8.1
24 votes
Air Disasters

Air Disasters

Smithsonian Channel 2011

Harrowing stories of tragedy and triumph are brought to life through official reports, transcripts and interviews with the pilots, air traffic controllers and lucky survivors of history's most terrifying crashes. Widely considered to be the safest form of travel, air transportation is still in its infancy and when midair calamity strikes, the results are often catastrophic. From the cockpit to the cabin, from the control room to the crash scene, we uncover just what went wrong.

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The 10 Worst Episodes of Air Disasters

#1 - Kathmandu Descent

0.00

Season 15 - Episode 1

Witness the final minutes of PIA Flight 268 and discover why it crashed into a mountain just minutes from landing.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#2 - Impossible Pitch

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Season 15 - Episode 2

Witness the doomed flight of a West Air Sweden jet and see how the failure of a single instrument led to catastrophe.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#3 - Taxiway Turmoil

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Season 15 - Episode 4

Follow the investigation to see how a DC-9 ended up on the wrong runway and in the path of an oncoming 727.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#4 - Runway Breakup

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Season 15 - Episode 5

Landing on a Caribbean island in a severe tropical storm, a Colombian airliner crashes short of the runway. Investigators need to find out why.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#5 - Icy Descent

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Season 15 - Episode 6

Investigators are stumped when a turboprop slams into an Argentine desert, and it's a microscopic filament that provides the first tangible clue.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#6 - Atlantic Ditching

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Season 15 - Episode 7

A helicopter carrying offshore oil workers crashes into the ocean off the coast of Newfoundland and a far-reaching investigation reveals a fatal flaw.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#7 - No Warning

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Season 15 - Episode 8

Investigators are stumped when a turboprop crashes into an Indonesian mountaintop.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#8 - Cockpit Killer

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Season 15 - Episode 9

When an African airliner mysteriously crashes, Namibian investigators rule out a host of possible causes before reaching a chilling conclusion.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#9 - Stormy Cockpit

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Season 15 - Episode 10

A brand-new 737 falls from the sky over West Africa during a major storm, but investigators eventually discover weather had nothing to do with it.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#10 - Ocean Landing

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Season 6 - Episode 11

The story of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, which was hijacked while on a routine trip to the Ivory Coast. The hijackers demanded to be taken to Australia, but there was one problem: the plane didn't have enough fuel to make the trip.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#11 - No Control
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Season 14 - Episode 4

Some of aviation's worst disasters involved the world's most advanced passenger planes. Often, the calamities are caused by a breakdown in trust between the pilots and their highly automated aircraft, turning the cockpit into a struggle of pilot versus machine. Investigate three crashes where experienced pilots lost control of their high-tech planes, including a commercial jet crash that went down at an air show, an Airbus A320 flight test gone wrong, and a modern airliner that dropped from the sky and slammed into the Atlantic.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#12 - Controversial Crashes
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Season 14 - Episode 8

When planes crash, the pressure is on investigators to uncover what happened. That pressure increases dramatically when the case involves high-profile victims or when examiners disagree about the cause of the accident. Witness three controversial air disasters: a 1958 failed takeoff that wiped out the Manchester United soccer team; the 1985 tragedy of Arrow Air Flight 1285, which killed 248 U.S. soldiers heading home for the holidays; and the 2010 crash that claimed the life of Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#13 - Ghost Plane
0.00
Season 7 - Episode 10

The case of Helios Airways 737, in which a passenger flight circling Athens fails to respond to air-traffic controllers.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#14 - Choosing Sides
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Season 7 - Episode 11

The crash of a 737-400 on a busy motorway is investigated.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#15 - Testing the Limits
0.00
Season 7 - Episode 12

The first-ever 767 plane crash in history: Lauda Air flight 004.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 0 votes.

#16 - Hanging by a Thread
5.00
Season 6 - Episode 1

The 1988 flight of Aloha Airlines Flight 243, which saw the top of its fuselage torn off due to an explosive decompression, is recalled.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 3 votes.

#17 - Explosive Touchdown
6.00
Season 15 - Episode 3

Most passengers relax after their plane touches down, but when Uni Air Flight 873 landed, that's when the terror began.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 1 votes.

#18 - Deadly Inclination
6.40
Season 12 - Episode 8

A DC-9 lines up for a nighttime landing at Zurich's Kloten Airport. Although the pilots can't see the runway, their navigation instruments indicate the plane is locked onto the proper signal from the airport. But the equipment is wrong. The plane is actually flying more than a thousand feet lower than it should. Discover the series of errors that caused Alitalia Flight 404 to plow into the ground six miles short of its destination.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 5 votes.

#19 - Deadly Discussions
6.44
Season 11 - Episode 9

A 737 leaving Buenos Aires fails to lift off in August 1999, hurtling past the airport and crashing into a nearby industrial gas plant. Investigators from Argentina collaborate with the NTSB to determine what kept the plane from taking flight. What they discover points to a stunning conclusion that impacts the Argentinean airline industry. Revisit the tragedy of LAPA Flight 3142 and discover why an experienced crew failed to execute a basic takeoff procedure.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 9 votes.

#20 - Panic Over the Pacific
6.50
Season 7 - Episode 6

The story of China Airlines Flight 006, which almost crashed into the Pacific Ocean after experiencing engine trouble. The investigation of the incident detailed how jet lag and lack of sleep can impact pilots.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Air Disasters from 2 votes.

Last updated: nov 20, 2020

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A little about me ๐Ÿ‘‹ I am a marketing student in Paris. I love spending afternoons with friends in a cafe or a park.

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