By Elizabeth Matthews
St. Louis, MO (KSDK)--It was a planned plane crash, and the information scientists got from this experiment could one day save your life.
The company, Broken Wing, is made up of mostly ex-military pilots from the St. Louis area.
They have been working to make this plane crash successful for the past four years. It was all documented during a two hour special which aired on the Discovery Channel Sunday Night.
The four years of planning and executing cost about $900,000. The team didn't really get paid, but knew that it was worth it in the end.
For this group of ex-military pilots this is their worst nightmare, but now it's their dream come true.
"He said this quite possibly is the coolest thing I've ever seen, as we were flying off," says CEO of Broken Wing, Chip Shanle. He was in control of the plane as it went nose first into the Mexico landscape.
The group was called on to organize a plane crash, get an aircraft, make it fly using a remote control and run it into the ground testing the survivability for those onboard.
"Airplanes crash, they do that, and then they send in crash teams afterwards to figure out what happened, we put a crash team first on the aircraft on the dummies with all of the scientific equipment and then we said okay now we are going to crash it," says pilot Charlie Berry.
The crash happened in May of this year in Mexico in a dried lake bed. Shanle, who's kind of the backbone of the operation, says there were two people on the plane, a pilot and his jump master who stayed on the plane until about two and a half minutes from impact. When they jumped, Shanle took over the flight from another plane following using remote control.
He says the moment it hit was undoubtedly stressful and he said goodbye to "Big Flo" as they affectionately named the 727 aircraft.
"I just said adios, when I let go of the airplane," says Shanle.
NewsChannel 5 asked if there was another experiment in the future. The Broken Wing team says there is another project, but maybe not a crash.
What did they learn from the crash? Well at least this, you might have a better chance at surviving a crash if you sit in the back of the plane.