In February 2013, I had a trip to Austin, with a layover at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) in both directions. On my outbound flight from DFW to Austin, our pilot came onto the intercom and nonchalantly informed us that the plane on fire outside the right windows is nothing to be alarmed about.
He was absolutely correct; at DFW, they have a fire department aircraft trainer—what looks like an old aircraft, which can be set on fire so that the fire department can practice putting it out. I’ve seen these trainers at a number of airports, but I hadn’t yet seen one in use.
On the return trip, I boarded what I believed to be my final flight of the day at DFW, expecting to fly back to Dayton. Instead, about a half hour into the flight, the lights flickered; a few minutes later, the crew informed us that the aircraft had experienced a generator failure, and while they had a backup, we were going to return to DFW for safety. When we landed and deplaned, I could see from the concourse that a number of DFW fire trucks had followed us back to our gate.
I don’t know if the problem was worse than the crew let on, or if all the fire trucks were a precautionary measure, but at least I knew the fire crews were well trained.