Untitled Crash Project (1 x feature) – A Boeing 727 passenger jet has been deliberately crash-landed in a remote and uninhabited Mexican desert as part of a scientific experiment for an unprecedented international television documentary.
The pilot parachuted from the 170-seat aircraft just minutes before the collision after setting it on a crash course, it was then flown remotely from a chase plane. The crash went according to plan and there were no injuries or damage to property.
Rather than carrying passengers, the plane was packed with scientific experiments, including crash test dummies. Dozens of cameras recorded the crash from inside the aircraft, on the ground, in chase planes and even on the pilot’s helmet.
The project aims to recreate a serious, but survivable, passenger jet crash landing with a real aircraft in order to allow an international team of experts to study the crashworthiness of the aircraft’s airframe and cabin as well as the impact of crashes on the human body, plus possible means of increasing passenger survivability and evaluating new ‘black box’ crash-recording technology.
The plane was crashed in a remote and unpopulated part of the Sonoran Desert of Baja California, Mexico. The location was chosen after an extensive international search to find a suitable location offering the perfect conditions for this ground-breaking scientific project.
For safety reasons, an exclusion zone at the crash site was manned by security teams, as well as the Mexican military and police. Ahead of the crash, a full safety review of the project was undertaken by the highly-qualified pilots and commanders as well as the Mexican authorities which concluded that it was safe for all concerned.
Following the crash, the aircraft will be salvaged and an extensive environmental clean-up operation is being carried out by a reputable agency with the full co-operation of the Mexican authorities.
Executive Producer, Sanjay Singhal, from Dragonfly Film and Television Productions, said “NASA were the last people to attempt a crash test of a full passenger jet three decades ago. Now, with the improvements in filming and remote control technology we felt that the time was right to do it again. It’s never been safer to fly, but we want to use this as an opportunity to provide scientific data that might help to improve passenger safety in those extremely rare cases when a catastrophic aircraft accident does occur. This is the culmination of four years of planning and hard work.”
Channel: Channel 4 / Discovery / Pro Sieben
Producer: Dragonfly Film and Television Productions
TX: Late 2012
Source: Channel 4 press release