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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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An Alitalia airliner crashes into a forested hillside just a few miles from a Zurich runway.
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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.
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A computer glitch causes a highly automated Qantas Airways flight to nearly fall out of the sky.
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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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An Air France Concorde crashes into a Paris hotel after takeoff on July 25, 2000.
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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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A 1988 commercial flight crashes just moments after liftoff and erupts in flames.
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The investigation into the 2014 crash of a TransAsia flight uncovers a systemic problem with the airline.
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Forest fires and a series of human errors lead to the deadliest air disaster in Indonesian history.
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When an American cargo plane crashes moments after takeoff, investigators uncover a systemic problem with aircraft maintenance.
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Investigators struggle to understand the unusual flight path and Himalayan crash site of Thai Airways Flight 311.
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A shocking error in the cockpit causes the crash of a 737 on takeoff and leaves an entire nation reeling.
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When a plane carrying Russian tourists crashes in Egypt, investigators face political tensions and terrorist claims in their search for the truth.
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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.
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A Boeing 767 crashes miles from a South Korean runway; the investigation leads to contradicting stories between the surviving pilot and air traffic control.
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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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The pairing of a domineering pilot and an inexperienced first officer has deadly consequences in northern Minnesota.
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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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An investigation into Continental Airlines Flight 1713, which crashed on takeoff from Denver during a snowstorm in 1987, changes commercial flight forever.
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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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When an A300 stalls and crashes just before landing in Japan, fears arise about the plane's complex automated systems.

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