Firefighters douse burning plane as part of FAA-required simulation

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — The Norton Shores Fire Department fought flames on the Muskegon County Airport tarmac on Friday. However, it wasn't an emergency. It's a two-day training event.

Airport manager Jeff Tripp said commercial service airports across the country are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to do a simulated burn at least once a year.

The airport contracts with the Norton Shores Fire Department. Tripp said it allows firefighters to brush up on their skills in a unique situation. This includes entering aircraft and hitting the proper switches.

"They're always doing constant, as well as recurrent, refresher training because your skillsets always need to remember what you're doing," Tripp said.

He said AAAF firefighting foam, which contains PFAS, is not being used in the simulation. That's only to be used during an actual fuel-related fire.

"So we just want to stress to everybody that all the training does involve just water only," Tripp reassured.

Training includes classroom instruction and resumes in the morning.

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