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.
On March 27, 1977, on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, two fully loaded 747 jumbo jets collided on a fogbound runway, killing 583 people in what is still the deadliest crash in aviation history. NOVA looks back at the crucial final hours before the disaster. Despite new technology to improve runway safety, near-misses on the ground are still the leading cause of deadly aviation accidents.