Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My favorite TV show

Air Crash InvestigationWell, after telling you about my favorite TV show in the 80s, I'll talk about my favorite TV show at the present. That show is called Air Crash Investigation or Mayday. It is a documentary about air disasters. Each episode begins with a narrative of a flight that ends in some kind of disaster, and then begins to follow the investigators in their quest to determine the cause of the accident. Using interviews with eyewitnesses and dramatizations based on CVR transcripts the show recreates the drama of the crash.

What I find most interesting is the investigation, and the highly unlikely chain of events that is usually required for a crash to happen. Usually, crashed are caused by a combination of unforeseen weaknesses in design coupled with a series of serious mistakes (or malice) on behalf of the pilots, maintenance crews, or sometimes a third party.

For those of you who have read this far, here are some interesting facts you may have not known about air crashes:

  • The deadliest accident in aviation ever with 583 dead - the Tenerife Disaster - involved two 747s which crashed on the ground. The primary cause of the crash was a mistake on behalf of the KLM captain, who believed he was cleared to take off when in fact there was another aircraft on the runway at the time.

  • A system installed in order to prevent mid-air collisions (TCAS) has been deemed partially responsible for a mid-air collision that left 71 dead (most on board Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937. It turned out that the pilots were not instructed how to act when the TCAS system and the air traffic controller gave conflicting instructions.

  • The worst single-aircraft crash (JAL Flight 123) killing 520 people was caused due to a critical mistake during repair on the accident aircraft seven years prior to the accident. This was one of only three reported cases where all four redundant hydraulic systems have failed at once.


  1. interesting info.
    is there a link to actual episodes of the series?

    1. The main cause of the collision a number of shortcomings on the part of the Swiss air traffic control service in charge of the sector Buy An Assignment involved as well as ambiguities in the procedures regarding the use of TCAS, the on-board aircraft collision avoidance system.

  2. Regretably no. The shows are not available for download and not even for sale on DVD.

  3. [...] my previous post about air crashes, I did a search on Google video and found several complete episodes for your [...]

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