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Plane goes up in flames for safety training

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - - Thick black smoke could be seen for quite a distance on Saturday.

An airplane went up in flames at the South Bend Regional Airport Saturday morning all on purpose!

The airport authority "Department of Public Safety" says the plane was set on fire for training!

This site is just one of two in Indiana that's complete with a pit for live fire training.

From 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. the Air National Guard from Battle Creek, Michigan did training exercises near the northwest corner of the airport's property.

"At their facility they do not have a training pit like this to do this fire, so they have to go to another location that's propane, and ours is hydrocarbon fuel, and they like these fires because it gives them a little bit more realistic approach to it, and they like coming down here and they've been doing it for the last several years," said Chief Mike Ornat.

The chief says the burns allow aircraft rescue fire fighters to get real life practice with flammable liquid fuel fires.

Training will continue on Sunday.

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