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Air Disasters

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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.

Latest episodes

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Investigators try to figure out why a private Learjet carrying golf legend Payne Stewart went rogue before crashing in a South Dakota hayfield.
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The crash of a commuter flight to Detroit leads investigators to a cause the industry has known about for years.
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A new investigation sheds light on the controversial 1961 plane crash that killed U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.
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The pairing of a domineering pilot and an inexperienced first officer has deadly consequences in northern Minnesota.
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A high-stakes demonstration flight in Indonesia turns catastrophic when a Russian jet slams into a mountain.
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Atlantic Airways Flight 670 careened off the runway and became engulfed in flames.
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The inside story of one of history's most infamous and complex investigations: the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800.
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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.
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When a cargo plane crashes at a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan, investigators reach a conclusion that ultimately proves incorrect.
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Almost immediately after taking off from Madrid International Airport, Spanair Flight 5022 banked to the right, slammed into a creek and burst into flames.
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When John F. Kennedy Jr.'s Piper Saratoga crashed in 1999, the NTSB faces enormous pressure to find the wreckage and the cause.
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A captain's decision leads to a deadly stall over the Java Sea.
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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.
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Pilots attempt to land their Boeing 737 in an Indonesian river after losing their engines and electrical power.
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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.
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When Germanwings Flight 9525 crashes in the French Alps, investigators discover shocking truths about the co-pilot's mental health.
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When a commercial airliner goes down in eastern Ukraine in 2014, examiners must conduct an investigation in the middle of a war zone.
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When a 737 careens off the runway in Indonesia, investigators uncover a shocking explanation for the crash.
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A Colorado commuter flight crashes five miles short of the runway, and the reasons why rock the airline industry.
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A large cargo jet slices into an apartment complex in Amsterdam and reveals a potentially lethal problem threatening every 747 in the sky.
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The crew of a commuter flight over France makes a sightseeing detour that sets off a deadly chain of events.

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