Next Episode of Air Crash Investigation is
Flying is one of the safest forms of transport. But what happens when tragedy strikes? From human error and accidents to mechanical faults and design flaws, the success of aviation history is punctuated with disaster and catastrophe. It's rare, but it does happen. Follow experts as they determine what went wrong and work out how to prevent these horrific tragedies from happening again. Examine the wrecks and official records, and hear from eyewitnesses, passengers and aviation experts as we reconstruct some of the most tragic disasters in aviation history. Air Crash Investigation looks at what went wrong and how future disasters can be averted.
When Air India Flight 182 suddenly disappeared from the radar, controllers were left baffled. Investigators later discovered a sinister reason for the deadly crash.
A design fault leads to an explosion on a DC-10. Two years later the same fault causes a similar tragedy. The accident could have been prevented, but why wasn't it?
April 4, 1977 - Southern Airways Flight 242 - A DC-9 is caught in a storm so severe that hailstones crack the cockpit windshield, causing the plane to plummet to the ground. Miraculously 20 people survive.
Just after takeoff, a commuter plane plummets to the ground, killing all on board. Investigators find one of the causes to be out of date passenger weight calculations.
On August 2, 1985, Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crash-lands while on approach to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, killing eight of the 11 crew members, 128 of the 152 passengers on board and one person on the ground. This accident was one of the few commercial air crashes in which the meteorological phenomenon known as a microburst was a direct contributing factor.
On 23 July 1983, Air Canada Flight 143 runs out of fuel at 41,000 feet (12,500m) altitude, about halfway through its flight from Montreal to Edmonton. The crew is able to glide the aircraft safely to an emergency landing at Gimli Industrial Park Airport, a former airbase at Gimli, Manitoba. An unserviceable fuel gauge and an error in converting between metric and non-metric units caused the aircraft to be loaded with insufficient fuel prior to flight.
On 28 November 1987, South African Airways Flight 295 starts filling with smoke high above the Indian Ocean after a fire breaks out in the rear main deck cargo area of the Boeing 747 combined passenger/cargo aircraft (Combi). It crashes with no survivors. The exact cause of the crash is still unknown.
On 6 February 1996, Birgenair Flight 301 is scheduled to fly from Puerto Plata to Frankfurt. On takeoff, the captain finds that his airspeed indicator (ASI) is not reading properly, though the co-pilot's ASI is showing the correct speed; the aircraft subsequently crashes in the Atlantic Ocean. The pilots became confused and believed that both ASIs were malfunctioning, leading to loss of control of the aircraft. All 13 crew members and 176 passengers died. The cause of the disaster was believed to be a wasp that built a nest in one of the aircraft's pitot tubes, which was incorrectly left uncovered during the aircraft's extended stay at Puerto Plata airport.
On 29 December 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 is on a flight to Miami International Airport. While making preparations to land, the crew is distracted by a faulty landing gear indicator light and accidentally disengages the autopilot while trying to resolve the problem. The aircraft descends until it crashes into the Everglades. Flying at night, the crew failed to notice their descent until only seconds before hitting the ground. 101 people died; 75 people survived.
On 29 September 2006, Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 and a brand new Embraer Legacy business jet (registered N600XL) on its delivery flight collide in mid-air over the Amazon rainforest. The Boeing 737 commercial flight crashes into the Amazon, but the Legacy manages to make a safe landing at an airbase. All 154 people on the Gol jet die. Air traffic controllers had cleared both aircraft to fly at the same altitude in opposite directions, and the transponder of the Legacy had either failed or had been switched off, making both aircraft's traffic collision avoidance systems useless in preventing the collision.
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