385 votes


Discovery 2003

Revealing the dark truth that aviation safety improves one crash at a time, Mayday investigates legendary aviation disasters to find out what went wrong and why. Based on cockpit voice recorders, accident reports and eyewitness accounts, every episode also features interviews, state-of-the-art CGI and gripping reenactments.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Mayday

Mayday - S4E2

#1 - Falling from the Sky (British Airways Flight 9)


Season 4 - Episode 2

Alternate title: "All Engines Failed" British Airways Flight 009, sometimes referred to as the Jakarta incident, was a scheduled British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Auckland, with stops in Bombay, Madras, Kuala Lumpur, Perth and Melbourne. On 24 June 1982, the route was being flown by City of Edinburgh, a 747-200 registered G-BDXH, when it flew into a cloud of dust and ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, and all four engines failed. The aircraft was able to glide far enough to exit the ash cloud, and three of the engines were restarted, allowing the flight to divert to Jakarta and perform a safe landing.

The episode was rated from 71 votes.

Mayday - S3E11

#2 - Collision Course


Season 3 - Episode 11

On 26 September 2000, waves push the MS Express Samina off course, causing it to hit a group of rocks off Paros and sink, killing 80 people. The ferry was on autopilot with the crew not monitoring the ship's course. Instead, they were watching an association football match.

The episode was rated from 38 votes.

Mayday - S11E6

#3 - Turning Point (Northwest Airlines Flight 85)


Season 11 - Episode 6

On 9 October 2002, Northwest Airlines Flight 85 is cruising above the Bering Sea before problems develop and pilots must make an emergency landing in Anchorage, Alaska.

The episode was rated from 62 votes.

Mayday - S12E7

#4 - Catastrophe at O'Hare (American Airlines, Flight 191)


Season 12 - Episode 7

On 25 May 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 lost its No.1 engine moments after take-off at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and crashed into a trailer park shortly thereafter. All 271 people on board the plane as well as two other people on the ground were killed making it the worst single-aircraft air disaster in United States history. AKA Catastrophe at O'Hare

The episode was rated from 68 votes.

Mayday - S12E12

#5 - 28 Seconds to Survive (Santa Bárbara Airlines, Flight 518)


Season 12 - Episode 12

On 21 February 2008, Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518 was operating as a scheduled domestic flight from Mérida, Venezuela to Caracas when it crashed into the side of a mountain shortly after takeoff. All 46 passengers and crew aboard the plane died.

The episode was rated from 56 votes.

Mayday - S12E13
#6 - Vanished (Air France, Flight 447)
Season 12 - Episode 13

On 1 June 2009, Air France Flight 447, a scheduled flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France, stalled and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while flying in a thunderstorm, killing all 216 passengers and 12 aircrew on board. The causes of the crash were incorrect airspeed readings due to ice blockage of the aircraft's pitot tubes, inappropriate control inputs and the pilots not taking recovery action until it was too late.

The episode was rated from 83 votes.
Mayday - S3E9
#7 - Kid in the Cockpit (Aeroflot Flight 593)
Season 3 - Episode 9

Aeroflot Flight 593 refers to an accident on March 23, 1994 in which an Aeroflot Airbus A310-304 passenger airliner, registration F-OGQS, crashed into a hillside in Siberia. The cockpit voice recorder revealed that the pilot's 15-year-old son, Eldar Kudrinsky, was initially at the controls when the incident began, and that he had unknowingly activated an automatic feature of the A310's autopilot that many pilots at the time were unfamiliar with. All 75 passengers and crew were killed.

The episode was rated from 53 votes.
Mayday - S11E13
#8 - Impossible Landing (United Airlines Flight 232)
Season 11 - Episode 13

On 19 July 1989, United Airlines Flight 232's DC-10 was crippled when an engine explodes causing serious damage to the vital hydraulics system causing the plane to go out of control. The plane managed to land at Sioux City but the plane erupted into a fireball shortly after.

The episode was rated from 65 votes.
Mayday - S13E4
#9 - Disaster on the Potomac (Air Florida, Flight 90)
Season 13 - Episode 4

Just after taking off, Air Florida Flight 90 plunges into the frozen Potomac River. It takes an ingenious experiment to uncover why it happened.

The episode was rated from 86 votes.
Mayday - S18E7
#10 - Free Fall (Qantas Flight 72)
Season 18 - Episode 7

In 2008, Qantas Flight 72 travelling from Singapore to Perth suddenly nosedives while over the Indian Ocean. With warnings flooding the cockpit and passengers being flung around, it’s up to an experienced fighter pilot to get the plane to safety.

The episode was rated from 52 votes.

Last updated: jan 20, 2022



It is an amazing documentary series that gives an insight on airplane accidents. Thoroughly presented offers an opportunity to learn about crashes that took place recently and about the preventative measure taken since to avoid similar tragedies. I recommended for those who can take it but should be avoided by those with a fear of flight...


I don't have anything to add on the comments of the latter two. Watching this show is an eye-opening experience for everyone whether you're interested in aviation or not. Very emotional documentary series; so emotional that few episodes almost made me cry. I will give 10 points to this show - I don't have to hesitate.


One of the best documentary series. The mixture of eye witness accounts, original footage and re-enacment makes this a thrill to watch. Also this is highly informative because of the detailed explanations why those accidents happened.

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I am Sophie and this is my website.

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

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I must have watched hundreds of shows by now, from romance to science-fiction series. Often I like to go back to a show I enjoyed. But I don’t feel like watching it all over again…

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