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Revealing the dark truth that aviation safety improves one crash at a time, Mayday investigates legendary aviation disasters to find out what went wrong and why. Based on cockpit voice recorders, accident reports and eyewitness accounts, every...

Duration:60 mins

Quality: HD



Season 1 - Mayday
"American Airlines flight 1420 crashed upon landing in Little Rock, AR (USA) in the middle of a severe thunderstorm in 1999."
"On United Airlines flight 811, the cargo door suddenly opens in-flight and tears a portion of the fuselage. The crew attempts landing back in Honolulu."
"AeroPeru flight 603 crashed on a routine flight from Lima to Santiago in 1996, due to a severe failure with the flight instruments."
"Air Transat flight 236 ran out of fuel in-flight over the North Atlantic due to a mysterious leak, forcing the crew to glide to the nearest airfield."
"In January 2000, Alaska Airlines flight 261 crashed off the Californian coastline with no survivors due to, as the title implies, improper maintenance."
"Swissair flight 111 suffered a fire in-flight and crashed while attempting an emergency landing in Halifax in 1998."
Season 2 - Mayday
"The pilot of a British airliner is partially sucked out of the cockpit after his windscreen blows out in flight."
"Can a damaged engine bring down a modern multi-engine aircraft? The story of Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 529."
"Air France Flight 8969 has been hijacked. How can the authorities deal with the hijackers and save all passengers on-board?"
"A DHL cargo plane collides with a Russian passenger jet over southern Germany in 2002."
"Another proof that a series of small mishaps can amount to one deadly crash. Pilot errors, inoperative ground equipment and arrogance pile on one after another and end in a tragic disaster."
"Can a plane fall out of the sky without a single technical problem on-board? Yet another story of communications break-down resulting in a tragic loss of life."
Season 3 - Mayday
"Aloha Airlines flight 243, on a routine intra-Hawaii flight, lost a large portion of the fuselage in the spring of 1988."
"An Airbus A300 flying for DHL is struck by a ground-to-air missile on the left wing tip, shortly after take-off from Baghdad. With damage that included loss of all hydraulics, the aircraft crew struggles to land safely."
"Japan Airlines flight 123 veers out of control and crashes in the mountains, becoming the worst air disaster involving a single aircraft in 1985."
"Auburn Calloway, a disgruntled ex-employee of the airline, attempted to hijack FedEx flight 705 and crash it into the FedEx HQ in Memphis."
"Iran Air flight 655, a civilian Airbus A310, mistakenly identified as a hostile fighter plane, is shot down by a US Navy Warship in the Middle East in 1988."
"A helicopter full of oil-rig workers is struck by lightning and goes down in the violent weather of the cold North Sea. How big of a role did the weather play that day?"
"EgyptAir flight 990 crashes off the coast of Massachusetts on a routine New York-Cairo flight in 1999, initiating a highly controversial investigation."
"Aeroflot flight 593, a routine flight, veers out of control and crashes in Russia in 1994, after the Captain lets his son sit in the flight deck."
"In stormy weather, the Express Samina ferry sails in the Aegean Sea. The ferry is on autopilot with no crew member monitoring the ship's course. The waves push the Express Samina off course, it hits a group of rocks and begins taking on water, eventually sinking."
Season 4 - Mayday
"An Air France airliner overruns the runway while attempting to land at Toronto in bad weather. The plane ends up in a small ravine and starts burning, but all the passengers are quickly and safely evacuated."
"While en route from Malaysia to Australia, all four engines off a British Airways 747 fail. Now the crew must divert to Indonesia. Will they make it? And why did the engines fail and left British Airways Flight 9 \"Falling from the Sky?\""
"Fire breaks out on Air Canada flight 797 at 35,000 feet. Can the crew get the wheels on the ground before the fire consumes the plane?"
"Korean Air Flight 801 crashed on a go-around after a missed approach in Guam in 1997. Pilot error and in-op ground equipment played the biggest role in this disaster."
"The crash of United Airlines flight 585 and USAir flight 427 puzzles investigators for 10 years until they catch a lucky break which allows them to solve the long over-due puzzle."
"A China Airlines passenger jet goes out of control over the Pacific Ocean on a flight to Los Angeles. The extreme forces cause extensive damage to the aircraft, but the pilots regain control and safely land the 747 at San Francisco."
"A badly damaged Aerom\u00c3\u00a9xico DC-9 crashes into a residential neighborhood of Cerritos, California, after being hit by a privately owned Piper light aircraft not seen by the air traffic controller."
"In 1996, a USAF plane carrying US Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown crashes into a mountain while attempting an instrument approach to a war-torn Dubrovnik Airport in southern Croatia."
"What brought Flash Flight 604 down? Was it turbulence, technical problem, lightning strike? Or simply the most dreaded factor of them all, the human factor?"
"Air traffic controllers lose contact to a Cypriot airliner flying towards Athens, Greece. Two F-16s are scrambled to investigate, but the plane soon crashes into a mountain."
Season 5 - Mayday
"It's called a microburst, but the havoc it wreaked on Delta Airlines Flight 191 was anything but minuscule."
"It's one of the most alarming disasters in the history of aviation, not just because of the crash, but why it happened."
"Relive the incredible story of a pilot forced to glide an engineless 767 to safety, from over 26,000 feet in the air."
"See how two unrelated failures combined to create a fatal catastrophe, and changed the history of small plane travel."
"To find the cause of the crash of Flight 295, they had to dig deep...3 miles deep to the floor of the Indian Ocean."
"Torrential rain. Baseball-sized hail. Why did Flight 242 enter this severe storm, and what caused its engines to fail?"
"A terrorist's bomb blew up Air India Flight 182, but the biggest crime was that it all could have been prevented."
"There are many factors affecting an aircraft in flight. Any one of them can bring the plane down. But as the investigation reveals yet again, the most common one is the human factor."
"The crash of Eastern Air Lines flight 401 proved yet again that humans are the cause of majority of air crashes. Relying on technology to save their lives, they prove over and over that the smarter their technology, the dumber they get."
"A business jet on a delivery flight from Brazil to the US is shaken by a massive hit over the Amazon rainforest. The pilots manage to land the damaged aircraft, but they soon find out that they had a mid-air collision with a passenger jet."
Season 6 - Mayday
"This special looked at accidents and incidents where pressurization failure or explosive decompression played a part."
"This special looked at accidents caused by seemingly minor defects or errors."
"Accidents and incidents where problems with the interface between crew members and onboard avionics were a factor, and the causes of those problems."
Season 7 - Mayday
"25 May 2002: China Airlines Flight 611, a Boeing 747, broke up in mid-air and crashed into the sea of Formosa Strait, just 20 minutes after taking off from Taipei."
"A depiction of the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland and the intense investigation that followed."
"On 8 September 1989, Partnair Flight 394 drove into the sea between Norway and Denmark, killing 55 people."
"One of the most horrifying mid-air collisions in history happened over India in 1996. Finding the chain of mishaps and unfortunate events is not easy for the investigators."
"An American C-5 Galaxy is flying orphaned Vietnamese babies out of Saigon into safety when things go horribly wrong at 23,000 feet. The investigation uncovers some shady practices and also the heroism of the crew trying to save every life."
"The aircraft, TS-LBB, took off from Bari, Italy, as Flight 1153 at 2:32 p.m. local time, on its return leg to Djerba, Tunisia. At about 3:15 p.m., the pilot alerted the Palermo Punta Raisi airport to technical problems and requested permission for an emergency landing. The right engine stopped at 3:25 p.m., at which point the pilot apparently realized he wouldn't reach Palermo. The left engine cut out at 3:35 p.m. Two minutes later, the aircraft disappeared from Palermo's radar and radio contact was lost."
"When a Boeing 737 flies into a storm and crashes into the sea, the investigators cannot believe what actually brought down this very sophisticated aircraft."
"Depicts the crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 near Roselawn, IN, an ATR-72 that got caught in icing conditions, and the subsequent investigation."
Season 8 - Mayday
"Plane crashes caused by communication breakdowns expose the changes that need to be made to our overburdened air traffic control system."
"Aviation disasters caused by storms are detailed along with the efforts of the FAA to ensure the safety of passengers and crew during inclement weather."
Season 9 - Mayday
"When a survivable emergency on a grounded plane turns deadly, investigators examine what caused the disaster."
"Exploring the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, immediately after takeoff at Detroit Metro Airport on August 16, 1987."
"First ever crash of the Airbus A320 on June 26, 1988 in Habsheim, France. Air France flight 296."
"The 1991 collision of two planes mistakenly sharing one runway raises concerns about over-crowded airports and overburdened traffic controllers."
"In 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 accidentally enters the Soviet airspace on a flight from the United States to South Korea. The Soviet interceptors shoot down the passenger jet."
"See how icy conditions, a communication breakdown, and an airline's focus on the bottom line led to disaster - twice."
"A Grumman Mallard seaplane operated by Chalk's Ocean Arways (Flight 101) crashes into the sea shortly after takeoff, becoming the first fatal accident of the operator's 90 years in service."
Season 10 - Mayday
"On the snowy night of November 24th, 2001, Crossair Flight LX 3597 - an Avro RJ100 regional airliner en route from Berlin - aborts its ILS landing at Zurich Airport and crashes into a wooded hillside, 4km short of the runway."
"In January 2008, British Airways Flight 38, en route from Beijing, loses power to both engines on approach to London's Heathrow Airport, and crash-lands several feet from the runway."
"On December 27th 1991, Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 loses power to both tail-mounted engines minutes after take-off from Stockholm Arlanda airport in Stockholm Sweden, and crashes in a snow-covered field 15 kilometers from the airport."
"On a snowy February 12th, 2009, Continental Connection Flight 3407 - a Bombardier DHC8 - abruptly dropped from the sky, crashing into a house in Buffalo, NY, five miles short of runway 23 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport."
"An Airbus A320, US Airways Flight 1549, loses thrust soon after takeoff. The pilot has no choice but take a one-in-a-thousand chance, and manages to land into the Hudson River without a single fatality."
"Turkish Airlines flight 1951 stalled and crashed just short of the runway at Schiphol. The investigators discover a technical failure but it turns out that human factor was to blame afterall."
Season 11 - Mayday
"TAM Airlines Flight 3054, an Airbus A320 touches down on the known deadly runway 35L of Congonhas-S\u00c3\u00a3o Paulo Airport in Brazil. Flight 3054 is unable to stop, and slides into a warehouse and gas station, killing 199 people."
"When a packed passenger jet, known for its safety, suddenly plummets to Earth from over 30,000 feet, a small Venezuelan investigative team searches for answers."
"Arrow Flight 1285, carrying 256 people including U.S. service personnel, stalled and crashed minutes after take-off from Gander, Newfoundland on December 12th, 1985."
"Investigate the 1991 crash of commuter plane Continental Express Flight 2574, and see how good intentions went terribly wrong."
"Revisit the 1958 plane crash that destroyed Manchester United's soccer team and left a pilot's reputation in tatters."
"On 9 October 2002, Northwest Airlines flight 85 is cruising at 35,000 feet (10,668 metres) above the Bering Sea on its way to Tokyo, when its lower rudder suddenly deflects to the left."
"On 22 December 1999, Korean Air Cargo flight 8509 departs Stansted Airport, London bound for Milan, but less than a minute after it takes off, the plane crashes and kills all four crew members on board. Air accident investigators have to find out if the plane or crew error is to blame for the disaster."
"On 25 September 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines flight 182 collides with a private Cessna 172 piloted by a student on a flying lesson while the Boeing 727 is on approach to Lindbergh Field at San Diego Airport. The impact sends both aircraft crashing into a residential area of San Diego."
"Aviation investigators try to determine what caused a mid-air fire on Nigerian Airways flight 2120, chartered by Canadian airline Nationair, that on 11 July 1991 ultimately caused the death of all 247 passengers and 14 crew on board, the biggest loss of life for any Canadian airline and the worst disaster involving a DC-8."
"See how one man's rage led to two minutes of terror for 42 passengers and crew aboard PSA Flight 1771."
"On 24 May 1988, the pilots of TACA Airlines flight 110 achieve one of the most remarkable deadstick landings in commercial aviation history. Investigators have to determine why the engines of a brand new Boeing 737-300 failed in mid-flight."
"Shocking discoveries come to light after two planes collide on the runway at one of Europe's busiest airports."
"Meet the survivors of 1989's United Airlines Flight 232 and learn the remarkable story of their emergency crash landing."
Season 12 - Mayday
"When a propeller departs the engine and causes major damage on Reeve Aleutian Airways flight 8, the experienced crew races to save the airplane and its passengers."
"When mysterious cargo boxes ignite on ValuJet flight 592, they bring the whole plane down within a short time. The investigator struggle to find out what kind of cargo could possibly cause such fierce fire to bring a whole plane down."
"The investigators wonder how an airliner in our modern world full of fail-safe features can crash on takeoff with nobody realizing that the pilots have made a horrible mistake."
"When SilkAir flight 185 plunges 35,000 feet into the Musi River in Indonesia, the NTSB has a theory that the Indonesian authorities are not eager to accept."
"Pilot arrogance and macho attitude were the official blame of the crash of TANS Per\u00c3\u00ba flight 204 in severe weather."
"When pilots choose not to follow rules, bad things happen, as this fatal but completely avoidable mid-air collision of United Airlines flight 718 and Trans World Airlines flight 2 proves."
"When American Airlines flight 191 loses its engine and subsequently crashes into a hangar at Chicago O'Hare airport, the investigators shift the blame from a broken bolt to the airlines' unsafe cost-cutting measures."
"When everybody thinks that human error bringing down a modern airliner is no longer possible, the captain of UA173 proves them all wrong."
"Contrary to popular belief, the famous Russian hockey team was not killed by a drunken crew. But could just one of the officers on deck with a medical deficiency have caused this disaster? Investigators dig deep."
"The Polish political delegation, including the president, headed to Russia crashes during an approach to landing in Smolensk. Conspiracy theories fly rampant. But could it have been the politicians' self-importance that killed them all?"
"Ethiopian flight 409's crash could not be attributed to any common reason, mechanical, weather-related or even terrorism. However, the most common and most overlooked reason is lurking in the shadows, quiet and deadly as always."
"The ATR twin-turboprop aircraft flying 43 passengers on Santa B\u00c3\u00a1rbara Airlines flight 518, a perfectly good aircraft crashed in the Venezuelan mountains. Series of pilot errors and arrogance are to blame for this preventable tragedy."
"Air France flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean for no good reason. Could it be that the automation systems developed to save lives are the blinding cause of destroying lives in the wrong hands of inexperienced pilots?"
Season 13 - Mayday
"British Airways flight 548 crashes shortly after take off from London Heathrow airport in 1972. Piecing the clues together one by one, the investigation reveals shocking truth."
"An unfortunate mid-air collision in 1971 brings sweeping changes to the ATC system in the USA."
"Crossair flight 498 crashes shortly after take-off from Zurich. The airplane was in good condition and the pilots had adequate training. Or did they? The investigation takes a dramatic turn when the cockpit voice recorder is retrieved."
"After Air Florida flight 90 crashes on take-off from Washington D.C., it is not easy to find the cause of the accident. It turns out eventually that this was no accident but simple and deadly oversight."
"American Airlines flight 587 drops out of the sky after take-off from JFK airport in New York and plunges into the Queens suburb. The investigators work hard to determine the cause of this tragedy only to find out that it originated in the cockpit after all."
"They're called hurricane hunters, research scientists who head straight into killer storms to collect valuable data that will ultimately save lives. In 1989, however, it's the scientists' own lives that are in peril after they enter one of the most violent forces of nature of all time: Hurricane Hugo. Relive their harrowing battle against this category 5 monster and the efforts to keep NOAA 42 in the air as it's ripped apart by a raging storm growing stronger by the minute."
"When Itavia flight 870 goes missing over the Mediterranean sea, a conspiracy theory of a missile strike surfaces. Was the plane shot down by a Libyan fighter jet?"
"On the 27th November 2008, an aircraft on a post-maintenance test flight operating as XL Airways Germany Flight 888T crashes into the Mediterranean Sea off the French coast, killing all seven people on board. Improper cleaning maintenance allowed water to enter the aircraft's angle of attack sensors. At the flight's high altitude, the water froze and caused the sensors to stop working when the crew put the aircraft into a low-speed stall to test the stall warning system."
"A popular Twin Otter aircraft crashes shortly after take-off in Tahiti. A bad maintenance decision and a series of other factors combined together create just the right recipe for disaster."
"The biggest passenger jet in the world, the A380, suffers a catastrophic in-flight engine failure. With damaged flight controls and leaking fuel, can the crew return to the airport and land safely? And what happens if they do land the overweight and leaking jet?"
Season 14 - Mayday
"Copa Airlines Flight 201 disappears over Panama. Investigators are trying to piece the puzzle together to determine whether it was a mid-air collision, missile strike, bombing attempt or simply an unlucky chain of mistakes."
"Lauda air 004 was a767 which broke up in mid air after taking off from Thailand to Vienna Austria ."
"Varig Flight 254 was a 737 on its way to Belem, Brazil from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Due to pilot error, it ran out of fuel and crashed into the Amazon jungle."
"Drama recreation of the Kegworth air disaster on 8 January 1989 when British Midland Flight 92, a Boeing 737-400, crashed onto the embankment of the M1 motorway near Kegworth, UK. Of the 126 people aboard, 47 died and 74, sustained serious injuries."
"While the cargo jet was attempting a landing at Narita Airport in Japan, in gusty winds, it bounced and landed inverted and burning."
"A VIP case involving the disappearance of an airplane piloted by JFK Jr. The investigators work under tremendous public pressure looking for answers, just to discover the most obvious and most common explanation for the unfortunate crash."
"On 25 July 2000, a Concorde operating as Air France Flight 4590 en route to New York City, USA, stalls and crashes into a hotel in Gonesse shorty after take off from Charles de Gaulle Airport. All of the 109 passengers and crew die in the accident, as well as 4 on the ground. The aircraft had struck foreign debris left on the runway from a Continental Airlines DC-10, causing its fuel tanks to ignite and the engines to fail."
"When a government Lear 45 crashes in the heart of Mexico City, the NTSB investigators are rushed by the Mexican president to determine whether the cause of the crash was a cartel bomb, mechanical failure or simply a rookie pilot mistake."
"In February 2011, Manx Flight 7100 from Belfast crashes at Cork Airport, Ireland during a third attempt at landing in dense fog."
"Surviving a plane crash in the Canadian Arctic is no guarantee that you'll make it out alive. The environment is unforgiving, there are no roads, and crash survivors could face hours, even days, battling the elements while waiting for rescue, except in the remarkable case of First Air Flight 6560. Witness the story of a 737-200 that went down in a remote Inuit hamlet in August 2011 and the incredible coincidence that gave its few survivors a fighting chance. Then follow the investigation into why the aircraft crashed to begin with."
"Catalogues all the possible credible theories for the disappearance of this flight. As of now (February 2016), no-one still knows exactly what happened, the plane is still yet to be found 23 months after it disappeared."
Season 15 - Mayday
"A fiery collision between United Express 5925 and a small private plane leaves investigators stumped until they learn that a mysterious missing pilot may have played an unwitting role in the tragedy."
"Asiana flight no.214 crashes on approach to San Francisco."
"On October 4, 1992 a 747 Cargo Jet Leaves Amsterdam's main airport as EL AL flight LY1862. 7 minutes after takeoff, there is an explosion. The aircraft rolls violently to the right and slams into a apartment complex. In total 3 crew, a passenger and 39 people die in the incident. Investigators try to determine what the cause was."
"Fire breaks out on a 747 operated by UPS shortly after take-off from Dubai International."
"On 18 September 1961, a United Nations DC-6 crashes en route to Ndola Airport in Zambia. Then UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskj\u00c3\u00b6ld is killed in the crash."
"Flight 670 overruns the runway on landing at Stord Airport and careers down a steep embankment killing 4 passengers."
"On 20 August 2008, Spanair Flight 5022 attempts to takeoff from Barajas Airport, but stalls immediately, banks to the right, and crashes, killing 154 people out of the 172 on board. The pilots aborted the first takeoff attempt, and the second one resulted in the crash."
"After a short flight from the Indonesian capital, Garuda Flight 200 hits the ground in Yogyakarta so hard it bounces violently before careening off the end of the runway. Of the 133 people on board, 21 are killed. Investigators are under immediate pressure to find out what went wrong. After a series of dead ends, they make an astonishing find about how the plane was configured for landing. And when they analyze the cockpit voice recorder, they reach a startling conclusion."
"On 5 April 1991, Atlantic Southeast Flight 2311 crashes on approach to Glynco Jetport. All 23 people on board perish in the accident."
"On October 31, 1996, TAM Airlines Flight 402 crashed into a suburb in S\u00c3\u00a3o Paulo, killing all 95 people on board and 4 on the ground. The cause of the crash was due to a failure with the Fokker 100's thrust reverser on its right engine."
Season 16 - Mayday
"When a private Learjet crashes in South Dakota, USA, with star golfer Payne Stewart, investigators are under pressure to figure out how the plane strayed so far off course before crashing."
"On 11 September 2001, during the September 11 attacks, American Airlines Flight 77 flies off course and crashes into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, after being hijacked. All the 64 people on board the aircraft, including the 5 hijackers, are killed, along with 125 people in the building."
"On 27 March 1977, the deadliest-ever aviation accident occurs at Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife-North Airport) in the Canary Islands. KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736 collide on the runway in thick fog during the KLM aircraft's attempt to take off, killing 583 people."
"Flight 120 burned down after seconds of landing."
"Enroute Flight 706 from Lyon to Lorient is knocked out of the sky over Baie de Quiberon France."
"Disaster strikes on way to Durango - La Plata Colorado for commuters."
"On an ordinary day Germanwings flight 9525 has an outcome beyond belief in March 2015 on the French Alps."
"After losing both engines and all electrical power in a violent storm, the pilots of Garuda Indonesia Flight 421 manage a remarkable emergency landing."
"The captain of Air Asia Flight 8501 overrides the computers instructions and his impromptu fix leads to a deadly stall over the Java Sea."
"A 747 cargo plane crashes seconds after taking off from a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan, and an overlooked piece of evidence eventually tells investigators they were wrong about the cause."
Season 17 - Mayday
"Investigators are surprised to hear what went on in a frosty cockpit between a green first officer and a cocky captain, when Northwest Airlink 5719 flew into Minnesota on a cold winter's night."
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"Just minutes after taking off from NYC JFK Airport, TWA Flight 800 is ripped apart by a massive explosion. With a possible terror attack on their hands, the FBI joins investigators from the NTSB"
"After taking off, Flight 235 has a problem with one engine but the pilot inadvertently shuts off the wrong engine causing the plane to bank steeply to one side clipping an elevated highway and landing in the Taipei's Keelung River but was it really pilot error."
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"LAPA Flight 3142 encounters a serious problem while taking off from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The resulting investigation reveals a shocking cause."
"Thai Airways International Flight 311 is on final approach to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, in poor weather conditions when things go horribly wrong."
Season 18 - Mayday
"Emery Worldwide cargo flight 17 crashes soon after takeoff in Sacramento, California."
"Trans Asia 222 crashes into buildings during approach to land in bad weather at Magong Airport, Penghu Island, Taiwan, on 23 July 2014."
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