DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 12TH AVIATION BATTALION
8926 GAVIN ROAD
FORT BELVOIR, VA 22060-5123
MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD
SUBJECT: DEMONSTRATION OF THE TRI-MAX 30 KOLD CAFS FIRE FIGHTING SYSTEM, AFTER ACTION REVIEW
Michael W. Sluys
AASF # 1(385)
19 November, 1996
MEMORANDUM FOR CW5 ROBERT A. BROOKS, U.S. ARMY SAFETY CENTER,
ATTN: CSSC-PMA(FLIGHT FAX)
SUBJECT: TRI-MAX 30 Fire Extinguishing System
1. This memo is to appraise you of our plans to use the TRI-MAX 30 fire extinguisher system and what lead to our decision to purchase this system. I first became aware of the system two years ago when a factory representative gave a presentation at the National Guard Safety Conference. Then last year the product was brought to the conference and a live demonstration was given. It was immediately apparent to myself and the State Aviation officer that this system was far superior to anything that we currently had available. We new that the current systems, 500 C02 and halon were marginal at best. We had also determined that the FARP was a high risk operation and that the TRI-MAX 30 fire extinguishing system was the only effective control to either save a crew or aircraft in case of a fire or more important to prevent a fire before it even occurred.
2. As the Flight Facility Safety Officer and the 449'h GP Safety Officer, I had a particular concern with our Apache unit and FARP operations. The decision was made at our State level that we would purchase 19 of the TRI-MAX 30 fire extinguishers. Nine fire extinguishers would go to my Flight Facility, AASF # 1, with 24 Apaches, 5 OH-58's, and one C-26B fixed-wing aircraft. Four units would go to Flight Facility #2, that already had a Crash crew with Fire truck and eight LJH-601 helicopters. One unit would go to our CSMS and 5 units would go to MATES. Even though we have crash fire rescue at our airport and at AASF #2,, we have found that the maintenance crews will be on site several minutes before the larger fire trucks arrive on the scene. This can be critical to saving a crew. These fire extinguishers are currently divided between our 150# halon bottles on the flight line. When the apache BN goes to the field, they will take four of the units with them. These will be used in the FARP and will probably be transported in trailers. Our current intent is to have one bottle between each refueling point and one located at the pumping vehicle.
3. One problem that we are dealing with now, is how do we move and place the units. They can be moved by helicopters (sling load), but more likely we would use a trailer and the hoist from a cargo HEMMT. My goal is to have one unit between each refueling point. This way we could immediately direct two fire extinguishers on one aircraft. Another option is to mount one unit directly on a HEMMT, behind the ca6, and attached it to the DOG HOUSE. Then we would replace the current 50ft hose with a 300ft hose. This means (hat where ever the HEMMT went the fire extinguisher would go with it. The advantage to this is ease of mobility and if there was ever a fuel leak on the road, the foam could be used to stabilize the spill. In fact the best way to use these units, is to be able to foam a fuel spill before it ignites. During a demonstration, 1 00 gal. of JP-8 was ignited and then put out with foam. They then scrapped the foam off of the fuel and were unable to re-light the fuel.
4. Although the POL personnel are concerned about the mobility problems, they were very exited to be able to actually do some training with a unit that they felt would give them an edge in a fire. Until now, we have had no system that will actually let us get close enough to reach a fuel fire with an extinguishing agent. We are also considering mounting a unit in a HUMMV or trailer that could be used in the field as a mini fire truck in the BN bivouac area. We should be doing some field trials in the next two months and I will let you know what happens.
ROBERT C. WEHRENBERG
CW5 AV NCARNG
Dear Mr. Marht:
I would like to take this opportunity to express to you some general comments regarding the Stanley Manufacturing TRI-MAX 30 Mobile Fire Form Suppression System. I have been a rated pilot since 1957, commercial and military, fixed and rotary wing instructor pilot, single and multi-engine, turbo piston and jet qualified. I have been involved in rapid (HOT) refueling since 1968 and have held numerous aviation and airport management positions worldwide.
Over the past 39 years, I have had an opportunity to reflect on "lessons learned" in the aviation business. An area of "need" or "update" that has never been properly addressed, in my view, is a fire suppression system that is portable, one person usable, has an immediate "knock down" capability, has a built in backup system, can be recharged within minutes, has a standoff capability of 80 to 100 feet, can be immediately activated, is user friendly and has a capability to deliver a high volume of suppressant.
I believe that the TRI-MAX 30 System meets or exceeds the above. We refuel (rapid) up to 70 helicopters per day. We have been using Halon units and are totally aware of their limitations. In our business, if we have a refueling emergency our problems are immediate. The TRI-MAX 30 System provides us a system with a backup capability independent of the primary system and also allows us to quickly recharge the unit at a very low dollar cost.
Route 3 Box 58
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
MEMORANDUM FOR Aviation and Safety Directorate, Safety and Occupational Health Division, ATTN: COL Squires
SUBJECT: High Risk Aircraft Refueling
Most National Guard combat unit's mission is to train for combat anywhere on short notice. This increased tempo of training calls for managing risk at a higher exposure level to ensure soldiers and equipment are prepared.
The recent Army AH-64 fire that destroyed an AH-64 and burned both crew members had drawn the Army Safety Community to investigate improved ways to minimize risk during routine and rapid refueling operations.
When a flight line fuel spill occurs. A blanket of foam can be placed over the spill within seconds. The fuel fume release of a spill can be quickly ignited by the high temperatures of summer weather and the static electricity of cold dry weather.
The TRI-MAX 30 is portable and easy to operate. When an accidental fire occurs, personnel can quickly respond (within seconds) by shooting up to 600 gallons of foam from stand-off distances of 75-100 feet in order to avoid heat and toxic fumes.
Unfortunately, the normal order process form USPFO to depot requires a solicitation and bid process that can delay delivery from 6-12 months. Shortly after the initial orders, Stanley Manufacturing won a Government Service Agency (GSA) agreement. Since the TRI-MAX 30 is a GSA catalogue item, it can be ordered and delivered within weeks and at a lower per unit price.
LARRY B. SHELTON
COL. AV. TNARNG
Director of Aviation
FARP operations have always been mechanically complex. Problems with fire extinguishers or main fuel shutoff valves often occurs, but after several safe aircraft refuelings with no apparent problems, a period of complacency sets in, and an "it can't happen to me attitude" surfaces.
To preclude these attitudes from developing it is critical to have an OIC/NCOIC monitoring FARP operations to quickly identify and correct problems before they arise.
Additionally, a detail FARP SOP, which soldiers are trained to use, helps eliminate problems. Diagrams that show operation, setup, approach corridors, emergency egress and marking of pints should be a major part of risk management in FARP operations.
The recent issue of Flight Fax , Vol. 24, No. 8, stated that FARP fire-fighting equipment is a major concern. One possible solution is the introduction of a new fire extinguishing system. Stanley M.F.G. has developed a fire suppression system, the TRI-MAX 30 COLD COMPREWSED AIR FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM. So far ten states have ordered approximately 80 TRI-MAX fire suppression systems to replace their Halon system. This new system uses two aqua bottles (tanks), each an independent air source, that pressurize a 30 gallon tank which produces 600 gallons of foam. This system has a discharge range of 80 to 100 feet at a 300 gallon per minute discharge capacity which allows fire fighting capability from a safe distance. The discharge range can be extended with added hose length of up to 300 feet. The TRI-MAX system provides a thick vapor-sealing blanket of foam that virtually eliminates ignition or re-ignition of any flammable source. This offers a much safer environment for the personnel operating this system and protects both equipment and personnel.
Training costs are minimal, approximately $25 dollars per year using dishwashing liquid, General Purpose Detergent, NSN 7930-00-282-9699, (approx. 1 ½ gallons of dishwashing liquid required for each refill), to simulate a class A or B extinguishing agent. It takes 4 to 5 minutes to reload a system with new agent and place it back in operation.
The TRI-MAX fire suppression system also replaces your halon with an agent that will not harm the environment; is simple to use, easy to maintain ad can be adapted to any situation. The TRI-MAX 30 has complete airmobile capabilities; it can be paradropped or inserted as an external load and is easily adapted for mounting on a HEMMT.
The replacement for the Halon Flightline Fire Extinguisher is the Compressed Air Foam Suppression System TRI-MAX 30, NSN 4210-01-429-3863. The Property Management Branch of the USPFO in your state can assign a Line Item Number (LIN) to this stock number until information is available on the Fedlog/Army Log/AMDF. The authorization for Property Book accountability can be issued by the USPFO Property Management Office as a Memorandum of Authority (MOA).
I would like to thank the individuals who helped introduce this new fire fighting system into the National Guard: MAJ General Brandt, Commander of the California National Guard and Chairman of the State Safety Council; COL Kleine, California SAAO; LTC Isle, SASO; SSG Yarman, Tool & Parts Attendant form AASF #2 in Stockton California; and National Guard Bureau Aviation Safety Officer CW5 Burbank; these individuals were instrumental in presenting this system to the National Guard during the annual IP/ASO Safety Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.
More TRI-MAX fire suppression system information can be obtained by contacting Mr. David Mahrt with Stanley M.F.G. Redding Ca. (COM) 530-275-3621 or (FAX) 530-275-2501.
CW4 Thomas E. Shultz
Mobile, Al 36605
1. A test was conducted on the comparison of a Dry Chemical extinguishing unit and the Tri Max Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) in a burn pan with 5 gallons of JP5 fuel.
2. We ignited the JP5 and gave it a free burn time of about 2 to 3 minutes, we then had a freights using the dry chemical unit from about 50 to 60 feet from the pan to try to extinguish the fire, He was unsuccessful due to the fact that the winds where blowing about 1O knots from the north. The firefighter had to move closer to the burning pan to make the extinguishment from about 10 feel Extinguishment was made after this attempt and we then had the igniter return to the pan with the flare and passed it over the pan, when this the pan re-ignite we had another fire in the pan. We then tried to extinguish the fire with the remaining dry chemical unsuccessfully.
3. The Tri Max CAFS was then put into service and within 30 seconds to 1 min the fire was suppressed from the original distance of the dry chemical. We then had the firefighter pass the flare over the pan and due to the fuel being covered with a foam blanket the fuel did not re-ignite. The firefighter had to push the foam out of the way to get an ignition.
4. Point of contact is the undersigned, 806-6911.
Russell E. Dodge, Jr.