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Air DisastersStatistically, traveling by airplane is safer than driving and other forms of transportation, but when something goes wrong during a flight, it can be catastrophic with potentially hundreds of lives at stake. This series examines some of the world's worst air disasters, using official reports, transcripts and interviews with people involved to tell the stories of midair mishaps and discover what went wrong in each case. Episodes include a discussion of how the weather affects flights -- including stories of aviation disasters and near-misses -- and a New Year's Eve flight that fell from the sky into the Florida Everglades.
S8, EP6 "The Death of JFK Jr."When John F. Kennedy Jr.'s Piper Saratoga crashed in 1999, the NTSB faces enormous pressure to find the wreckage and the cause.
S17, EP10 "Kobe Bryant"When basketball legend Kobe Bryant is killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, investigators examine the data, the wreckage, and the pilot's actions for clues.
S7, EP3 "Fire Fight"A mechanical problem aboard an Air Canada plane turns into an all-out emergency six miles in the air.
S14, EP11 "Malayasia 370: What Happened?"Leading aviation experts are confronted with a shocking theory as they investigate one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time.
S14, EP3 "Hero Pilots"Three flights headed for disaster are saved at the last moment by heroes in the cockpit.
S14, EP10 "Fire on Board"Three flights that erupted in flames, and the investigations that changed aviation forever.
S1, EP1 "Invisible Killer"During a storm, a strong gale slams Delta Airlines Flight 191 to the ground killing most people on board.
S12, EP5 "Deadly Display"A high-stakes demonstration flight in Indonesia turns catastrophic when a Russian jet slams into a mountain.
S8, EP3 "Vanishing Act"Investigators face a mystery when Varig Flight 254 disappears without a trace over the jungles of Brazil.
S17, EP8 "Pitch Black"When an Illinois turboprop crashes after losing battery power, investigators uncover a series of errors made by the pilots.
S20, EP8 "Deadly Confusion"JFK Jr. disappears on the way to Martha's Vineyard, a captain loses his bearings and crashes over the Red Sea and pilots crash a plane over Indonesia.
S12, EP1 "Nuts and Bolts"When an American cargo plane crashes moments after takeoff, investigators uncover a systemic problem with aircraft maintenance.
S12, EP9 "Deadly Go Round"When an A300 stalls and crashes just before landing in Japan, fears arise about the plane's complex automated systems.
S20, EP1 "Headline News"Three devastating crashes make front-page news around the globe, and the media frenzy puts intense pressure on investigators to uncover the causes.
S20, EP2 "Rookie Errors"History's most terrifying air disasters, and the investigations that followed, are revisited and reexamined.
S20, EP3 "Collision Course"A passenger ferry sinks after crashing into rocks off the coast of a Greek island, killing 82, and leading to a shocking investigation.
S18, EP12 "Flying on Empty"When Air Transat Flight 236 runs out of fuel, its pilots desperately try to keep it in the air.
S12, EP2 "Blown Away"The investigation into the 2014 crash of a TransAsia flight uncovers a systemic problem with the airline.
S8, EP7 "Concorde: Up in Flames"On 25 July 2000, a Concorde operating as Air France Flight 4590 stalls and crashes into a hotel in Gonesse shortly after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport, killing all of the 109 people on board and 4 on the ground.
S17, EP6 "Terror Over Michigan"After a Boeing 727's near-fatal nosedive over Michigan, investigators risk their own lives to determine what caused the aircraft to lose control.
S20, EP6 "Perilous Payload"Three planes fatally out of balance force investigators to question every calculation; it's a flight risk that's entirely preventable, and yet repeated disasters reconfirm the need for critical backup systems.
S12, EP6 "Deadly Space"A Virgin Galactic commercial spacecraft, the VSS Enterprise, crashes during a 2014 test flight to the outer reaches of the Earth's atmosphere.
S12, EP3 "Deadly Distraction"Delta Air Lines Flight 1141 crashes beyond the runway while taking off from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
S12, EP7 "Free Fall"A computer glitch causes a highly automated Qantas Airways flight to nearly fall out of the sky.
S12, EP8 "Deadly Inclination"An Alitalia airliner crashes into a forested hillside just a few miles from a Zurich runway.
S18, EP19 "Runaway Train"A freight train carrying an excess of cargo loses its brakes while descending a mountain causing it to gain speed and derail into a neighborhood killing several people.
S17, EP7 "Tree Strike Terror"After a passenger jet miraculously survives a collision with trees while landing, investigators attempt to uncover why the plane was flying so low.
S18, EP24 "Who's Flying the Plane?"Aviation disasters that resulted from problems with autopilots and computerized systems.
S18, EP21 "Impact on the Rails"With its conductors sound asleep, a freight train fails to stop and collides with an oncoming train, resulting in tragedy.
S14, EP2 "Fatal Friction"Human flaws cause three plane crashes in England, Colorado and Minnesota.
S14, EP9 "Deadly Disturbance"How routine flights can turn catastrophic in mere seconds when the pilots become distracted.
S14, EP8 "Controversial Crashes"Seeing how international investigative teams must overcome differences to solve controversial plane crashes.
S19, EP2 "Missed Opportunities"[EPG Series] History's most terrifying air disasters, and the investigations that followed, are revisited and reexamined.
S20, EP9 "Radio Silence"The business jet carrying PGA golfer Payne Stewart and former Alabama football quarterback crashes; how loss of pressurization and structural failure led to this crash and the deadliest aviation accidents in both Greek and Taiwanese history.
S17, EP9 "Turboprop Terror"When a turboprop stalls and crashes into a North Carolina forest, investigators resort to a risky test flight-and uncover an industry-wide safety problem.
S14, EP4 "No Control"Three crashes occur as pilots battle against their sophisticated aircraft.
S14, EP5 "Explosive Clues"A look at three commercial planes that became targets over the Sinai Desert, the Sea of Japan, and Ukraine.
S14, EP6 "Killer in the Cockpit?"A look at commercial flights that ended in disaster because of suicidal pilots.
S14, EP7 "Missing Pieces"Following three air crash investigations in which examiners are pushed to the limit to crack the cases.
S19, EP5 "Control Catastrophe"
S19, EP6 "Cockpit Catastrophe"After pilots miraculously land an out-of-control plane in Portugal, investigators must determine how the freshly serviced aircraft was released with a fatal flaw.
S19, EP7 "Dream Flight Disaster"When a British tycoon and his family die in a 2017 Australian seaplane crash, investigators spend over two years searching for the reason behind the tragedy.
S14, EP1 "Communication Breakdown"A look at three deadly air disasters that were caused by misunderstandings between pilots and air traffic controllers.
S19, EP9 "Delivery to Disaster"History's most terrifying air disasters, and the investigations that followed, are revisited and reexamined.
S18, EP13 "Blow Out"A cockpit window on British Airways Flight blows out, partially ejecting and injuring the captain; the co-pilot completes an emergency landing.
S18, EP11 "Cutting Corners"The 2000 crash of an Alaska Airlines plane just off the California coast leads to a disturbing discovery about the company's cost-cutting procedures.
S20, EP18 "Courage in the Cockpit"Devastating failures in the air put pilots to the test, and shine a light on three astonishing feats of flying.
S20, EP17 "Death from Above"Mid-air tragedies are particularly horrifying when they occur over a community, and rain terror on the people below.
S20, EP16 "Survivors"From the wreckage of three airplane crashes, survivors emerge to tell harrowing tales and provide critical data about what to do in an emergency.
S20, EP15 "Mountain Impact"Following three horrifying crashes, investigators uncover fatal flaws in the very operations designed to prevent aircraft from flying into mountains.
S20, EP14 "Lapse in Security"Three horrific aviation disasters are all linked to breakdowns in vital security measures.
S20, EP13 "VIP on Board"Airplane crashes involving high-profile passengers put added pressure on investigators.
S20, EP12 "Instrument Confusion"When critical instruments in the cockpit can't be trusted, the consequences can be fatal.
S20, EP11 "Heat of the Moment"Featuring captivating reenactments and state-of-the-art CGI, Air Crash Investigation uncovers the truth behind the most legendary aviation disasters of all time.
S20, EP10 "Design Flaws"When former race car driver Niki Lauda's planes nosedives into a Thai jungle, a one-in-a-million failure reveals a weak spot in every Boeing 767. Radio silence between pilots and air traffic controllers send investigators hunting for answers.
S20, EP7 "Runway in Sight"If pilots aren't prepared when the runway is in sight, a landing can quickly become a tragedy.
S20, EP5 "Fuel Trouble"History's most terrifying air disasters, and the investigations that followed, are revisited and reexamined.
S19, EP10 "Mystery Over the Mediterranean"History's most terrifying air disasters, and the investigations that followed, are revisited and reexamined.
S19, EP4 "Power Play"History's most terrifying air disasters, and the investigations that followed, are revisited and reexamined.
S18, EP18 "Missing Over New York"Avianca Flight 52 is delayed numerous times by bad weather en route and is dangerously low on fuel as it attempts a landing at New York City.
S18, EP17 "Lost"An American Airlines Flight en route to Cali, Colombia loses their exact position and flies into a mountain.
S18, EP10 "Flying Blind"A cleaning crew makes a careless error while cleaning a Boeing 757, affecting the plane's computer system and causing it to crash into the Pacific Ocean.
S18, EP9 "Fire on Board"A Swissair passenger jet catches fire midflight and crashes into the Atlantic, leading to one of the largest investigations in aviation history.
S18, EP8 "Racing the Storm"An MD-82 crash lands in Arkansas during a severe thunderstorm, but investigators believe weather was not the main reason for the accident.
S18, EP7 "Unlocking Disaster"A 747's cargo door opens at 23,000 feet, causing an explosive decompression that ejects nine passengers from the plane.
S18, EP6 "Who's In Control"Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 stalls and crashes less than a mile from the runway while approaching Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
S18, EP5 "Hudson River Runway"US Airways Flight 1549 suffers a bird strike with a flock of Canada geese, causing both engines to fail.
S18, EP4 "Dead Tired"Colgan Air Flight 3407 stalls at low altitude and dives into a residential area near Buffalo, New York.
S18, EP3 "Pilot Betrayed"Following the story of the Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 and Captain Rasmussen.
S18, EP2 "The Heathrow Enigma"A British Airways Flight's engines failure to respond cause the plane to crash-land just short of the runway.
S18, EP1 "Cockpit Failure"Bad weather and a series of errors lead to the 2001 crash of a plane on its approach to Zurich Airport.
S17, EP3 "Stealth Bomber Down"When a USAF stealth bomber crashes after takeoff, investigators search for a reason.
S17, EP2 "Peril Over Portugal"On December 21, 1992, Martinair Flight 495 crashes off the right side of the runway while attempting to land at Faro Airport in Faro, Portugal, in severe weather conditions, killing 56 of the 340 people on board.
S17, EP1 "Holding Pattern"Flydubai Flight 981 enters a rapid descent and crashes nose-first at Rostov-on-Don Airport in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, after aborting its second landing attempt in poor weather conditions.
S16, EP10 "Deadly Delivery"UPS Airlines Flight 1354 clips the tops of trees and crashes into a hillside about one nautical mile short of the runway during final approach to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama.
S16, EP9 "Seconds From Touchdown"Facing a cascade of failures and a fire on board, a turboprop is just seconds from landing when it flips over and crashes.
S16, EP8 "Caught in a Jam"When a commuter turboprop crashes onto hilly terrain in New Zealand, a search for answers ensues.
S16, EP7 "Mission Disaster"After losing two engines near enemy territory, U.S. Air Force pilots abort their refueling mission and try to land their damaged plane.
S16, EP6 "Meltdown Over Kathmandu"Landing at one of the world's most challenging airports, a passenger plane comes in like a fighter jet and crashes, killing 51 of the 71 people aboard.
S16, EP5 "Cabin Catastrophe"A Boeing 737 is rocked by a midair explosion that challenges its pilots and nearly ejects a passenger out of a blown-out window.
S16, EP4 "Grounded: Boeing Max 8"Indonesian investigators must determine why a Boeing 737 Max 8 -- one of the world's best-selling new airplanes -- plunged into the Java Sea.
S16, EP3 "Tragic Takeoff"When a twin-engine jet careens off the runway in Kentucky, investigators must determine why the plane failed to take off.
S16, EP2 "Playing Catch Up"A private jet attempting to compensate for a late approach to the airport, slams into an Ohio apartment building just a couple of miles from the runway.
S16, EP1 "North Sea Nightmare"A modern turboprop nosedives towards the North Sea after being struck by lightning, an unusual feature in the plane may explain why.
S15, EP10 "Stormy Cockpit"Pilots leaving Cameroon steer their plane clear of a storm, but the aircraft begins rolling to the right, and they are unable to regain control.
S15, EP9 "Cockpit Killer"When an African airliner mysteriously crashes, Namibian investigators have to rule out a host of possible causes before reaching a their conclusion.
S15, EP8 "No Warning"Investigators must figure out why the safety systems of a turboprop plane failed to prevent a crash into an Indonesian mountain.
S15, EP7 "Atlantic Ditching"A helicopter carrying offshore drilling workers crashes into the ocean, leading to an investigation that reveals a fatal flaw in the chopper's design.
S15, EP6 "Icy Descent"After experiencing icing conditions, a turboprop slams into an Argentine desert; investigators are mystified by what they uncover.
S15, EP5 "Runway Breakup"Caught in a major tropical storm, a 737 crashes just short of the runway on a Caribbean island, but the accident may not have been weather-related.
S15, EP4 "Taxiway Turmoil"A departing DC-9 in Detroit gets lost in the fog and ends up in the path of an oncoming 727.
S15, EP3 "Explosive Touchdown"Determining why a Taiwanese commuter plane is rocked by a massive explosion after touch down.
S15, EP2 "Impossible Pitch"Experts investigate the West Air Sweden Flight 294 crash and how the cargo jet nosedived into the Swedish Arctic at speeds nearing 600 mph.
S15, EP1 "Kathmandu Descent"A challenging descent in the Himalayas turns tragic when the pilots miscalculate their approach to a Kathmandu airport.
S13, EP10 "Slam Dunk"A quick trip from Washington D.C. to Ohio in 1994 turns deadly when pilots of a twin-engine turboprop attempt a risky landing.
S13, EP9 "Soccer Tragedy"A plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes just ten miles from the airport in 2016.
S13, EP8 "Lethal Limits"An investigation into a jet crash from 2008 leads to a drastic change into the Russian aviation system.
S13, EP7 "Runway Runoff"A passenger plane veers off the runway in Denver sparking an investigation into the airport's proximity to the Rocky Mountains.
S13, EP6 "Fatal Climb"A commercial airliner crashes minutes after taking off from an airport in Bucharest causing suspicions to rise.
S13, EP5 "Deadly Pitch"An anonymous tip helps uncover the cause of a cargo plane crash in Miami.
S13, EP3 "Fatal Approach"A false warning in the cockpit triggers a series of pilot errors, sending a commuter plane crashing by the runway of an Amsterdam airport.
S13, EP2 "Death Race"When a modified WWII fighter plane crashes into the crowd at a Nevada air show, investigators struggle to find the cause.
S13, EP1 "Deadly Descent"When an airbus A330 loses both engines, its pilots must think of a solution before they crash into the South China Sea.
S12, EP10 "Dead of Winter"An investigation into Continental Airlines Flight 1713, which crashed on takeoff from Denver during a snowstorm in 1987, changes commercial flight forever.
S11, EP10 "The Lost Plane"Investigators struggle to understand the unusual flight path and Himalayan crash site of Thai Airways Flight 311.
S11, EP9 "Deadly Discussions"A shocking error in the cockpit causes the crash of a 737 on takeoff and leaves an entire nation reeling.
S11, EP8 "Terror Over Egypt"When a plane carrying Russian tourists crashes in Egypt, investigators face political tensions and terrorist claims in their search for the truth.
S11, EP7 "Caught on Tape"The dashcam of a passing car captures stunning footage of the final moments of a Taiwanese commuter aircraft as it banks steeply, clips an elevated highway and nosedives into the river; investigators find no signs of pre-impact malfunction.
S11, EP6 "Storming Out"On its final approach to Charlotte, N.C., US Air Flight 1016 is engulfed in intense rain obstructing the view from the cockpit; the pilots abort the landing, but the aircraft crashes to earth, hurtling along a road and breaking apart.
S11, EP5 "Lethal Turn"Garuda Indonesia Flight 152 crashes into mountainous woodlands while trying to land at Polonia International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, in low visibility.
S11, EP4 "The Turning Point"A Boeing 767 crashes miles from a South Korean runway; the investigation leads to contradicting stories between the surviving pilot and air traffic control.
S11, EP3 "Deadly Myth"The crash of a commuter flight to Detroit leads investigators to a cause the industry has known about for years.
S11, EP2 "Killer Attitude"The pairing of a domineering pilot and an inexperienced first officer has deadly consequences in northern Minnesota.
S11, EP1 "Explosive Proof"The inside story of one of history's most infamous and complex investigations: the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800.
S10, EP10 "Afghan Nightmare"When a cargo plane crashes at a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan, investigators reach a conclusion that ultimately proves incorrect.
S10, EP9 "Deadly Solution"Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 stalls and crashes into the Java Sea while flying through a thunderstorm.
S10, EP8 "River Runway"Pilots attempt to land their Boeing 737 in an Indonesian river after losing their engines and electrical power.
S10, EP7 "Murder in the Skies"When Germanwings Flight 9525 crashes in the French Alps, investigators discover shocking truths about the co-pilot's mental health.
S10, EP6 "Dangerous Approach"A Colorado commuter flight crashes five miles short of the runway, and the reasons why rock the airline industry.
S10, EP5 "Deadly Detour"The crew of a commuter flight over France makes a sightseeing detour that sets off a deadly chain of events.
S10, EP4 "Deadly Detail"After a seemingly routine landing, a Boeing 737 erupts in flames, putting 165 debarking passengers and crew in jeopardy.
S10, EP3 "Disaster at Tenerife"Two 747s collide on the runway of a small airport in the Canary Islands, resulting in history's deadliest air crash.
S10, EP2 "The Pentagon Attack"The FBI and NTSB join forces to determine how terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and flew it into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
S10, EP1 "Deadly Silence"Investigators try to figure out why a private Learjet carrying golf legend Payne Stewart went rogue before crashing in a South Dakota hayfield.
S9, EP10 "Deadly Mission"A new investigation sheds light on the controversial 1961 plane crash that killed U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.
S9, EP9 "Edge of Disaster"Atlantic Airways Flight 670 careened off the runway and became engulfed in flames.
S9, EP8 "Steep Impact"When the crash of a commuter plane in Georgia killed a NASA astronaut, a four-term U.S. senator and 21 others, the disaster grabbed headlines around the world.
S9, EP7 "Deadly Delay"Almost immediately after taking off from Madrid International Airport, Spanair Flight 5022 banked to the right, slammed into a creek and burst into flames.
S9, EP6 "Carnage in Sao Paolo"TAM flight 402 slammed into a residential neighborhood and burst into flames, just seconds after lifting off from Congonhas airport in São Paulo, Brazil, killing all 95 people on board and three people on the ground.
S9, EP5 "Fatal Delivery"The two-man crew of a UPS cargo jet must attempt an emergency landing when a fire in the cargo hold fills their cockpit with smoke.
S9, EP4 "Fatal Focus"When a 737 careens off the runway in Indonesia, investigators uncover a shocking explanation for the crash.
S9, EP3 "High Rise Catastrophe"A large cargo jet slices into an apartment complex in Amsterdam and reveals a potentially lethal problem threatening every 747 in the sky.
S9, EP2 "Terror in San Francisco"The 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco shocks the nation.
S9, EP1 "Fatal Transmission"A runway collision at a small airport turns tragic when passengers cannot escape the burning aircraft.
S8, EP5 "The Final Push"Investigators try to find the cause of two similar air crashes that happened nearly 12 years apart.
S8, EP2 "Testing the Limits"On 26 May 1991, the thrust reverser on the number one engine of Lauda Air Flight 004 deploys in flight without being commanded, causing the aircraft to spiral out of control, disintegrate, and crash about 100 miles northwest of Bangkok.
S8, EP1 "Choosing Sides"British Midland Flight 92 slams into Britain's busy M1 motorway and it seems like a rare case of dual engine failure, but investigators learn the real cause was a tragic misunderstanding.
S7, EP10 "Ghost Plane"Investigators try to solve the mystery of a plane whose captain and co-pilot are missing.
S7, EP9 "Vertigo"On January 3, 2004, Flash Airlines Flight 604 banks to the right just after takeoff and crashes into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people on board.
S7, EP8 "Fog of War"A U.S. military plane veers off course and flies into a mountain while attempting to land at Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia in heavy fog, killing all 35 people on board.
S7, EP7 "Out of Sight"A 1986 midair crash between planes near Los Angeles brings attention to disturbing congestion at airports.
S7, EP6 "Panic Over the Pacific"A miraculous rescue is launched after a 747 plummets toward the Pacific.
S7, EP5 "Hidden Danger"In 1991, a Boeing 737 operating as United Airlines Flight 585 suddenly rolls into a dive and crashes within eight seconds, killing all 25 people on board.
S7, EP4 "Missed Approach"A plane crash lands in Guam after losing sight of the airport in a storm.
S7, EP2 "Falling From the Sky"A British Airways flight to Australia in 1982 crashes into the Indian Ocean.
S7, EP1 "Miracle Escape"Passengers and crew escape a jet that skid off the runway before catching fire.
S6, EP10 "Ocean Landing"Pilots aboard a hijacked plane are forced to attempt an emergency landing at sea.
S6, EP9 "Kid in the Cockpit"A pilot's decision to let his 15-year-old son fly has disastrous consequences on a commercial flight.
S6, EP8 "Death and Denial"In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean while flying from New York City to Cairo, killing all 217 people on board; however, the cause of the crash is disputed.
S6, EP7 "Helicopter Down"A helicopter carrying oil workers to an offshore drilling platform crashes.
S6, EP6 "Mistaken Identity"The captain of a Navy cruiser must quickly determine if an approaching plane is friendly.
S6, EP5 "Bomb on Board"In 1994 on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, a terrorist bombing requires a daring emergency landing.
S6, EP4 "Fight for Your Life"Three FedEx employees must regain control of their plane when a coworker attacks them in midair.
S6, EP3 "Out of Control"A simple error years prior causes the deadliest single-plane crash in history.
S6, EP2 "Attack Over Baghdad"A surface-to-air missile cripples a cargo plane after it takes off from Baghdad International Airport.
S6, EP1 "Hanging by a Thread"A roof tears off a plane at 24,000 feet in the sky of an Aloha Airlines 737.
S5, EP11 "Titanic in the Sky"On 4 November 2010, shortly after takeoff from Singapore, the number-two engine on Qantas Flight 32 partially disintegrates, causing serious damage to its left wing.
S5, EP10 "Terror in Paradise"On 9 August 2007, Air Moorea Flight 1121 crashes shortly after taking off from Moorea Airport in French Polynesia, killing all 19 passengers and the pilot.
S5, EP9 "Getting Out Alive"Air accident survival stories; keeping passengers and crews alive when disaster strikes.
S5, EP8 "Imperfect Pitch"On 27 November 2008, an aircraft on a post-maintenance test flight operating as XL Airways Germany Flight 888T stalls and crashes into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of France, killing all seven people on board.
S5, EP7 "Massacre Over The Mediterranean"On 27 June 1980, Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 crashes into the Tyrrhenian Sea near the island of Ustica, Italy; all 81 people on board are killed.
S5, EP6 "Into the Eye of the Storm"On 15 September 1989, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aircraft tasked with intercepting Hurricane Hugo over the Caribbean islands is jolted by strong winds, causing an engine to catch fire and fail.
S5, EP5 "Queens Catastrophe"On 12 November 2001, just two months after the September 11 attacks, American Airlines Flight 587 spirals out of control shortly after taking off from John F. Kennedy Airport and crashes into Queens.
S5, EP4 "Tragedy on the Potomac"On 13 January 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 stalls at 300 feet altitude, strikes a road bridge and crashes into the Potomac River, killing 78 people.
S5, EP3 "Lost in Translation"On 10 January 2000, Crossair Flight 498 crashes just two minutes after takeoff from Zürich, Switzerland, while heading for Dresden, Germany, killing all 10 people on board.
S5, EP2 "Speed Trap"A deadly midair collision between a commercial airliner and a F-4 Phantom reveals a lack of communication.
S5, EP1 "Fight to the Death"On 18 June 1972, British European Airways Flight 548 stalls and crashes in a field near Staines shortly after takeoff from London Heathrow Airport, killing all 118 people on board.
S4, EP13 "Vanished"On 1 June 2009, Air France Flight 447 stalls and crashes into the Atlantic Ocean while flying through a thunderstorm, killing all 228 people on board.
S4, EP12 "Seconds to Survive"On 21 February 2008, Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518 strays off course and flies into the side of a mountain shortly after takeoff.
S4, EP11 "Subtle Incapacitation"The 2010 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 sparks rumors of terrorism.
S4, EP10 "Death of the President"Polish Air Force Flight 101, carrying the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria Kaczyńska and other top officials, crashes in a wooded area while on final approach to Smolensk North Airport in heavy fog and low visibility.
S4, EP9 "Hockey Team Tragedy"On 7 September 2011, YAK-Service Flight 9633, carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl professional ice hockey team, crashes shortly after takeoff at Yaroslavl, Russia, killing all but one of the 45 occupants.
S4, EP8 "Focused on Failure"On 28 December 1978, the crew of United Airlines Flight 173 are preoccupied with a landing gear problem as the aircraft circles in a holding pattern in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon. It runs out of fuel and crashes in a sparsely populated area.
S4, EP7 "Catastrophe at O'Hare"On 25 May 1979, the number-one engine on American Airlines Flight 191 detaches moments after taking off from Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The aircraft banks to the left and crashes into an open field, killing all 271 people on board.
S4, EP6 "Grand Canyon"United Airlines Flight 718 and Trans World Airlines Flight 2 collide in mid-air over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people on both aircraft.
S4, EP4 "Pushed to the Limit"SilkAir Flight 185 crashes into the Musi River in Indonesia after abruptly diving from its cruise altitude.
S4, EP3 "Caution to the Wind"On 31 October 2000, Singapore Airlines Flight 006 collides with construction equipment at Chiang Kai Shek airport in Taipei while attempting to take off on the wrong runway in a typhoon, killing 83 of the 179 people on board.
S4, EP2 "Fire in the Hold"Moments after takeoff, a plane sustains electrical failures and crashes in the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
S4, EP1 "Fight for Control"A propeller breaks off and rips a hole in the fuselage of an aircraft en route from Alaska to Washington 19,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.
S3, EP11 "Nowhere to Land"Pilots of TACA Flight 110 make a remarkable landing on a narrow levee, but investigators must find out why the engines in a brand new plane failed.
S3, EP10 "Split Decision"Arrow Air Flight 1285 with 248 American soldiers on board crashes seconds after refueling in Newfoundland.
S3, EP9 "Bad Attitude"Korean Air Cargo Flight 8509 crashes shortly after take off from London Stansted Airport on December 22, 1999.
S3, EP8 "The Invisible Plane"SAS Flight 686 takes off from Milan's Linate Airport and moments later collides with a Cessna on the runway.
S3, EP7 "Under Pressure"On July 11, 1991, the crew of Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 unsuccessfully tries to return to the airport after a burst tire creates an in-flight fire which causes 247 Nigerian pilgrims and 14 crew to perish.
S3, EP6 "Break Up Over Texas"Near the end of its flight, Continental Express Flight 2574 suffers wing damage and goes into a dive falling out of the sky.
S3, EP5 "Turning Point"A Northwest Airlines flight cruises above the Bering Sea before problems develop and pilots must make an emergency landing in Anchorage.
S3, EP4 "Impossible Landing"A shocking look at the fate of United Airlines Flight 232 which crashed into Sioux City's runway in 1989 causing a subsequent explosion that left 111 people dead.
S3, EP3 "I'm the Problem"Moments before Pacific Southwest Flight 1771 crashes on a cattle ranch in California, gunshots are heard in the cabin.
S3, EP2 "Mayday Munich"A plane with members of the Manchester United football team crashes while heading home from Yugoslavia, killing 23 aboard.
S3, EP1 "Blind Spot"In 1978, PSA Flight 182 collides with a Cessna and crashes into a San Diego residential area killing everyone on both planes and seven people on the ground.
S2, EP12 "Deadly Reputation"On July 17, 2007, TAM Airlines Flight 3054 slides off runway 35L at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil, and crashes at high speed into a warehouse adjacent to a petrol station killing nearly 200 people.
S2, EP11 "The Plane That Flew Too High"West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 crashes down killing 160 people in 2005 ultimately leading to the bankruptcy of the troubled airline.
S2, EP10 "Cleared for Disaster"An air traffic controller's mistake causes a Boeing 737 to land on a runway already occupied by another aircraft.
S2, EP9 "The Final Blow"An Air Inter flight crashes into the Vosges Mountains while attempting to land killing most of the 96 passengers.
S2, EP8 "System Breakdown"Five aviation disasters and the changes they have forced air-traffic controllers to make.
S2, EP7 "Pilot vs. Plane"Air France Flight 296 fails to regain altitude after performing a flyby during an air show at Mulhouse-Habsheim Airport.
S2, EP6 "Cold Case"Two similar plane crashes in Ontario and New York prompt an investigation which determines that the source of the crashes was due to a design flaw on the wings of the planes, both Fokker F28s.
S2, EP5 "Alarming Silence"Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashes shortly after take-off in Detroit in 1987 proving to be one of the worst aviation disasters in American history.
S2, EP4 "Panic on the Runway"On August 22nd, 1985, 55 people died aboard British Airtours flight 28M when its engine catches fire as it accelerates.
S2, EP3 "Cruel Skies"The U.S. Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, Mo., and the importance of accurate weather forecasting to the aviation industry.
S2, EP2 "Target Is Destroyed"During the Cold War, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by a fighter jet when it violates Soviet airspace.
S2, EP1 "Cracks in the System"Chalk's Ocean Airways flight 101 crashes just after take-off from Watson Island in Miami on December 19, 2005, killing 20 people.
S1, EP10 "Phantom Strike"In September 2006, a brand-new Legacy business jet collides with a Boeing 737 over the Amazon Rain Forest.
S1, EP9 "Fatal Distraction"Pilots of Eastern Airline Flight 401 try to determine why both landing-gear lights do not function, tragically distracting them.
S1, EP7 "Explosive Evidence"A bomb explodes on Air India Flight 182 en route from Canada to India causing it to disintegrate over the coast of Ireland.
S1, EP6 "Southern Storm"Pilots of Southern Airways Flight 242 must try to land on a Georgia highway after the engines die and the windshield shatters.
S1, EP4 "Fanning the Flames"A complex recovery operation is launched to find out if a 747 which disappeared into the Indian Ocean was carrying illegal weapons.
S1, EP3 "Behind Closed Doors"A design fault leads to an explosion on a DC-10 and two years later the same design fault causes another tragedy.
S1, EP2 "Gimli Glider"A pilot heads for a decommissioned air force base when the Boeing 767 jet he is flying unexpectedly runs out of fuel.
Statistically, traveling by airplane is safer than driving and other forms of transportation, but when something goes wrong during a flight, it can be catastrophic with potentially hundreds of lives at stake. This series examines some of the world's worst air disasters, using official reports, transcripts and interviews with people involved to tell the stories of midair mishaps and discover what went wrong in each case. Episodes include a discussion of how the weather affects flights -- including stories of aviation disasters and near-misses -- and a New Year's Eve flight that fell from the sky into the Florida Everglades.
Original Air Date: Sep 3, 2003
Genres: DocuseriesTV Series
Rating: TV14
Playback: HD
19 seasons available on demand (163 episodes)
Available on
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