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, or anchor bolts in an existing concrete pad suitable for use as a foundation. 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 for regular penetration training.
The Federal Aviation Administration saw a demonstration of the PAST Trainer in Omaha, Nebraska, and then purchased one for their own use in fire safety research and development. Thereafter it 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. Subsequently, the FAA bought a second PAST Trainer for their use for their research and development.
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)—which has occurred several times. 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. Two airports have purchased four Trainers, One has purchased three Trainers, several other airports have purchased two trainers, and some airports that bought one Trainer indicate they have plans to purchase at least one more. Look at our Deliveries page to see which airports have purchased more than one PAST Trainer.
ARFF Working Group Award:
The ARFF Working Group presented its Technical Achievement Award to Gary Schott, President of APS, for his design and development of such an outstanding hands-on fuselage penetration training device – the PAST Trainer. Also, the ARFF Working Group bestowed special recognition upon Gary in their selection of him to receive their coveted Legends Award for his exceptional service to the ARFF Working Group as well as the ARFF community at large.
ARFF Consulting and Training Services
Airport Professional Services (APS) is recognized for having extraordinary Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) experience, knowledge and abilities. We have provided services and products worldwide, and are available to provide similar services wherever in the world it is needed. Some of the overseas consulting projects included non-disclosure agreements that prevent the identification of the projects, and the disclosure and discussion of the work details. However, some of those services included the development of airport ARFF studies, plans and schedules, development of disaster preparedness and recovery plans, ARFF training plans and programs, and performing ARFF training to trainers and firefighters. Some examples of APS’ consulting services follow:
During the period 2000 to 2001, APS worked with a team of five other ARFF professional consulting organizations to provide an extensive Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) study for the New Bangkok International Airport in Thailand. Working with the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the American Embassy in Bangkok, and Thai officials APS delivered an ARFF blueprint for the New Bangkok International Airport with a future capacity to safely move approximately 40 million people a year. This successful project was a major undertaking.
In 2003, APS assisted as a sub-contractor on an ARFF project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in which APS developed the ARFF Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan.
In 2004, APS worked with a team of ARFF specialists to conduct specialized ARFF training, including three dimensional and pressure firefighting techniques, to ARFF and oil company firefighters from Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya, in an increasingly dangerous environment.