Post Crash Management exercise at Melsbroek airbase


  Barely one week after a similar large scale exercise organised at Zaventem's 'Brussels Airport', the military base of Melsbroek (Situated to the North West of the airport) staged a Post Crash Management (PCM) exercise on October 25th, 2010.  PCM exercises are organised by Comopsair on a regular basis to evaluate, correct and adapt all safety and security procedures involved in the event of an aircraft having major problems in and around a military installation.

Post Crash Management exercise at Melsbroek airbase

Embraer ERJ-135 CE-01 has just landed after having suffered clear air turbulence on approach to Brussels


Virtual Scenario:


A military flight from Châteauroux (Fr.) performed by Embraer ERJ 135 CE-01 with a landing scheduled foreseen at 14h00L experienced severe turbulence in the decent toward Brussels. This incident was immediately followed by a fire warning indicator signalling an engine on fire to the crew who performed a preventive shutdown of the powerplant involved according to the normal emergency procedures. The aircraft had a crew of three (2 pilots and a flight attendant) and 5 passengers. One passenger suffered a broken leg while the other four were slightly injured during the violent clear air turbulence. The crew immediately reported the incident to Brussels Approach and requested a priority landing on runway 25R. The information was relayed to the Wing Operation of the 15th Wing shortly before the emergency landing. Upon landing the Captain decided to vacate the runway via the A3 taxiway and proceeded then via the N6 Taxiway to BRUMIL (Brussels Military Airport) for safe passenger’s evacuation. 

Weirdly enough only one day prior to this exercise a real life incident occurred at about the same spot with a Turkish Airlines Airbus A340 (See BAHA News Headline of 24/10)

Post Crash Management exercise at Melsbroek airbase

Post Crash Management exercise at Melsbroek airbase

 Fire Fighting Services and ambulance are almost instantly on the spot

 Wounded passengers were swiftly looked after while the most seriously injured victim was transported to the Military Hospital.

 To test security efficiency, several journalists/actors were involved in testing out spontaneous reaction and behaviour of all services involved, all of this closely monitored by a number of evaluators. 

 About one hour after the incident a hastily organised press centre was already operational at the mess building. Shortly afterwards a Press Conference was held in which the Base Commander Col. Flamang presented the first details of this mishap.


As usual the many services involved reacted swiftly and efficiently. As before some lessons could be learned to further improve some actions and coordination which after all is one of the aims of the PCM exercises.




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 © Daniel Brackx  (October 2010)

Additional picture by Serge Van Heertum (SBAP)


Last updated 26/10/10 17:04   Daniel Brackx