AOPA will be closing at 2:30 p.m. EDT, August 29th, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. We will reopen on 8:30 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, September 2nd.
May 3, 2012
By Jim Moore
It was the ultimate “don’t try this at home” aviation moment: The pilot of a Boeing 727 put the aircraft on a collision course with a remote stretch of Mexico’s Sonoran Desert, and then jumped clear and opened a parachute.
A checklist that ends with “crash the airplane” is unusual, to say the least. Not since NASA conducted a similar test in 1984 to assess the efficacy of fuel additives intended to reduce post-crash fires has a Boeing been intentionally blasted to pieces. This time, according to a Discovery Channel announcement on April 29, following the crash, more sophisticated cameras captured a host of angles, and new instruments captured data expected to advance aviation safety research. It also promises to make good television.
"This ground breaking project … explores the big questions about how to make plane crashes more survivable; it's the ideal premiere episode for our Curiosity series that stirs the imagination of our audience, bravely asking questions and fearlessly seeking answers,” said Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC networks. “This latest production captures that audaciousness perfectly and I can't wait to share it."
It was unclear how long viewers would have to wait to see high-quality video; a bootleg recording of the crash, filmed from a distance with an unsteady hand, was circulated on YouTube and posted by Discovery.
The producers—Dragonfly Film and Television Productions—worked closely with the Mexican government, assembling a team of 300 for the location shoot, including pilots, safety experts, and film crew members. An environmental firm has been retained to clean up the mess, located in an uninhabited stretch of the desert in Baja California, Mexico.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Movies and Television,
The DeSoto Heliport is officially open for business. But don’t look for it in your GPS. The Texas facility is so new that it doesn’t yet have an identifier.
Television personality Robin Roberts swung the champagne and took a ceremonial maiden voyage Aug. 23, christening the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. airship Wingfoot One.
Members of the House General Aviation Caucus are asking the Department of Transportation to expedite rulemaking for third-class medical reform.
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