- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - A $7.4 million simulator at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will prepare first-responders for rescues aboard superjumbo jets.

The city is taking precautionary measures to prepare firefighters after an engine fire took down an American Airlines plane at an O’Hare runway last year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported . Fire and smoke forced 170 passengers and crew members to exit the plane. More than 20 people were injured.

The contract funded by airline revenues calls for Simulation Live Fire Training Solutions, Inc. to build a new “triple-deck, large-frame aircraft simulator.” The simulator and accompanying software will include a rotating cabin engineered to simulate a broken jet.

Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Tim Sampey oversees the fire rescue operations at O’Hare and Midway. He said the cabin was made to replicate a 1989 United Airlines jet crash in Sioux City, Iowa that killed 111 people.

“The plane was broken into several pieces. . People who would normally be seated in the upright position were actually seated on an angle, which made rescue difficult,” Sampey said.

Sampey said smoke generators and sound equipment that can simulate burning material and people screaming are also being added to the simulator.

“We can put smoke where we’d like to put smoke, fire where we’d like to put fire. Different levels. It gives us . variables from the smallest scenario to the largest,” Sampey said.

Sampey said first responder simulators at O’Hare currently have only one aisle and are “based off a narrow-body aircraft.”


Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, https://chicago.suntimes.com/

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