What Can We Learn from Crashing a Plane on Purpose?Oct 05, 2012
By Paul Marks
Why do some people survive plane crashes and others don't? Having an entire aircraft at your disposal to deliberately crash under controlled circumstances, as they do in a new Discovery Channel documentary, would seem a great way to answer that question.
But is the crash of an old Boeing 727 a mere stunt, or a genuine attempt to tease some illuminating forensics from an event that just happens to make compelling television?
It’s a bit of both. Discovery’s forensic aim was to crash the plane by remote control to observe and measure how the aircraft breaks up. That would pinpoint the safest places for passengers to sit, find out if bracing before impact does any good, and what parts of the body are most at risk from injury. But for me, the choice of a crotchety old plane with a design that has little relevance to the planes we fly in today undermines the forensic value, for a couple of reasons.
Source: New Scientist