Fire departments learn about aircraft safety

Local area fire departments met at the Hillsboro Airport Saturday for a seminar which focused on aircraft safety and what to do in case of an emergency.

Sponsored by local Chapter 1301 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), numerous topics were covered to familiarize local firefighters with aircraft.

Topics included fuel-tank locations, fuel lines and sumps, how to remove/open cowlings, how to enter the airplanes, fuel cutoffs, master switch and battery locations, seat belt and harness releases, and seat removals.

Also covered were exit windows, oxygen bottles, and rocket powered recovery systems.

Fire departments represented were from Hillsboro, Ramona, Tampa and Lincolnville.

Planes on display courtesy of their owners were: Stearman (Dwight and Ruth Hill, McPherson); Cherokee 180 (John and Edith Darting, Hillsboro); Cessna 172 Skyhawk (David Marsh, Hillsboro); Cherokee (Terry Hagen, Jenny Dalke); KR2-home-built (Terry Chizek, Marion); Cessna 177 (Dick McLinden, Marion); Cherokee 140 (Mike Knaak, Hillsboro); Bonanza V-Tail (Dennis Scharenberg, Hillsboro).

“Each plane is configured differently,” Darting said. “We just wanted to let the firefighters become familiar with the location of specific parts of the plane in case they come upon one in an emergency situation.”

Following the informative portion of the gathering, EAA Chapter 1301 provided a barbecue lunch for all attending.

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