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Discovery crashes plane in Mexican desert...on purpose (VIDEO)

Tuesday - 5/1/2012, 5:54am  ET

WASHINGTON - Plane crashes are usually horrific disasters. But this one is meant for education and entertainment.

Discovery Channel teamed with Britain's Channel 4 and Germany's Pro Sieben networks to intentionally crash a passenger jet in the Mexican desert.

It happened last week for an episode of Discovery's "Curiosity."

"The project aims to recreate a serious, but survivable, passenger jet crash landing with a real aircraft in order to allow an international team of experts to study the crashworthiness of the aircraft's airframe and cabin as well as the impact of crashes on the human body, plus possible means of increasing passenger survivability and evaluating new 'black box' crash-recording technology," Discovery says in a press release.

The Boeing 727 was loaded with cameras and crash-test dummies to monitor what happens during a plane crash.

The episode will air later this year. Check out video of the crash below, apparently captured by an onlooker:

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)