THE PLANE CRASH
The event documentary of 2012, and a true global ratings smash, peaking in the UK at 4.5 million, The Plane Crash combines spectacle with purpose in a “must-watch” feature-length package.
Dragonfly, Channel 4 and Discovery succeeded where NASA had failed 30 years earlier: crash-testing a full-size passenger plane in the interests of passenger safety. The resulting discoveries revealed exactly what happens to an aeroplane, and its passengers, during a devastating crash, and will help engineers and designers with their ongoing quest to improve air safety for years to come.
The dramatic 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 recreated 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.
Putting their lives on the line, 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 - 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. Dozens of cameras record the crash from inside the aircraft, on the ground, in chase planes and even on the pilot's helmet.
Directors Ben Lawrie, Richard Max
Exec Producers Sanjay Singhal, Simon Dickson, Claire Wingate
Dragonfly Film and Television Productions
Channel 4/Discovery 90mins 2012
Nominated for a Specialist Factual BAFTA TV Award 2013, an RTS Award as well as two nominations at the Broadcast Awards 2014 for Best Documentary and Best Original Programme.
The Times - "Genuinely spectacular"
The Mail on Sunday - “An investigative science documentary of jaw-dropping vision and ambition”
The Guardian - " Compelling viewing"
The Sun - “One of the most spectacular sights you will ever see on TV”
Daily Telegraph “It’s extraordinary television – mesmerising and terrifying. Strangely exciting too…”
Observer - “Riveting”
The Mail on Sunday - ★ ★ ★ ★
Daily Express - ★ ★ ★ ★
TV Times - ★ ★ ★ ★