Simulated airplane crash at Northwest Alabama Regional Airport

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – It was a surreal scene Thursday morning at Northwest Alabama Regional Airport. Emergency responders from all over the Shoals were on sight for a simulated airplane crash. The smoke could be seen from a distance.

Even though the accident was a simulated airplane crash, the airport used a school bus instead of an airplane.

“We`ve got an airline. Simulated airline that has crashed into a stolen crop duster. Which has created a hazardous material situation and now we have various units responding to deal with that,” said airport director Barry Griffith.

He says the Federal Aviation Administration mandates that the drill happen every three years to ensure airports are prepared for accidents.

“What we learn from it is basically does our plan work? Are there changes and revisions that we need to make for our plans? We will all get together and meet to ensure that we are working together in the future in case any events like this were to happen,” said Griffith.

Griffith says the exercise took two months to plan out. The exercise will be done again in 2017.