Columbia Airport Simulates Plane Crash

7 years 11 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, September 23 2010 Sep 23, 2010 Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:28:38 PM CDT September 23, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Thursday night, a simulated plane crash at the Columbia Regional Airport put emergency responders to the test.  Those teams quickly put out the fire.  Lt. Tom Redford of the Southern Boone Fire Department said simulations are necessary. 

Redford said, "Practice is always a good thing to have in case we have a real one someday."

The task of putting out the fire and helping the simulated crash victims was not easy.

Mark Lee of University of Missouri Extension has overseen many simulations and feels Columbia Regional did a good job.  He said, "It's organized, everyone knew their jobs, tasks, and did it."

19 federal, state, and local agencies participated in this plane crash simulation.
 
Lee said, "They've ironed out a lot of details on it, so today looked pretty good."
 

When an airport starts landing aircraft of 50 or more people, the FAA requires that airport to run a crash simulation once every three years. The simulator used in Thursday's test crash is the only one of it's kind in the world.  MODOT was able to acquire the simulator with some financial help from the FAA.  It cost 1.2 million dollars and is lent to airports all over the country.

The volunteer plane crash victims helped to add a bit of realism to the scene.  Some of the volunteers even had to go through the hazmat chemical bath.

Volunteer Audrey Busch was caught off guard, "I had no idea what to expect but I guess I didn't think it was going to be this chaotic."
   
Even though it wasn't a real catastrophe, organizers call this practice a success.  In the next few weeks the Columbia Regional Airport Public Safety Department will give a grade to the response.
   
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