A regular flight accident drill took place in the security area of Dortmund Airport on Saturday morning. Airport fire brigade, fire brigade and rescue service of the city of Dortmund, special units of the federal police and a team for psychosocial emergency care (PSNV) practiced together to be prepared for emergencies.
The focus of the exercise was on fighting aircraft fires, rescuing people and coordinating cooperation between the emergency services and authorities involved. To practice this, the collision of a small aircraft with a visitor's bus was simulated. "The interaction between the emergency services worked well," said Dietmar Stange, head of the airport fire brigade, at the end of the exercise. "That can be crucial in an emergency."
Another goal of the exercise was the successful deactivation of a rocket-powered rescue system (Balistic Recovery System, BRS) for aircraft and the recovery of the crashed small aircraft. The BRS is a parachute built into the aircraft, which can be deployed by the pilot in the event of an emergency and is "shot" out of the aircraft by a rocket engine. After opening the parachute, the aircraft gently levitates to the ground. "At Dortmund Airport there are aircraft types in the area of general aviation that have rocket-powered rescue systems, so the practice of deactivating such systems makes sense," says Stange.
Overall, the head of the airport fire brigade was very satisfied with the exercise: "Fortunately, we rarely have serious real situations at the airport, but we have to be prepared for emergencies and that means above all: practice."