On March 30, as a public service, the Payson Pilots Association and Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 810 staged a training exercise for the local fire departments. This exercise was to acquaint the fire department personnel with the general aviation airplanes that they may be involved with at Payson airport. In the past few years we have had several incidents with aircraft running off the edge of the runway with damage to the aircraft and slight injury to the passengers in the airplane.
It was very plain to see that the fire department personnel had very (little) or no experience with an aircraft accident and the difference between automobiles and airplanes.
On the day of the exercise, our members brought out 10 airplanes such as a fiberglass Velocity homebilt, RV6 aluminum homebilt, various Cessna, Beechcraft and Piper planes. Chapman Auto Center brought up their corporate turbine twin airplane for display.
Each airplane had a fact sheet showing aircraft type, construction, number of seats, fuel type and quantity, special equipment such as oxygen, etc.
We had 22 fire department personnel from the Payson and Mesa del Fire Departments for this training exercise and a hamburger lunch.
After lunch, it was agreed by all that this was a very worthwhile exercise as all involved learned what it may take to save a life some day.
This may be used as a model for training at other small airports around the state or country.
The members would like to thank Battalion Chief Martin deMasi for his help.
Paul Pitkin, Payson Pilots and EEA Chapter 810