The Discovery Channel intentionally crashed a Boeing 727 into the Mexican desert for its new show called "Curiosity," which is set to premiere on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET to show people that they can survive a plane crash, USA Today reported.
What seems to be turbulence starts, the fasten seat-belt sign goes on and before occupants know it their airborne vehicle is plummeting to the ground. Upon crashing, the nose of the plane is demolished, unbelted passengers are tossed like dolls and luggage is spewed across the desert floor.
That’s what typically happens during a jetliner catastrophe, but for the first time when an aircraft fell from the sky it wasn’t a catastrophic event but a learning experience.
No passengers involved in the Discovery Channel’s plane crash. There were two pilots flying the Boeing 727 in addition to an engineer that left from the Mexicali airport in Mexico. They flew into the middle of the dessert and as little as three minutes before the plane crashed the pilots and engineer ejected themselves from the aircraft traveling at 160 miles per hour.
A plane typically descends at 600 feet per minute, but Discovery wanted it to crash at 2,000 feet per minute so it would crash, but not explode upon impact.
The study was done to possibly improve aviation safety, similar to how crash dummies revolutionized automobile safety, USA Today wrote.
Scientists determined that from the purposely crash the pilots could have survived but it would have been fatal for those in first class. Passengers towards the middle of the crash might have suffered from broken ankles and concussions and occupants who sat in the back of the plane could have literally walked away.
It’s a common misconception that people are unlikely to survive if a plane crashes, but according to data a majority of people actually live.
"The chances are that if you're in a crash, you will survive," Tom Barth, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board who studied the crash's impact on occupants of the plane, said to USA Today.
"It is always quite humbling to see the level of destruction in an accident," Anne Evans, a former senior crash investigator for the United Kingdom's Air Accidents Investigation Branch explained to USA Today.
Evans worked on the Pan Am Flight 103, that blew up in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people. Still, she marvels at the destruction. "Nothing looks as it did before the accident."
Still feel weary about flying, explains the likelihood that one would be involved in a jetliner catastrophe:
"If you were to take a flight every day, in order for you statistically to be in a fatal aircraft accident, you'd have to live 35,000 years," Professor John Hansman of MIT said to USA Today of the crash rate of 0.2 fatalities for every 1 million airline departures. "There is no other means of transportation that is equivalent in terms of its success. It's actually much safer than riding on an escalator."