DOT/FAA/TC-20/19 Author: Kreckie, Jack

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Strategies and Tactical Considerations for New Large Aircraft: Update

The evolution of aircraft design and construction has brought about new challenges to Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) personnel. The New Large Aircraft (NLA) entering the market have introduced increased passenger capacities, fuel loads, hydraulic pressures, and the use of advance composite materials. The most significant change is the introduction of the full-length, upper-passenger deck on the Airbus A380 with certification for up to 853 total passengers. Although the full upper-passenger deck and unique characteristics of the A380 served as the initial motivator for this research effort, various NLA were ultimately included. This report identifies a number of changes that may affect firefighting tactics and strategies involving NLA. The Airbus A350, A380, Boeing (B)-747-8I, B-777, B-787 and A350 aircraft are discussed in this report. Many of the firefighting tactics and strategies outlined are applicable to any aircraft.

This report also examines case studies of previous incidents involving multilevel aircraft. This includes research conducted in relevant areas such as aircraft evacuations and advanced composite materials. In addition, accepted interior firefighting models were applied to the unique NLA configurations, thereby providing guidance for emergency planning of such events.

This report provides a discussion of the primary topics, such as agent quantity, aircraft systems, and components, which are pertinent to NLA firefighting strategies. Configurations and aspects of NLA layouts that require strategic consideration, and influence ARFF tactical decisions and response preplanning are discussed in this report, as well as recommendations for best practices in NLA firefighting strategies. 

TC-20-19_ARFF Strategies and Tactical Considerations for New Large Aircraft_09222020