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Air Disasters

Cast of 'Air Disasters'

  • Bill Ratner

Air Disasters

Statistically, traveling by airplane is safer than driving and other forms of transportation, but when something goes wrong during a flight, it can be catastrophic with potentially hundreds of lives at stake. This series examines some of the world's worst air disasters, using official reports, transcripts and interviews with people involved to tell the stories of midair mishaps and discover what went wrong in each case. Episodes include a discussion of how the weather affects flights -- including stories of aviation disasters and near-misses -- and a New Year's Eve flight that fell from the sky into the Florida Everglades.

Premiere:
May 15, 2011
Original Network:
Smithsonian HD Network
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All Upcoming Times for Air Disasters

Episode Air Date Channel

Ocean Landing

S05, E12  (First Aired: Mar. 6, 2016)
Pilots aboard a hijacked plane are forced to attempt an emergency landing at sea.
  • Wed 7/27
  • 6:00PM-7:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Attack Over Baghdad

S04, E15  (First Aired: Sep. 6, 2015)
A surface-to-air missile cripples a cargo plane after it takes off from Baghdad International Airport.
  • Thu 7/28
  • 2:00AM-3:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Out of Control

S04, E14  (First Aired: Aug. 30, 2015)
A simple error years prior causes the deadliest single-plane crash in history.
  • Thu 7/28
  • 3:00AM-4:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Ocean Landing

S05, E12  (First Aired: Mar. 6, 2016)
Pilots aboard a hijacked plane are forced to attempt an emergency landing at sea.
  • Thu 7/28
  • 1:00PM-2:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Attack Over Baghdad

S04, E15  (First Aired: Sep. 6, 2015)
A surface-to-air missile cripples a cargo plane after it takes off from Baghdad International Airport.
  • Fri 7/29
  • 6:00PM-7:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Out of Control

S04, E14  (First Aired: Aug. 30, 2015)
A simple error years prior causes the deadliest single-plane crash in history.
  • Fri 7/29
  • 7:00PM-8:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Miracle Escape

S05, E13  (First Aired: Mar. 13, 2016)
Passengers and crew escape a jet that skid off the runway before catching fire.
  • Mon 8/1
  • 9:00AM-10:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Deadly Reputation

S02, E12  (First Aired: Sep. 2, 2012)
On July 17, 2007, TAM Airlines Flight 3054 slides off runway 35L at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil, and crashes at high speed into a warehouse adjacent to a petrol station killing nearly 200 people.
  • Mon 8/1
  • 10:00AM-11:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD
  • Tue 8/2
  • 8:00PM-9:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD
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  • 11:00PM-12:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Miracle Escape

S05, E13  (First Aired: Mar. 13, 2016)
Passengers and crew escape a jet that skid off the runway before catching fire.
  • Wed 8/3
  • 6:00PM-7:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Fight for Your Life

(First Aired: Aug. 23, 2015)
Three FedEx employees must regain control of their plane when a coworker attacks them in midair.
  • Thu 8/4
  • 2:00AM-3:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Bomb on Board

(First Aired: Aug. 16, 2015)
In 1994 on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, a terrorist bombing requires a daring emergency landing.
  • Thu 8/4
  • 3:00AM-4:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Miracle Escape

S05, E13  (First Aired: Mar. 13, 2016)
Passengers and crew escape a jet that skid off the runway before catching fire.
  • Thu 8/4
  • 1:00PM-2:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Fight for Your Life

(First Aired: Aug. 23, 2015)
Three FedEx employees must regain control of their plane when a coworker attacks them in midair.
  • Fri 8/5
  • 6:00PM-7:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Bomb on Board

(First Aired: Aug. 16, 2015)
In 1994 on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, a terrorist bombing requires a daring emergency landing.
  • Fri 8/5
  • 7:00PM-8:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Falling From the Sky

S05, E14  (First Aired: Mar. 20, 2016)
A British Airways flight to Australia in 1982 crashes into the Indian Ocean.
  • Mon 8/8
  • 9:00AM-10:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD

Blind Spot

S03, E01  (First Aired: Mar. 3, 2013)
In 1978, PSA Flight 182 collides with a Cessna and crashes into a San Diego residential area killing everyone on both planes and seven people on the ground.
  • Mon 8/8
  • 10:00AM-11:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
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  • 780
  • SMTHHD
  • Tue 8/9
  • 8:00PM-9:00PM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD
  •  
  • 11:00PM-12:00AM
  • 163
  • SMITH
  •  
  •  
  • 780
  • SMTHHD