On December 29th 2014, Colonie Fire Company was toned out to assist crews from Albany Int’l Airport, Verdoy and Shaker Road for an In-Flight Alert. A fully loaded commercial airplane had become unstable on the apron after what appeared to have been an equipment malfunction. Both the front and one side of the rear landing gear had been compromised due to the incident and it was deemed unsafe for the passengers to disembark the airplane until stabilization and cribbing had been put in place.
We rolled our Heavy Rescue, Rescue 2, as well as our Technical Rescue and Building Collapse Unit, Squad 2. 4×4 Box cribs were erected under the rear wing and the fuselage behind the front landing gear. We then placed high pressure lift bags on top the box cribs to move 6×6 beams, which would be used to support and stabilize the aircraft. All of the pre-made cribbing on both trucks was used in short order so crews had to manufacture cribbing on scene from raw materials being carried on Squad 2.
The call wrapped up with over 50 passengers and crew safely exiting the aircraft. The plane had lifted over 14″ from the start of stabilization until the plane’s Captain had finally exited. This was a very manpower intensive call which required a great deal of communication and coordination form all departments involved. Great work was done by everyone and a big thank you to Albany Airport FD, Verdoy FD and Shaker Road FD.