NASA crashes plane for test

Washington, July 31 (IANS) The sight of a plane crashing might hardly be inspiring for others, but NASA researchers get excited every time they whack a Cessna 172 aircraft down on the ground while conducting tests at the Langley Research Centre in Hampton,Virginia.

The Langley team’s ongoing destruction of the aircraft is generating troves of data that could ultimately save lives, Discover magazine reported.

The researchers recently performed the second test of a series of three — the first was done on July 1 — that are part of an ongoing effort to improve on-board Emergency Location Transmitters (ELT) that many times fail to alert rescue workers about a plane crash.

During the latest experiment, researchers strung the Cessna 100 feet in the air and it came crashing back to earth at around 90 km per hour.

The ELTs are designed to be tough, but often fail to bear the impact of the crash and the purpose of installing them is completely defeated as time is precious during such rescue operations.

It fails to automatically send out a distress signal, along with GPS coordinates of the crash.

That makes it harder for crews to mount a rescue attempt.

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