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Mig-15 loses fuel cell on Arlington Airport runway

Crews from the Arlington Fire Department and Arlington Airport work to contain and clean up a fuel spill on the main runway of the Arlington Airport after the fuel cell fell of an Mig-15 as it was landing Oct. 13. - Photo courtesy of the City of Arlington
Crews from the Arlington Fire Department and Arlington Airport work to contain and clean up a fuel spill on the main runway of the Arlington Airport after the fuel cell fell of an Mig-15 as it was landing Oct. 13.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the City of Arlington

ARLINGTON — City of Arlington Fire Department personnel responded alongside city of Arlington Airport Maintenance and Operations crew to a jet fuel spill on the main Arlington Airport runway at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Dale Carman, Airport Supervisor was watching as the Mig-15 came in for a landing from the south with a bit of a hard bump. He then saw the fuel cell fall off of the wing of the aircraft, down the runway, spewing fuel, tumbling and ultimately coming to a stop while bursting into flames for just a few seconds before putting itself out.

“When I arrived with the fire extinguisher the flames were already out however fuel was leaking heavily out of several spots of the metal fuel cell” said Carman. Fire Department crews arrived and working with airport staff contained as much of the fuel as they could with absorbent, trying to keep the fuel from settling into the blacktop and getting into the dirt and grass just off the runway.

The Mig-15, a private aircraft was not otherwise damaged and no one was hurt. The Arlington Airport runway was shut down for clean up that consisted of absorbing the jet fuel, vactoring off the absorbent, washing and vactoring the water off of the runway and digging, removing and replacing a swath of dirt almost two feet deep and wide where the fuel went down alongside the runway. Crews diligently worked until just after 7 p.m. to get the runway re-opened as it is the runway with lights.

Airport crews will be back out over the next few days to determine if the runway pavement has further damage from the spill.

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