NASA plane crashes: Real small planes go down for research (VIDEO).

Watch the Harrowing Real-Life Small Plane Crashes NASA Stages for Research

Watch the Harrowing Real-Life Small Plane Crashes NASA Stages for Research

Slate in motion.
Aug. 8 2015 8:59 AM

NASA’s Intentional Plane Crashes

When small planes go down, it’s often alarmingly difficult to find them.

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Courtesy of NASA

By intentionally crashing a Cessna 172 aircraft into the ground, NASA hopes to develop next-gen search and rescue technology that optimizes current emergency locator transmitters, or ELTs. Oftentimes the severity of a crash will damage the ELTs, making an immediate emergency response to locate survivors much more difficult, if not impossible. So, up goes the Cessna, which plummets from 100 feet in the air and reaches speeds of about 55 mph on impact. Watch the experiments above.

Jim Festante is an actor/writer in Los Angeles and regular video contributor to Slate. He is the author of the Image Comics miniseries The End Times of Bram and Ben.