Warfare in News

Posted on Thursday 4th October

A dramatic new Channel 4 documentary called The Plane Crash will air on Thursday, 11 October at 9pm.

The Plane Crash follows an international team of experts, scientists and elite pilots as they deliberately crash land a 170-seat Boeing 727 passenger jet, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the mechanics of a plane crash in real time.

The programme hopes to answer key questions such as whether sitting at the front or rear of the aircraft, or wearing a seat belt, can be the difference between life and death.

The pilot and the rest of the crew will parachute from the passenger jet just minutes before impact from a chase plane piloted by former US Navy pilot and author of Project Seven Alpha, Leland 'Chip' Shanle. The aircraft will then crash land in an uninhabited area of Mexican desert.

Cameras inside the aircraft, on the ground, in chase planes and on the pilot's helmet will record the crash. Research equipment such as crash test dummies will be used to measure G forces and other effects on passengers.

Lieutenant Commander Leland Shanle retired from the US Navy having flown as a Tail Hook Aviator and test pilot, and is currently a pilot with American Airlines and a full member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. His book Project Seven Alpha - American Airlines in Burma 1942 is based on the true experiences of those who were involved and is a fitting tribute to the bravery and inventiveness of a band of men who answered their country's desperate call at the outset of the war against Japan in Asia.

Further Reading

Project Seven Alpha

Only £19.99

Project Seven Alpha

(Hardback - 256 pages)
by Leland Shanle

In late 1941, President Roosevelt agonized over the rapid advances of the Japanese forces in Asia, they seemed unstoppable. He foresaw their intentions of taking India and linking up with the two other Axis Powers, Germany and Italy, in an attempt to conquer the Eastern Hemisphere. US naval forces had been severely surprised and diminished in Pearl Harbor and the army was outnumbered and ill-prepared to take on the invading hoards. One of his few… Read more...


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