Last night on the series premiere of the Discovery Channel show Curiosity, the cable network worked with an award-winning production studio to crash an actual Boeing 727 because f-ck you crashing sh-t is cool GO USA. Also, for science. But mostly that first thing. I’ve posted video below, but first, here’s the whys and hows.
The documentary, narrated by actor Josh Charles (The Good Wife), [used] video footage from inside the plane to show what exactly happens in a serious but survivable airline crash. The crash occurred in a remote part of the Sonoran Desert of Baja California in Mexico. Pilots and crew members all parachuted out of the jet minutes before it crashed. It was flown remotely for the final moments before impact. (The crash site was cleared by Mexican authorities and guarded by police and military to ensure it didn’t risk the lives of anyone on the ground.) This experiment is the first time that a controlled plane crash has been carried out since 1984, when NASA tried a similar exercise. [Time]
To recap: Instead of doing a bunch of simulations and studies and difficult physics/geometry things, the Discovery Channel bought a plane, hooked it up to robots, and crashed it in the middle of the damn desert. It was less of a science experiment than it was a fancy version of Manswers (“Next on Manswers, COULD YOU SURVIVE A PLANE CRASH IN THE DESERT?” [busty female ninja does guitar solo] [guitar transforms into bacon] [bacon guitar explodes]), but whatever. If you come across a semi-legitimate excuse to smash an empty plane into the ground at top speed, and you can find someone else to foot the bill, you pretty much have to do it, you know.? Carpe diem.
Oh, and also, EAT SH-T, RICH PEOPLE.
The cameras inside the 188-seat plane showed that while the pilots could have survived the crash, those seated in first class would likely have been killed. Passengers seated in the middle of the plane would have suffered a few broken bones and concussions, while those at the back could have walked away unharmed.
I recommend keeping that little factoid on hand the next time your parents give you a hard time about your sibling being more successful than you are. (“Oh yeah, well at least I won’t be ripped limb from limb in a plane crash … UNLIKE ROBERT.”) It’ll really lighten up Thanksgiving dinner.