Atlantic City, N.J - The FAA’s William
J. Hughes Technical Center will conduct
a drop test of a 32-passenger ATR 42-
300 aircraft, at 1:30 p.m. on
Wednesday, July 30, at its vertical
drop test tower. The aircraft, with
its 81-foot wingspan and weight
exceeding 35,000 pounds, will be the
largest ever “dropped” at the technical
The test will assess how the fuselage
of a large, high-wing regional
transport aircraft would respond if it
were involved in a severe but
survivable crash. The research will
support studies leading to the eventual
incorporation of dynamically-tested
seats into commuter aircraft.
Following the drop, Gary Frings, FAA
Crashworthiness Program manager, will
talk to the media about the test
program and the details of this test.
As part of the test, 23 dummies will be
seated in the aircraft. Seven are
specially instrumented test dummies
used to measure human reaction to
impact forces. The ATR will be dropped
14 feet, generating a final velocity of
30 feet per second.
In the event of inclement weather or
high wind conditions, the drop test
will be conducted on Thursday, July 31.
Note: Media should report to the
technical center visitors sign-in
center at 1 p.m.