Well, Fire Trucks Are So Hard To See....

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Back when we were figuring out options for the X-34 rocketplane, we got a call at the Cape from the Pentagon. The X-34 program was looking at possibly landing at Holloman AFB and this engendered a great deal of concern in some circles when they found out it was unmanned. The guy at the Pentagon, spurred by the Holloman concerns asked "What happens if it is landing and there is a fie truck on the runway?" We replied that the X-34, lacking a go-around capability, would hit the fire truck. But that was a sarcastic way of saying that we had control over our fire trucks and other runway traffic. After all, who doesn't? Well, it turns out to be a valid concern, it seems....

FROM AVWEB:

"Two Lima, Peru, airport firefighters were killed and another injured Friday when a LATAM Airlines A320neo hit a fire truck that entered the runway as it was taking off. According to Flightradar24 the aircraft was nearing V1 and going 127 knots when it slammed into the truck, collapsing the right main gear, shearing off the engine on that side and piercing the fuel tank. The aircraft was heavily damaged but there were no serious injuries among the passengers and crew."

"The truck was apparently leading others in a drill to test response times to a new runway that is scheduled to open in January. Peruvian officials told a news conference the truck was not cleared to enter the runway. "In the audios that we have, there was clearly no authorization for any vehicle to enter the runway," said Jorge Salinas, president of the country's aeronautical agency, Corpac. "This case was a runway incursion. We do not know why it happened, if the cause was human, mechanical or of nature? That is being investigated. Let's not speculate."
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
If it works - you're fine - and FIRED.

At the current location now occupied by the Pentagon, before it was built there was an airfield. A highway, Military Road, crossed the runway, and the owner of the airport installed a traffic light so he could stop the traffic when airplanes were going to use the runway. He was charged by the county with operating a unauthorized traffic light.
 
Last edited:

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Your post reminded me of this idiot who killed her children.
I think we are up to about 55 people who have been killed by the new high speed train that eventually will run from Miami to Tampa via Orlando. The most common cause of death are drivers trying to beat the train across the crossing. It can be going 80 MPH, so it's faster than they are used to. But there have been a few crashes that were purely accidental. In some areas the track runs down the middle of a divided highway. Cars going in the same direction as the train will have it overtaking them from behind and they make a Left turn at the crossing intersection just in time to get hit by the train. How many times do you look BEHIND you when you are making a Left turn from a one way road?

There have been some pedestrian deaths as well, including at least two clear and obvious suicides and a woman who was hurrying across the tracks after stealing something from one of the last K-Marts still open in the country.
 

special ed

Senior Master Sergeant
3,404
7,039
May 13, 2018
The New Orleans Canal street streetcars ran in the center of Canal street and the accidents with left turning cars increased in the late 1950s because of vehicle airconditioning.
 

Admiral Beez

1st Lieutenant
6,419
6,416
Oct 21, 2019
Toronto, Canada
I think we are up to about 55 people who have been killed by the new high speed train that eventually will run from Miami to Tampa via Orlando. The most common cause of death are drivers trying to beat the train across the crossing.
The easy fix there should be to make it much more difficult to circumvent the barriers. Barriers should cover the full width of the road, with fences or permanent barriers at the sides of the roads. That's what they do in Europe.

AIoai.png


1_0x0_790x520_0x520_level-crossing-guide.jpg
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
6,257
8,796
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
You never violate a runway or taxiway without clearance from ground control. Can't say who screwed up on this one, but they're damned lucky it didn't fetch them 150 body-bags.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
Many years ago (like decades, actually), we were cleared to take off from Orange County airport (SNA) in a 172.
As we rotated, a field maintenance truck crossed our path. The idiot wasn't even looking down range for traffic. The two of us were filling the cockpit with "shit, shit, shit, shit!" and cleared the clown by a dozen feet or so and then had a nice conversation with the tower about WTF just happened.

As far as European railroad crossings go, the complexity of crossing gates depends on where you are. Plenty of rural places I went in South/Eastern Europe had limited or unprotected crossings.
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
"You never violate a runway or taxiway without clearance from ground control."

I recall reading where on Guadalcanal one day a truck driver decided to take a short cut down the runway rather than driving around the long way, just after an airplane had landed. Problem was, a C-47 was taking off. BAM!

Ever see that episode of Amazing Stories, where a guy (Charles Durning) had a nightmare that an airliner had crashed into his house; he lived off the end of the runway? Still in his robe, slippers, and PJ's he goes over to the airport and noted that an airliner that was boarding was to carry a small child with a teddy bear just exactly like the one in his dream. He ends up driving a service truck into a drunk in car that was about to crash into the airliner at a runway intersection.

About 20 years ago the CHP was chasing an 18 wheeler loaded with toilets that refused to obey any traffic laws. The truck got off the 405 next to Long Beach Airport, crashed the gate and took off down the runway. Then it stopped and the buck naked driver got out and ran.

About 25 years ago a school bus crashed the gate at Kennedy Space Center. The security police pursued it across the installation and finally managed to stop it. Turned out a mentally ill man had just been released from the hospital, found an idling school bus, and took off with it. You can imagine what would might have occurred if that had happened after 9/11/01, when they had machine gun nests set up around KSC.
 

special ed

Senior Master Sergeant
3,404
7,039
May 13, 2018
About 1962 Phil's mother and a lady friend went to Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, one night and apparently ended up driving around Lakefront Airport runways lost. All I remember of it was when they returned to Phil's house and tried to explain why they were late, Phil said, "Ma, you were driving on the runways at the airport." She said, "There weren't any street signs, but the roads were smooth and wide." Phil and I flew models together and often hung around the airport watching planes. The next time we were there, we asked if there had been any excitement, and as near as we could tell, no one noticed.
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,549
6,932
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Turns out that the authorities at the airport in Peru placed the airliner flight crew under arrest immediately after the mishap. Investigation so far has revealed that the fire truck exercise was approved and carried out under the proper regulations but that the control tower had directed the fire trucks to hold in position, not proceed onto the runway By the way, it seems that two fire trucks were involved in that mishap.

International airline pilots have to learn English. I doubt that is true for firemen at airports.
 

glennasher

Senior Airman
404
413
Jun 16, 2007
Louisville, KY
The easy fix there should be to make it much more difficult to circumvent the barriers. Barriers should cover the full width of the road, with fences or permanent barriers at the sides of the roads. That's what they do in Europe.

View attachment 695597

View attachment 695598
That is not an economically feasible idea for the US, which has thousands and thousands of RR crossings, marked and unmarked, gated or ungated. I have family in the RR business, one of them attends to those gates, crossing lights, etc. Other family members work on the tracks, drive the trains, etc..
Just last summer, a gravel dumptruck got stuck on the tracks near Mendon, Missouri, and an Amtrak train slammed into it, killing several passengers and the truck driver. It was on all the news networks at the time, and it occurred within 20 miles of all those family members I referenced earlier. There's no way a railroad company could afford to gate all those crossings, especially in rural America, it's too vast.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
The vehicle code here in California states that drivers are to slow at railroad crossing (protected or not) but no one ever does.

Growing up in Orange County (Southern California), we had many ungated crossings because of the huge agriculture presence (now long gone) and all had the white crossing sign that read: "Stop, Look and Listen".
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
6,257
8,796
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
Turns out that the authorities at the airport in Peru placed the airliner flight crew under arrest immediately after the mishap. Investigation so far has revealed that the fire truck exercise was approved and carried out under the proper regulations but that the control tower had directed the fire trucks to hold in position, not proceed onto the runway By the way, it seems that two fire trucks were involved in that mishap.

International airline pilots have to learn English. I doubt that is true for firemen at airports.

You would be correct. The Spanish civilian firefighters at Moron AB during the war only had two English-speakers amongst them.
 

glennasher

Senior Airman
404
413
Jun 16, 2007
Louisville, KY
Any block operators? That was my craft.
Not that I'm aware of, my stepbrothers (2), and three nephews all work for the BNSF in N/C Missouri. Stepbrother #2 was an engineer from Ft. Madison IA to Chicago, while my older stepbrother was a track inspector across N/C Missouri, and his sons still work for BNSF, one is an engineer, another is an electrician (works on gates, signals, etc.) and the third is on a track gang, fixing track wherever it needs fixed, from Montana down to Texas. A cousin did the same track gang thing, but is retired now, as are my two stepbrothers. All of them are now farming, as a hobby, and to make more money for their families.
The little town I grew up in, Marceline, Missouri, was a railroading town, and we all grew up knowing about railroad crossings, and to watch both ways, and never, ever, try to outrace a train, ever.
 

Users who are viewing this thread