation. A Cessna lost power and set down in a mall parking lot over here in NJ the other day. They reported that in instructor and student were on board and "it was not known which one was at the controls at the time of the crash..."

P.S. Good tip about noting anything you touch/move - this is very important to the accident investigation.


Edited by thseng (08/26/09 03:25 PM)
Edit Reason: added P.S.
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Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

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#180498 - 08/26/09 03:54 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: thseng]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
WOW. this a great thread
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#180529 - 08/26/09 06:37 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: CAP613]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1200
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: CAP613
One thing I have noticed with plane crashes you tend to get the two extremes either light injures or everyone's dead there is not much in between.
My impression is more or less the opposite. Those extremes happen, of course, but there are a lot of crashes in which some survive and some don't. Often many survive the crash but die in the fire, and then much will depend on how close you are to the damage, how close to an exit, and how prepared you are mentally.
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#180614 - 08/27/09 07:00 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: Brangdon]
CAP613 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 87
Loc: W. PA
Originally Posted By: Brangdon
My impression is more or less the opposite. Those extremes happen, of course, but there are a lot of crashes in which some survive and some don't. Often many survive the crash but die in the fire, and then much will depend on how close you are to the damage, how close to an exit, and how prepared you are mentally.


My experce is with light air craft and that is what I have seen.

Many time it is luck of the draw.

We had a Lear Jet that both on board would have survived if the plane would have been 3 feet to the right when it hit. The tip tank hit a tree and spraed the aircraft with Jet-A.

The only large aircraft crashes I have direct knolage of where hard crashes that none survived.
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#180618 - 08/27/09 07:34 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: dweste]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Make sure the crash scene is SAFE for you to approach. You don't want to become a casualty.
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#180650 - 08/28/09 04:00 AM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: Stu]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
What exact steps would you take to be sure the crash scene is safe?

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#180673 - 08/28/09 12:19 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: dweste]
CAP613 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 87
Loc: W. PA
Safe approach of a crash site can be difficult.

But go to the basics, Pause before you enter the site, Look, Listen, and Smell.

Look for any signs of smoke or fire, if in woodland look in the trees for broken branches of aircraft parts and do not walk under them.

Listen for and metrical sounds I have had jet engines that the starter motor has be running for at least a day after the crash. Also listen for survivors.

Smell for smoke but more inportly fuel smell with a light plane it will be gas, for a jet it will smell like kerosene.

Next look at your route in and out of the crash site. You should try to approach from up wind and level with the site. Fuel fumes tend to travel down hill and down wind but if it goes up the flash will travel uphill from the site. Look at the ground and up in the trees for debris do not step on anything unless you cannot avoid it, and again do not walk under any debris or broken branches.

Get in and get out as quickly as you can, if the cabin is not intact do not even bother going in, wait until someone gets there..

Crash sites are by there nature full of bad things. If a fire starts get out fast the fuel fumes will flash and can start other parts of the aircraft on fire, but it is ground soaked with fuel that will keep burning for a long time and is very hard to put out you will not be able to stop a fire with a hand held fire extinguisher.
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#180676 - 08/28/09 01:40 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: CAP613]
jcurphy Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 48
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I think MDianna pretty much nailed it. You can look at it this way, it sucks that a plane crashed, and that people are dead and dying, but if you become a victim yourself, you will not be able to help anybody. The goal is to always return home safely to your family at the end of the day. That is your number one responsibility - to always keep yourself safe.

The rule of thumb when dealing with any hazardous materials incident (a smoking fuselage would qualify) is: "if you can't cover up the scene by simply holding up your thumb, you are too close" - hence the rule (of thumb) wink Oh, and you want to be UPWIND, NOT downwind (as someone mistakenly said earlier).

Only trained HAZMAT personnel and/or firefighters with turnout gear should be involved in extricating survivors from a smoking aircraft. Emergency Responders should maintain a safe distance, and be prepared to apply quick life saving first aid as necessary (think ABC), and otherwise load and go.

Triage is hard. You have to spend less than 60 seconds on each person. If they can't breathe on their own, you slip in an OPA, reposition their head and maybe give a rescue breath (with a PVM) then move on. You can learn more by taking a START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) course.

I'd suggest that everyone take at least an advanced first aid class with CPR. If you have the time, consider becoming an EMT-B. I am a volunteer firefighter and first responder/EMT-B myself, and it is very rewarding.

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#180686 - 08/28/09 04:55 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: jcurphy]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4461
Loc: SOCAL
Good points have been made in the thread. Something I keep in my truck for work is a set of nomex flight gear (flight suit, gloves, beanie), leather boots and a mix of nomex and wool underwear. Would it be worth the delay getting to the victim to put the nomex clothing on before I approached?

It would slow me down getting to the victim, but the time dressing up would be used evaluating the scene from a distance and planning a course of action. If a fire did happen, I'd be able to egress without bringing too much fire with me. The gear I mention won't allow me to stay in the fire, it will only allow me a few more seconds to escape without serious burns. Nomex won't melt or support flame, but it does char and then disintegrate.

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#180692 - 08/28/09 05:31 PM Re: A plane crashes and I'm first on scene [Re: Russ]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Nomex clothing in itself is not insulative from heat, itís main value as you state is that it does not melt and may provide some minimal protection in a flashover situation. But without the added insulative protection you get with turnout gear, serious burns can still occur very quickly. Even turnout gear has limits; steam burns can occur quickly where there is compression, such as where the harness straps from the SCBA cross the shoulders.

Pete

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