'Curiosity: Plane Crash' Documents Intentional Boeing 727 Crash

Discovery Channel follows story behind an ambitious, dangerous airline test.
3:00 | 10/07/12

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Transcript for 'Curiosity: Plane Crash' Documents Intentional Boeing 727 Crash
You are about to see what it's like from the passenger's perspective when catastrophe strikes and a jetliner crashes. This is an ambitious and dangerous test. A boeing 727 was intentionally crashed in the desert to learn what really happens to passengers when a plane goes down and how they can survive it. It's part of the disry channel's plane crash and neal karlinsky has the story. Reporter: Watching the most dramatic moments of a one-way trip ever recorded. This boeing 727 is being deliberately crashed into the desert. On board more than $500,000 worth of crash test dummies, 38 specialized cameras sensors and a crew of incredibly daring pilots wearing parachutes. Minutes before impact they bail out of a hatch in the back of the plane. Choppers away. Choppers away. Reporter: Then the huge jetliner careens into the ground. A horrific yet survivable crash that tears the plane apart. This stunning made to order catastrophe was done for the discovery channel show "curiosity plane crash." After 40 years of planning and with a huge team of experts all to better understand what really happens to people on board. I suspect this one may have a concussion. That one may have a broken leg. Reporter: Dr. Cindy burr was in charge of the unlucky passengers, she told us her data makes crystal clear that bracing for impact can be a life saver. What should you do -- put your head down, put your hands over. Over your head. And just hold it. And that works? Well, yes. It does. Reporter: The crash was a belly flop slightly nose first. Passengers near the front took the brunt of it, rows seven and forward were considered fate at. Seat 7a was actually catapulted out of the plane. Many of the seat belted passengers who didn't bend over to brace had spinal injuries from jerking forward in their lap belts. We'll put both on and we'll see what happens. Reporter: She showed us something else in her lab, a simulated mother holding an infant on her lap. A familiar money saver for parents everywhere. After a relatively minor impact, the mother can't hold on. Even though she's done the same thing as a parent, dr. Burr says have agent child on your lap is simply not safe. That impact can so severe there is to way you could hold that child. Reporter: It revealed other things too like the tremendous amount of debris that is deadly to anyone sitting upright. Also how critical it is to make your way out fast generally sitting within five rows of an exit gives a passenger the best odds. That was quite possibly the most spectacular thing I've ever seen in my life. Reporter: The science of destruction, a picture-perfect crash, a wrecked jetliner and a treasure trove of new information about what it takes to survive the unthinkable. For "good morning america," neal karlinsky, abc news, detroit.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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