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May 2, 2012

Passenger jet test-crashed in desert to study how to save lives

     Washington: Discovery TV orchestrated an intentional test crash of a Boeing 727 into the Mexican desert to give researchers an inside look at what happens when an airplane goes down. Beyond the incredible video, the crash, which was recorded by multiple cameras, acts as a science experiment to improve survivability on board. The likelihood of dying in a plane crash is very small — crashes are very rare, and an astounding 76 percent of passengers aboard serious airplane crashes somehow survive, ABC News reported. In a 1989 DC-10 crash in Sioux City , Iowa , the plane tumbled and burned, but half the passengers on board survived. And in an Ethiopian airliner that plummeted into the sea off the African coast in 1996, 50 people still lived out of 175 on board. In other cases — including a fiery Denver takeoff in 2008, an American Airlines crash in Jamaica in 2009 in which a 737 split in two, and a 2005 crash landing in Toronto — each one survived. Because of the limited data, test crashes like this one are very essential to the study of improving survivability. “What you would do is instrument this airplane and put all sorts of sensors throughout the cabin on the dummies inside, to figure out what goes through a crash in terms of forces on people that are inside the cockpit,” ABC News Aviation Consultant Steve Ganyard said. Among the things learned from these test crashes are ways to improve your personal safety, which include: Sit within five rows of an exit Choose an aisle seat And don’t sleep during takeoff and landing.
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