For science or show? Jet crashes into desert
UNDATED (WHDH) -- Cameras were rolling recently as a passenger jet made a crash landing into the Mexican desert -- part of a new documentary on air safety -- but some critics are raising serious questions about the stunt.
The Boeing 727 went down, throwing up a cloud of dust, and skidded to a stop -- and it was all intentional.
“My sense is this is a reality show disguised as an educational effort, trying to get ratings, pushing the envelope,” aviation analyst Steve Adubato said.
In the video posted on YouTube, a helicopter can be seen with a film crew following the plane's descent minutes after its pilot parachuted to safety.
It was all part of a Discovery Channel documentary exploring how aircraft withstand impact. The 170-passenger plane had crash test dummies and dozens of cameras inside.
The Discovery Channel said it hopes to provide new information about how to improve the chances of survival, but critics are puzzled as to why film crews didn't invite the FAA, NTSB or the aircraft manufacturer.
“This would have been a perfect, golden opportunity to allow the industry to collect valuable data that I don’t think Discovery or any of the folks that may have participated in this really were equipped to collect,” former NTSB investigator Greg Feith said.
Discovery won't release the official video until the documentary airs later this year.
Viewers can then decide whether the plunge was indeed for science or show.