Residents who saw smoke and fire at the South Bend Regional Airport Saturday morning had no need to panic. There was no fiery plane crash.
The Battle Creek Air National Guard was on hand for its annual training session on dealing with fuel fires.
Crews used a few hundred gallons of gasoline to light a mock aircraft before practicing various techniques to put it out.
Previously, the guard goes through classroom and practical skills training and are eventually certified.
“Hopefully, we don't have any large plane crashes. If there's a large one, obviously there's all that fuel on board. if that catches on fire, they have the training and the experience to extinguish that as quickly as possible,” said Mike Ornat, South Bend Regional Airport Public Safety Chief.
The exercise is not cheap, considering the cost of fuel.
The guard typically runs through four different simulations per day. That training continues on Sunday.