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Air Disasters

Air Disasters

  • Premiered: 
    May 15, 2011
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Smithsonian
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Docudrama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter:
  • Tags: airplane

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Plot Synopsis

Using official reports, transcripts and interviews with the pilots, air traffic controllers and lucky survivors, AIR DISASTERS is a one-hour series that chronicles history's most terrifying tragedies of the aviation industry. Widely considered to be the safest form of travel, air transportation is still in its infancy and when midair calamity strikes, the results are often catastrophic. From the cockpit to the cabin, from the control room to the crash scene, this series uncovers what went wrong. AIR DISASTERS returned for its fourth season on the Smithsonian Channel at 9pm ET/PT, when the cable channel broadcast the "Fight for Control" episode. The Season 4 premiere documents the incredible story of survival on June 8, 1983 after the Reeve Aleutian Airways' Lockheed Electra nearly plunged 19,000 feet into the Pacific Ocean when one of its propellers tore from the aircraft and cut a hole through the cabin. Smithsonian Channel premiered the eighth season of AIR DISASTERS on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 8pm ET/PT. In the season opener, "Sideswiped," it's June 1992 and a Boeing 737 departs Panama City for Cali, Colombia, but just minutes after takeoff, the plane vanishes from radar. Eyewitness reports confirm ATC's worst fears, but the bad news is only beginning. The plane has plunged into one of the most remote jungles on Earth and locating and piecing together the wreckage will push investigators to the limits. The pressure is on to find answers; the crash involved aviation's most popular airliner, and the findings could have staggering implications for every 737 in the sky. Season 9 of AIR DISASTERS premiered on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 8pm ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. The season opener, "High Rise Catastrophe," chronicles the crash of El Al Flight 1862. En route to Tel Aviv, El Al Flight 1862 took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport laden with a heavy load of cargo. Moments later, a sudden jolt rocked the plane, and it began rolling violently to the right and into a 10-story suburban apartment complex. Investigators combed through the Netherlands' worst ever aviation disaster, discovering a potentially lethal problem threatening every 747 in the sky. Subsequent episodes feature stories about: Garuda Flight 200, which hit the ground in Yogyakarta so hard it bounced violently before careening off the end of the runway; an alarm warned of a fire on board UPS Flight 6, shortly after taking off from Dubai; TAM flight 402, which slammed into a residential neighborhood and burst into flames, killing all 95 people on board and three people on the ground; Spanair Flight 5022, which banked to the right, slammed into a creek and burst into flames almost immediately after taking off from Madrid International Airport; a commuter plane that crashed in Georgia, killing a NASA astronaut, a four-term U.S. senator and 21 others; Atlantic Airways Flight 670, which was shuttling a group of oil company employees to work when the plane careened off the runway and down a steep embankment; and a United Nations DC-6 transport plane, which was flying a top-secret mission over central Africa with U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold on board.
On Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT, Smithsonian Channel premiered "Afghan Nightmare," the finale of AIR DISASTERS. It's April 2013. A 747 cargo plane leaves Afghanistan's largest airfield with 207,000 pounds of military equipment. Within seconds of takeoff, the pilots lose control of the aircraft. The nose won't drop, and in an instant, the plane stalls and crashes to the ground. The accident is caught on camera, leading investigators to what seems like an obvious conclusion, until further research indicates there must be more to the story. Discover how the crash of National Airlines Flight 102 became Bagram Airfield's worst ever civilian aviation accident.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Cineflix Productions