Mock plane crash goes all out with dozens of actors professional - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Mock plane crash goes all out with dozens of actors professionally made up with fake injuries

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MADISON (WKOW)-- Realism was the name of the game at a mock plane crash at the Dane County Regional Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to conduct emergency response training every three years. This time around airport administrators are going all out.

The Dane County Regional Airport decided to hire Glitter to Gore LLC. to do the makeup for the event. The company specializes in performance makeup and special effects for plays, festivals and small film projects.

"It's a fun art form. It's temporary, but that makes it more fun," makeup artist Michelle Soltis says.

More than a hundred people volunteered to act in the mock plane crash. David Purdy signed up because he wanted to see first responders in action. He works on the ski safety patrol for Tyrol Basin Ski Resort. He was amazed at how talented the makeup artists were creating fake injuries.

"They're life like, especially from a distance. It's kind of shocking to see," Purdy says.

"It's kind of creepy, but it's okay. I actually didn't think I'd get anything this interesting, but it's fun," volunteer actress Deb Brauer says.

Each actor was assigned a character with a unique set of injuries. They ranged from minor bumps and bruises all the way up to flashlights and metal poles impaled in people's stomachs. Each injury was chosen by the American Red Cross in order to simulate the real life injuries people can get during a plane crash.

"You see here, lots and lots of blood," makeup assistant Lars Svanoe says while reading from the list of injuries. "The large abdomen is cut. Over here they've got shards of glass that are actually made of rubber."

While waiting for their fellow actors to get their injuries on, many of the actors watched Air Force One on a projection screen. The ironic moment prepared them for the mock crash that was about to take place.

"This is just so real. It's pretty crazy," volunteer actress Cassie Miller says.

More than 20 emergency departments and 10 government agencies participated in the emergency exercise. The scenario they responded to was a plane that crash landed on the runway with dozens of severely injured passengers.

"Hang in there. We're going to get you taken care of as soon as we can," one firefighter says to a victim.

Many of the responders were shocked at how realistic the scenario was. Dozens of actors stayed in character throughout the entire four hour exercise. A few of the makeup artists watched the exercise from a set of bleachers nearby.

"Now that we're seeing how serious it would be if it was actually happening, that makes it a little more sobering. It is actually a pretty serious subject," makeup artist Dawn Svanoe says. "It was difficult to watch when the plane caught fire and the people were screaming while laying on the runway."

Airport officials brought in a specially designed plane that they could set on fire for the exercise. Responders separated the victims into three categories of injury and then transported them in buses and ambulances. Officials say the exercise was a success and they thank everyone who participated in the drill.

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MADISON (WKOW)-- Realism is the name of the game at a mock plane crash at the Dane County Regional Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to conduct emergency response training every three years. This time around airport administrators are going all out.

More than 120 volunteer actors spent Tuesday morning getting made up with fake blood and a variety of injuries. From minor burns all the way to impaled objects. A professional special effects company "Glitter to Gore" was brought in to make the fake injuries look as realistic as possible.

The mock plane crash also features 20 local emergency departments and 10 county and state agencies. These responders have no idea what to expect as they are forced into an emergency situation with more than a hundred victims.

Tonight on 27 News at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. Gordon Severson gives us a behind the scenes look at the emergency exercise that took place this afternoon and the make up preparations from this morning.

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