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Crash and Safety Forum Punch something in lately? Have safety suggestions? Tell the story, share safety tips, and show the pictures here.

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
KillerChaos
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Default Fire first responders

With all of the (bad) publicity regarding the Lithium batteries on the Boeing 787, the question has come up at our club: how should we prepare ourselves to respond to a crash that results in a fire, such as a grass fire? The person who initiated the subject is a pure nitro flyer who is very concerned about our LiPo powered aircraft. It appears that about 3/4's of our club are now into electrics, including me.

I think our club members are pretty well aware of pit safety, particularly in the handling of fuel and recharging batteries, and we do have the required fire extinguishers at hand. But, I don't know the best solution to address handling a fire in a nearby field. should one occur. I suppose we could station more fire extinguishers around the field as a start. Maybe load up the shed with even more extinguishers that could possibly be grabbed and transported via personal vehicle to the crash site. Or how about this idea: also have a golf cart equipped with a water tank and pump, plus a few mounted fire extinguishers to go along.

In any case, quick response is the key. How do your clubs address this potential problem? Or are we just being paranoid?

Killer Chaos

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:16 PM   #2
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Although I'm not in a club, I believe you posed a very good question. Being a vol. Firefighter for thirty years I do not think any club can go wrong by having a bit of extra protection. Also the best thing is to keep a dry powder or co2 extinguisher to deal with the model fire and a water extinguisher on hand to deal with the grass fire. Talk to a local dept. amd I'm sure they will be able to help out.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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We have several fire extinguishers that are unlocked when the first club member arrives. For most of our packs - those large chemical type should do the job.

We also have our 911 address posted readily too - so they know how to get to the field (pretty important).

Mike
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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It's not the battery I'm concerned about, it's what the battery could ignite! In our dry season, there's plenty of dry grass waiting to burn down the state of California...
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:14 AM   #5
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I have thought of this at our club we are in the middle of no where surrounded by woods. Last year was dry up here, and I was thinking of the what if's. One thing I do is time all my flights so I come down around 3.80 per cell. I also have my ESC on my planes set to the lowest LVC. This is just preventive from hitting low LVC and having a crash with possible bad results.

Tough part for our club is we have been vandalized down there by people who ride in on ATV's and party at our site. We can't have a shed to lock items up it would just get broken into. So we have nothing to put out a fire.
Glad this was posted I should at least pick up a extinguisher for myself to bring with me, and hope it never needs to be used.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:30 AM   #6
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Consider a shipping container Gramps - HARD to break into.... Our's has the lock area completely covered by 1/4" steel and you can barely reach your had and key up to unlock it. We are pretty lucky as we are in a city park surrounded by .5-1MM homes so less problems with vandalism.

If you get to the plane quickly you can use the extinguisher before MUCH grass is on fire.

Mike
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:40 AM   #7
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we have a extinguisher by the Rx channel board along with a first aid box. it's came in handy last year when a plane caught fire and the guy who used it had it recharged.

when i was a landscaper,i always had extinguishers in the trucks. i also had 2 in my ford van mounted behind the front seats when i went cross country. seems a good idea to get another in the suv and my wifes car.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Consider a shipping container Gramps - HARD to break into....

If you get to the plane quickly you can use the extinguisher before MUCH grass is on fire.

Mike
That is a good idea next time I see the club president I will run this by him. Gonna be a tough sell to get him spend club money for one. I will get the old "We will have to raise the club dues speech do you think other members will want this to happen?".
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:24 AM   #9
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They are not cheap either...
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Consider a shipping container Gramps - HARD to break into.... Our's has the lock area completely covered by 1/4" steel and you can barely reach your had and key up to unlock it. We are pretty lucky as we are in a city park surrounded by .5-1MM homes so less problems with vandalism.

If you get to the plane quickly you can use the extinguisher before MUCH grass is on fire.

Mike
Yeah
Our club also picked up one of those full length shipping containers. We asked the vendor if we could safely load our Ford tractor and diesel lawnmower. The guy laughed at us. Seems they've no problem putting 15,000 pound bulldozers in them.

We got ours for around $2400. And you will not break into it with a bolt cutters. It will take a cutting torch to cut through the side of it.

I was at one fun fly last summer where a guy with a full scale $$$$ model military fighter got tail ended by some SOB. The fighter went straight in, along with its 12S 5000 Mah battery. That battery ignited, and burned for 15 minutes. The club kept the situation under control by a couple of 5 gallon pails of sand.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:14 AM   #11
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Ya I just checked the prices 3,000 bucks for a used one. That doesn't even include the shipping fee.
Nope I won't even bother bring this up with the club president.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:11 AM   #12
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You can get disposable one-use extinguishers for ~$15. I bought a $40 re-fillable one, as I've seen enough fires to just figure it's a good idea. Actually, I need to mount it in the car somewhere so it's just always there. Never know when it could come in handy on the road.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:30 PM   #13
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lil' bit redneck but a 4x8 Sheet of plywood, length of chain or wire cable, 4x4 pickup and part-crazy sled driver to drive fast over the fireline works pretty good for grass/stubble fires!
Just gotta keep moving to keep vehicle in partially fresh air. Duh! Metal Snow shovels work good too. lol or just call 911

Not sure it would put out a lipo!

cr
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #14
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One of our members who is a part time snow bird also belongs to a club in Florida. He recently sent back a copy of their last meeting minutes containing discussion of their fire safety preperations, which include a requirement that each club member must have thier own personal fire extingusher available while flying, This seems to be covered by at least having the extingusher in their car. Probably not a bad idea.
We have two extingushers located in unlocked cabinets in the pit area and several more in the storage sheds. The pit area units are somewhat concealed to try to keep them from being stolen, so there is some concern that not all members would remember they are there in a fire situation; the shed units may not always be accessable depending on who is at the field at any given time.
We will need to look at this again this season as we did have one electric crash last year which started a small grass fire. It was quickly put out with no further issues by using the extingushers in the pit area, but could have been a real problem had those units not been available
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #15
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I have heard mention of having to place batteries in a fireproof charging bag. Would it be a bad idea to also use this bag in the plane? As long as it was contained in the bag after a crash you would hope that it would at least reduce the risk or size of a fire. I figure heat would be the issue for a working battery contained in a bag but someone could give it a try.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Fig View Post
I have heard mention of having to place batteries in a fireproof charging bag. Would it be a bad idea to also use this bag in the plane? As long as it was contained in the bag after a crash you would hope that it would at least reduce the risk or size of a fire. I figure heat would be the issue for a working battery contained in a bag but someone could give it a try.
I would think it might help in rare circumstances, but I wonder if those bags would take the high energy crashes of some of our models. Plus there's the problem that in some planes, the batteries are too tight of a fit already, so there's no room for a bag. Some common sense has to factor in here. At one of the crash fires we experienced at our field, the plane involved had all the engine mount screws protruding through the wood into the compartment just forward of the battery pack, just waiting to puncture it, and it did. Remember when the first PZ Corsairs were lighting up in even small crashes, and they found one firewall screw poking through in the same manner?

One of the clubs I'm in is also making your own extinguisher a requirement.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:17 PM   #17
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I am just going to buy a fire extinguisher, and bring it with me when I go flying. Rather play it safe then have the mentality that this won't happen to me.
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