Aircraft fires aren’t anything like a traditional building fire; the stakes are much higher, and the firefighters who combat them need to be specially trained for the bevy of challenges that they might encounter when battling an aircraft fire.
Not only do aircraft fires often burn much hotter than traditional building fires, but they often transpire in high-pressure environments in the presence of hazardous chemicals, including jet fuel. Given the circumstances, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the potential dangers at work here.
When the firefighters approach an aircraft fire, they try to suppress the fire and eliminate any potential pathways into the cabin. After that has been established, there are various ways to kill the fire, depending on how it started, its fueling source, and its temperature.
The United States Air Force trains its firefighters respond to aircraft fires as quickly as possible, and to reduce the fire’s heat by as much as 90 percent in under a minute to mitigate most risks. If the temperature rises above 649 degrees Celsius, then chances are there’s no hope of salvaging the aircraft.
When it comes to firefighting, it’s no joke to say that the Air Force trains its aircraft firefighters to be some of the best at what they do in the entire world.