Aircraft, Airport, Aircraft Specification

Discovering Crashes The Discovery Channel Way

Discovering Crashes The Discovery Channel Way

“Curiosity”, the series that airs on Discovery Channel, has been exploring numerous unusual and bizarre questions such as “Why is sex fun?” and “Did God create the universe?” But for this show’s 2nd season premiere in 2012, they decided to explore other avenues and transitioned to a more eye-catching format. For this, they crashed a real passenger jet into the Mexican desert.

The Spectacular Crash

This experiment was specifically designed to collect the data on the impact that plane crashes have on passengers. The objective of this experiment was to improve onboard safety during regular flights and thus increase the chances that passengers would probably be able to walk away with minimum injuries in the event of such a plane crash. 

According to Howard Swartz, the executive producer, this idea of crashing a plane had been in the pipeline with Dragonfly Film, the Production Company & Television Productions, for 4 years before it came to Discovery. It took an additional 6 months of the prep work after the cable channel decided to undertake this project. 

The result of all of these extensive research and prep work was that the unmanned 727 was crashed into the desert just south of Mexicali, in Mexico. This crash was captured by 19 different cameras that were positioned inside this plane and two on the helicopters outside. The pilots parachuted out from the plane in advance before it crashed & it was then remote controlled by the kind of remote that is used in guiding model planes.

Apart from the very practical considerations, the experiment also proved to be spectacular visual for the TV audiences. For the 1st time, Discovery captured on camera exactly what a plane crash looks like from the inside of the cabin.

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