BOWIE, Md. - If you saw a plume of smoke near Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland Wednesday, officials say there was no need to be alarmed.
According to Prince George's County Fire/EMS spokesperson Mark Brady, a film crew is simulating a plane crash at the airport this week.
The crew will be shooting scenes at the airport through Friday.
Brady says his department expects to see an uptick in 911 calls because of the shoot.
The film crew would not reveal what TV show the Bowie scenes would appear in.
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Members of a film crew at Freeway Airport prepare a damaged plane to be set on fire as part of a re-creation scene in an as-yet unnamed cable television program about a rescue.
"Explosions and Smoke. Mock Plane Crash. July 13-15."
Sirens Media, a Silver Spring-based production company, is shooting a scene involving the re-creation of a rescue from a crashed plane, and needed the wide-open space the Bowie airport affords. The shoot is expected to last through Friday.
The company produces lifestyle and docu-soap programming, as well as hundreds of episodes of crime & investigation television, according to its web site. Its work has appeared on cable networks like the Lifetime Movie Network, TruTV and the Discovery Channel. The company has worked with Freeway Airport previously, to shoot footage for a program called "Airplane Repo."
"They've been out here before," said Matt Lindquist, the chief pilot at Freeway, which houses smaller private planes and offers flying lessons. "It's not all that regular, but I guess Freeway has that reputation of being somewhat media-friendly now. That's why they called us back."
The downed plane was placed in the northeast field on the airport property that typically serves as a helicopter landing pad.
The film shoot is quite a distance from the planes at the airport and will not disrupt the facility's normal business routine, Lindquist said.
"That was one of the keys for us to agree to do this — that it didn't impact our daily airport operations," he said.
Lindquist said he isn't counting on any cameo roles or on-camera time as a reward for his cooperation.
"I'm OK being behind the scenes," he said.
The shoot will involve setting the damaged plane on fire using propane, with diesel fuel being used to create smoke effects. The final day of shooting will involve getting aerial shots of similarly small planes taking off and landing.
Officials from the county fire marshal's office will be on hand, and fire equipment will remain throughout the production, according to Mark Brady, the chief spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Dept.
According to a release sent out by Brady, "We have alerted all of our public safety partners, including the Maryland State Police, Prince George's County Police, Bowie Police and the County Public Safety Communication, which handles 911 calls of these events."
"Due to the hazards involved during this 3-day production, members of the general public will not be allowed inside the secured area."
Filming and special effects will occur between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the three-day shoot.
Citizens, residents and visitors in the Bowie area — as well as motorists traveling along nearby route 50 — may see smoke and hear explosions from the film shoot.
"We anticipate numerous 911 calls will be made with the best intentions," Brady said in the release.
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