Just in case you haven’t managed to watch The Plane Crash on Channel 4 here is their description of it:
“This dramatic new documentary follows an international team of scientists, experts and elite pilots as they deliberately crash land a 170-seat Boeing 727 passenger jet to provide a once-in-a-generation chance to study the mechanics of a plane crash in real time.
The documentary recreates a common type of crash - a serious, but survivable 'forced landing' - in order to study the crashworthiness of the aircraft's airframe and cabin, examine the impact of crashes on the human body, and look for possible means of increasing passenger survivability.
By crashing the plane, the programme also aims to answer key questions - such as whether sitting at the front or the rear of the aircraft, wearing a seat belt, and whether you use the brace position - can make the difference between life and death.
Fed Ex captain James 'JimBob' Slocum, who has previously survived three plane crashes, pilots the passenger jet, nick-named 'Big Flo' (after crew member Leland 'Chip' Shanle's grandmother, Florence) on her last flight. Putting their lives on the line, JimBob and the rest of the crew aim to parachute from the plane just minutes before impact, after setting it on a crash course.
The plane will then be flown remotely until impact from a chase plane by former US Navy pilot Leland 'Chip' Shanle - making it the world's biggest remote controlled aircraft. Flying at 140 mph, and descending at 1500 feet per minute, the aircraft will crash land nose down in a remote and uninhabited area of Mexican desert.
Rather than carrying passengers, the plane is packed with state-of-the-art research equipment, including three crash test dummies worth $150,000 each (plus a number of simpler sand bag dummies) and accelerometers to measure the G forces on passengers.
Dozens of cameras record the crash from inside the aircraft, on the ground, in chase planes and even on the pilot's helmet.” http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-plane-crash/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1
Many people have a fear of flying and may think I am crazy to suggest watching this program, but it is a fascinating program about airplane safety. Air travel remains statistically safer than crossing the road and flying has been proven to be twenty five times safer than driving your own car.
- 21,000 people (on average) die on the road in the USA in a 6-month period. This is approximately the same amount of all commercial air travel fatalities worldwide in 40 years
- More than 3million people fly every day
- A Boeing aircraft takes off or lands every 2 seconds somewhere in the world – all day, every day
- 1 plane in 5 million crashes. Even then people still survive plane crashes, going on to fly again