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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

airs today
Adam Air Flight 574 crashes into the Java Sea after leaving Indonesia on New Year's Day 2007.
aired 5 days ago
Investigators discover a shocking mistake when pilots must ditch their plane in the Mediterranean, killing 14 of the 34 passengers.
aired 5 days ago
British Airways' flight number 38 suffers from double engine failure and crashes near Heathrow in 2008.
aired 5 days ago
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.
aired 5 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 1 day
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.
airs in 1 day
Experts face a tricky investigation into the crash of TANS Peru Flight 204 after key evidence is looted from the crash site.
airs in 1 day
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 1 day
Following a fatal crash in treacherous conditions at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek airport, investigators make a shocking discovery on the runway.
airs in 1 day
A ValuJet bursts into flames and crashes in the Florida Everglades which reignites a controversy that rocks the FAA.
airs in 1 day
Internal US flight loses a propeller 19,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.
aired 6 days ago
Saudi Airways and Kazakhstan Airlines jets hit each other at 14,000 feet sending both planes spiraling to the ground.
aired 12 days ago
Tragic story from the Vietnam War when over 250 children, who were being airlifted to safety on a US Air Force C5A Galaxy, died in a mysterious explosion.
aired 12 days ago
In September 1989, Partnair Flight 394 crashed into the sea killing all 55 people on board.
airs today
The tragic circumstances surrounding the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 by terrorists.
aired 12 days ago
After taking off from Taiwan, a China Airlines 747 suddenly disappears from radar and crashes, killing 225 people.
airs in 2 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 2 days
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 2 days
When Polish President Lech Kaczynski is killed in a plane crash, investigators discover that this was not simply a pilot error.
airs in 2 days
Investigation into the 2011 air disaster that killed an entire top-flight Russian ice hockey team.
airs in 2 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.

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