Within minutes of a simulated mid-air collision at Vancouver International Airport yesterday morning, a trio of large yellow fire vehicles roared down the tarmac and doused a smoldering passenger aircraft in a spray of wet foam.
The exercise, held near the airport’s south terminal, replicated a collision of two passenger jets — one landing on the runway in flames, the other splashing down into the middle arm of the Fraser River.
“The exercise is planned to simulate a real event and involves a lot of preparation,” said Don Ehrenholz, vice-president of operations at YVR.
“This allows us to be very, very prepared in the event of any kind of emergency.”
About 100 volunteers took part, posing as passengers, or panicky family members in the terminal.
At 9 a.m., a mothballed Fokker 28 — pretending to be an Airbus A330 — sat on the tarmac with smoke pouring from its engines. A squawking radio call announced the crash.
‘Passengers’ walked from the smoking plane as the airport’s three Oshkosh Strikers — massive yellow firefighting vehicles — extinguished the fire.
Meanwhile, Canadian Coast Guard personnel worked the Fraser River south of the airport, where a pretend Boeing 737 was supposed to have crashed.
Prepare for the worst
Within minutes of a simulated mid-air collision at VancouverInternational Airport yesterday morning, a trio of large yellow firevehicles roared down the tarmac and doused a smoldering passengeraircraft in a spray of wet foam.