Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Products
Penetration Aircraft Skin Trainer (PAST Trainer) System:
Airport Professional Services (APS) realized the need for a penetration training device because many airports were purchasing High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) fuselage penetrating devices, but didn’t have a realistic and effective means of performing boom operator training. Most airport fire departments that don’t have the PAST Trainer resort to the use of unsightly salvaged aircraft and buses, scrap cargo containers, or water barrels for their HRET penetration training. these alternatives do not begin to provide realistic penetration training.
APS resolved this fuselage penetration training problem by developing an effective, affordable, and attractive training device, the Penetration Aircraft Skin Trainer (PAST Trainer). This product closely approximates the actual height, curvature, and resistance of a large passenger and cargo aircraft fuselage thereby providing a very realistic HRET penetration training experience. It has replaceable , aircraft-grade aluminum panels that enable the Trainer to be used indefinitely. Also, because the PAST Trainer is fully powder-coated it is an aesthetically pleasing metal structure that has on more than one occasion actually been mistaken for a metal sculpture. The only training device that might possibly be even more ideal for penetration training than the PAST Trainer is a salvaged passenger or cargo aircraft with a fuselage in very good condition, mounted at the proper (wheels down) height, and is not unsightly so it doesn’t have to be hidden away from the public. However, salvaged aircraft are typically also used for live-fire training so they soon become unsightly. Also, even a salvaged aircraft will eventually become depleted of fuselage penetration space. With the PAST Trainer, the aircraft grade aluminum panels can be easily replaced during the life of the Trainer which, if it is properly maintained (although it is almost maintenance free), and unless Mother Nature decides otherwise, will last indefinitely.
Replaceable Aluminum Penetration Panels:
The PAST Trainer has a welded steel frame with replaceable aircraft fuselage grade aluminum panels that snap tightly onto the frame. This provides an ideal and most realistic penetration training experience. We could lower the price of the panels by manufacturing them using thinner aluminum. However, the panels would be too easy to penetrate thus producing a very unrealistic training experience. The PAST Trainer is securely bolted to the concrete foundation using APS’ patented Foundation Anchor System in a newly constructed concrete pad. The trainer is completely welded, then powder coated fully assembled, thus providing a virtually maintenance-free, long lasting, and attractive training device. To date, no PAST Trainer in service has been damaged by severe weather or other natural elements.
Using the PAST Trainer, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighter (ARFF) crews are able to experience realistic HRET penetration training, and because of its attractiveness it isn’t necessary for airport managers to hide their penetration training from public view. The PAST Trainer can be located conveniently near the ARFF station or other approved areas for regular penetration training.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued advisories to airports regarding operation of the High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET), including an FAA CERTALERT providing guidance in the use of HRETs in which it recommends the PAST Trainer (pictured therein) for hands-on HRET penetration training and certification. It also indicates that FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Funds may be used to purchase the PAST Trainer.
FAA AIP Funding Support:
Many ARFF departments have informed us they are budgeting for a future purchase of the PAST Trainer. Some are attempting to purchase the Trainer through the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Others have acquired their PAST Trainer by including its purchase as part of a new ARFF vehicle manufacturing contract. The PAST Trainer has become the training choice for Aircraft Rescue Fire Departments with High Reach Extendable Turrets.
Multiple PAST Trainer Purchases:
Numerous large airports have purchased multiple PAST Trainers to locate them at each of their Airport ARFF stations.
ARFF Working Group Award:
The ARFF Working Group presented its Technical Achievement Award to the inventor Gary Schott, for his design and development of hands-on fuselage penetration training device – the PAST Trainer.