Watch Scientists Crashing A Boeing 727 In The Desert In A Real-World Experiment


A Boeing 727 was made to crash into a Mexican desert in 2012 by a flying crew as part of a big science experiment. There have not been any deliberate crashes after NASA’s and Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA)’s Controlled Impact Demonstration in 1984.

This crash was held by a filming crew consisting of members of the Discovery Channel, Channel 4 in the U.K., and pro-Sieben in Germany. The aircraft was registered as XB-MNP. It was the property of Discovery Channel. The vehicle was in service for 35 years.

According to, the documentary crew wanted to conduct this experiment in the U.S. but was denied permission due to the risks involved. 

The U.S. refusal gave Mexico the opportunity to become part of the historical experiment that would help a team of international experts studies the crashworthiness of the aircraft’s frame and cabin as well as the impact of aircraft crashing on the human body.

On the morning of April 27th, 2012, the Boeing 727 took off with a crew of two pilots and an engineer, as well as a cabin filled with scientific equipment, crash test dummies, and cameras to document the incident.

The pilots flew the aircraft toward the uninhabited part of the Sonoran Desert of Baja California and the crew parachuted out of the aircraft one by one. Navy veteran and American Airlines pilot Chip Shanle, then remotely controlled the aircraft flying in a chase plane as the Boeing 727 crashed into the ground at 140 miles (225 km) an hour.

Passengers at the front of the aircraft and the pilots were at the highest risk of death in this experiment.

The study found that passengers closer to the wings of the aircraft would face injuries but no life-threatening ones.

Dummies placed in the brace position underwent fewer injuries than the ones sitting upright who faced head and spinal cord injuries.

This decade-old crash involved more than four years of planning and 300 people on the location to get it done right.


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