The plane was deliberately destroyed for a documentary about surviving
plane crashes, produced by the Discovery Channel and the UK’s Channel 4.
The plane is seen in amateur video flying low over the Sonoran Desert of
Baja California, Mexico, as a helicopter flies alongside, filming it as
it hits the desert floor.
A pilot flew the plane out to the desert and ejected minutes before it was remotely crashed.
The actual footage filmed for the documentary has not yet been released.
The plane can carry up to 170 passengers but contained only crash test dummies and video cameras when it crashed, the Telegraph reports.
Channel 4 senior commissioning editor David Glover said the program
would investigate how to make plane crashes more survivable.
"This is a ground-breaking project, allowing a team of leading
international scientists and crash investigators the first chance for a
generation to study the crash of an entire passenger jet to investigate
what really happens to the airframe and cabin … as well as the effects
on the human body," he said.
An airworthy Boeing 727 can be bought for about $9.5m, but it is not
known how much the documentary producers paid for the plane before
The plane used in the documentary was built in 1978 and registered in 1979. According
to its stated registration it was the same plane used by Bob Dole for
his failed 1996 bid to become President of the United States.
The Boeing 727 stopped being produced in 1984 when it was officially replaced by the Boeing 757
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