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NASA to crash airplane to test emergency locator transmitters next week

NASA, the US space agency said that it will test emergency locator transmitter (ELTs) next week by simulating a severe but survivable plane accident using a Cessna 172 dropped from a height of 100 feet.


NASA to crash airplane to test emergency locator transmitters next week
NASA/David C Bowman

Washington: NASA, the US space agency said that it will test emergency locator transmitter (ELTs) next week by simulating a severe but survivable plane accident using a Cessna 172 dropped from a height of 100 feet.

On Wednesday, August 26, NASA’s Search and Rescue Mission Office will carry out the test at the agency's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

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It said the vintage 1974 airplane will be equipped with five ELTs, two crash test dummies, cameras and data-collecting sensors.

The test is scheduled to happen between 1 and 2 p.m. EDT and NASA Television will air live coverage of the test.

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ELTs are installed on general aviation and commercial planes to transmit a location signal in the event of a crash. Current ELT models send that signal to orbiting satellites, which repeat it to the nearest search and rescue ground station. The signal is used to determine and transmit the ELT's identity and location to rescuers.

NASA research is designed to find practical ways to improve ELT system performance and robustness, giving rescue workers the best chance of saving lives.

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Wednesday's test will be the last of three crash tests of three different Cessna 172 aircraft. The first plane was dropped from about 80 feet and came in at nose level on concrete. The second was hauled up to 100 feet and crashed nose down into soil, and the third is planned to come in from 100 feet, tail down, into soil, said NASA.

From Zee News

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