Air Disasters

Air Disasters

The stunning final moments of TransAsia Flight 235. The mystery and conspiracy theories behind TWA Flight 800. The disorienting forest fire that jeopardized Garuda Indonesia Flight 152. When planes crash, the world takes notice, and so do the experts, whose job it is to figure out what happened. Revisit some of history’s most notorious air disasters, retold through eyewitness accounts and interviews with the investigators who ultimately determined what went wrong.
The stunning final moments of TransAsia Flight 235. The mystery and conspiracy theories behind TWA Flight 800. The disorienting forest fire that jeopardized Garuda Indonesia Flight 152. When planes crash, the world takes notice, and so do the experts, whose job it is to figure out what happened. Revisit some of history’s most notorious air disasters, retold through eyewitness accounts and interviews with the investigators who ultimately determined what went wrong.

Season 11 (10 episodes)

  • 1. Explosive Proof

    Original air date: 09/23/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 09/23/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. After a long delay on a hot July evening in 1996, TWA Flight 800 leaves John F. Kennedy Airport carrying 230 passengers and crew en route to Paris. Minutes after takeoff, the Boeing 747 jumbo jet suddenly explodes without warning, killing everyone aboard. Was it a bomb? A missile? A design flaw? To find the answer, the NTSB must attempt the unthinkable: rebuild the entire plane, piece by shattered piece.

  • 2. Killer Attitude

    Original air date: 10/07/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 10/07/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. On a commuter flight from Minneapolis to Hibbing in 1993, Northwest Airlink Flight 5719 descends into the clouds on a cold Minnesota night. Suddenly, the pilots of the twin-engine turboprop find themselves ricocheting off the treetops, crashing violently into a hillside. Investigators face intense pressure to find the cause of the crash that killed all 18 people on board. Initial concerns center around the inexperienced first officer, but further digging reveals a darker issue, one that surfaced months before the plane ever left the ground.

  • 3. Deadly Myth

    Original air date: 10/14/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 10/14/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. A blackened scar on a frozen field near Detroit marks the fatal impact zone of Flight 3272. The sudden loss of 29 lives leaves families in anguish and investigators perplexed. In search of answers, the NTSB turns to the FAA only to discover that federal regulators themselves may be part of the problem. Witness the stunning 1997 crash of this small commuter aircraft and discover how outdated ideas put pilots and passengers at risk.

  • 4. The Turning Point

    Original air date: 10/21/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 10/21/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. Air China Flight 129 prepares to land at Gimhae International Airport in Busan, South Korea when a direction from air traffic control to change its approach sets off a series of catastrophic events that claim the lives of 129 people on board. What happened in those final moments between the captain and his crew? And could a few critical seconds have made the difference between life and death? Discover the reasons behind the worst air disaster in South Korean history and find out the key recommendations made to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

  • 5. Lethal Turn

    Original air date: 10/28/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 10/28/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. A routine flight from Jakarta to Medan, Indonesia encounters a very non-routine obstacle: forest fires that are sending a thick blanket of smoke across all of Southeast Asia. But it was a series of avoidable human errors, not a natural disaster, that doomed Garuda Indonesia Flight 152 on September 26, 1997. Discover how an air traffic controller’s number mix-up, an incorrect altitude setting, and a wrong turn claimed 234 lives, resulting in the deadliest plane crash in Indonesian history.

  • 6. Storming Out

    Original air date: 11/04/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 11/04/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. It was supposed to be a routine 50-minute hop from Columbia, SC to Charlotte, NC for USAir Flight 1016. But in an instant, a beautiful summer day gave way to one of the most powerful microbursts on record, sending the DC-9 crashing to Earth and killing 37 of the 52 passengers on board. While the storm was intense, investigators are not convinced weather alone caused the disaster. Revisit the harrowing crash and discover how the plane’s extreme changes in speed, direction, and altitude created fatal confusion in the cockpit.

  • 7. Caught on Tape

    Original air date: 11/11/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 11/11/2018 Runtime: 44:11 min. It was a state-of-the-art commuter plane making a simple one-hour flight from Taipei to a Taiwanese island off the coast of China. But within minutes of takeoff, TransAsia Flight 235 plunged into the Keelung River, killing all but 15 people on board. To determine the cause of the crash, investigators examine stunning footage captured by the dashcam of a passing car and uncover shocking evidence about the captain and even the airline itself.

  • 8. Terror Over Egypt

    Original air date: 01/06/2019 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 01/06/2019 Runtime: 44:11 min. Was it a fuel tank explosion, an engine failure, or a terrorist act that sent Metrojet Flight 9268 plummeting from the sky just minutes after leaving Egypt for St. Petersburg? All investigators know for certain is that ISIS is taking credit for it. Follow this international, high-stakes inquiry as examiners pore through physical evidence, audio recordings, and chemical analysis before reaching a chilling conclusion.

  • 9. Deadly Discussions

    Original air date: 01/13/2019 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 01/13/2019 Runtime: 44:11 min. As LAPA Flight 3142 lifts off from a Buenos Aires airport, the 737 crashes back to the runway, hurtles past the airport perimeter, and crosses a busy highway before hitting an industrial gas plant. The disaster kills 63 of the 100 people on board plus two motorists caught in the plane’s path. As a nation grieves, investigators struggle to explain the cause of the accident and the preventable missteps made by the experienced cockpit crew.

  • 10. The Lost Plane

    Original air date: 01/20/2019 Runtime: 44:11 min.

    Original air date: 01/20/2019 Runtime: 44:11 min. An Airbus A310 is minutes from reaching Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport when it disappears in the Himalayas. Two days later, the wreckage is found. None of the 113 people onboard have survived. Witness the flight’s final moments, investigate the cause of the crash, and discover how the disaster underscored the need for more advanced air traffic control technology at the mountainous Nepali airport and the critical importance of teamwork among pilots.