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Mayday: Air Disaster

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Catastrophic incidents in aviation history are meticulously re-enacted, providing insight into what went wrong and if the crashes and near-disasters could have been prevented. Accounts from survivors combine with cockpit recordings and computer images to weave the gripping tales, and expert testimony reveals the hows and whys behind the events, some of which have resulted in important changes to aviation safety and regulations.

Latest episodes

aired today
In the worst U.S. crash in more than seven years, a Buffalo-bound flight stalls and plummets into a suburban home in 2009.
aired 1 day ago
Investigators discover a shocking mistake when pilots must ditch their plane in the Mediterranean, killing 14 of the 34 passengers.
aired 1 day ago
After taking off from Taiwan, a China Airlines 747 suddenly disappears from radar and crashes, killing 225 people.
aired 1 day ago
Experts face a tricky investigation into the crash of TANS Peru Flight 204 after key evidence is looted from the crash site.
aired 1 day ago
A ValuJet bursts into flames and crashes in the Florida Everglades which reignites a controversy that rocks the FAA.
aired 1 day ago
Following a fatal crash in treacherous conditions at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek airport, investigators make a shocking discovery on the runway.
aired 1 day ago
Experts investigate the collision of two planes over the Grand Canyon in 1956, uncovering a frightening problem that threatened the entire aviation system.
airs in 6 days
When an alarm warns the pilots of Flight 518 that they are dangerously close to the ground, the aircraft suddenly smashes into a mountain.
airs in 13 days
With the wreckage lost in the Atlantic Ocean, the crash of Air France Flight 447 in 2009 launched one of the toughest disaster investigations of all time.
aired 71 days ago
A design flaw sends American Eagle Flight 41-84 smashing into a cornfield outside of Chicago, killing all 68 people on board.
airs in 6 days
SilkAir Flight 185 en route to Singapore crashed into the Musi River in Indonesia after abruptly plunging from its 35,000 feet cruising altitude, killing all 97 passengers on board.
airs in 13 days
On May 25, 1979, Flight 191 crashes into a trailer park moments after takeoff; 271 people aboard were killed.
aired 202 days ago
A look at the frightening crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 in 2010; after ruling out terrorists, investigators came to a highly controversial conclusion.
airs in 6 days
When Polish President Lech Kaczynski is killed in a plane crash, investigators discover that this was not simply a pilot error.
airs in 13 days
Investigation into the 2011 air disaster that killed an entire top-flight Russian ice hockey team.
airs in 6 days
Experts investigate the shocking crash of United Airlines Flight 173 in which all four engines failed resulting in the death of ten people in Oregon.
airs in 6 days
Internal US flight loses a propeller 19,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.
airs in 13 days
The tragic circumstances surrounding the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 by terrorists.
airs in 6 days
Adam Air Flight 574 crashes into the Java Sea after leaving Indonesia on New Year's Day 2007.
airs in 13 days
British Airways' flight number 38 suffers from double engine failure and crashes near Heathrow in 2008.
airs in 13 days
Minutes before they're scheduled to land in Zurich, the pilots of a routine passenger flight can't find the runway. They abort and power up the engines in order to climb, but they are too late.

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