Air Disasters

The BEST episodes of Air Disasters

Every episode of Air Disasters ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Air Disasters!

Harrowing stories of tragedy and triumph are brought to life through official reports, transcripts and interviews with the pilots, air traffic controllers and lucky survivors of history's most terrifying crashes. 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, we uncover just what went wrong.

Last Updated: 6/5/2022Network: Smithsonian Channel
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I'm the Problem
star
20.00
1 votes

#1 - I'm the Problem

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/17/2013

Moments before a Pacific Southwest flight crashes in California, gunshots are heard in the cabin.

Watch Now:Amazon
Turning Point
star
20.00
1 votes

#2 - Turning Point

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 3/31/2013

A Northwest Airlines flight above the Bering Sea must make an emergency landing in Anchorage.

Watch Now:Amazon
Focused on Failure
star
20.00
1 votes

#3 - Focused on Failure

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 7/27/2014

Just minutes before touching down in Portland International Airport, all four engines of a DC-8 mysteriously flame out. With the aircraft dropping 3,000 feet per minute, the pilots realize they have no option but to crash land in the middle of a major American city. Witness the harrowing emergency landing of United Airlines Flight 173 in Portland, Oregon, and uncover the shocking reasons for its massive engine failure.

Watch Now:Amazon
Death of the President
star
20.00
1 votes

#4 - Death of the President

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired 8/10/2014

It was an air disaster that crippled a country, heightened tensions between two nations, and ignited conspiracy theories worldwide. On April 10, 2010, Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M, carrying Poland's president, Lech Kaczynski, crashed on Russian soil, killing everyone aboard. Russian experts pinned the blame on the pilots, but Poland's Interior Minister examined the evidence and reached a far different conclusion. Experience the tragedy that shocked the world and follow the investigation that remains steeped in controversy.

Watch Now:Amazon
Ghost Plane
star
20.00
1 votes

#5 - Ghost Plane

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired 10/9/2016

The case of Helios Airways 737, in which a passenger flight circling Athens fails to respond to air-traffic controllers.

Watch Now:Amazon
Concorde - Up in Flames
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20.00
1 votes

#6 - Concorde - Up in Flames

Season 8 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/29/2017

Follow investigators as they use the few remaining pieces of a fiery crash to explain a Concorde's doomed flight.

Watch Now:Amazon
Grand Canyon
star
7.00
28 votes

#7 - Grand Canyon

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 6/8/2014

Two commercial airliners go missing over the Arizona desert, and are later found in pieces, scattered along the Grand Canyon floor. It's 1956, and air disaster examiner Jack Parshall is pressed for answers. There are no black boxes or any of the advanced technology used by modern day investigators. And all he has to go on are plane fragments and his own expertise. See how Parshall and his team of experts literally pieced the accident together, and how their findings helped transform air travel as we currently know it.

Watch Now:Amazon
Subtle Incapacitation
star
6.00
28 votes

#8 - Subtle Incapacitation

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired 8/17/2014

Five minutes into Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, something goes wrong. The pilots lose control of their aircraft, and before they can regain command, they begin an unstoppable descent into the Mediterranean Sea. All 90 aboard are dead and experts are scrambling for answers. There was a storm, but was it big enough to take down a 737? Or was there a more ominous explanation? Experience the terrifying disaster of January 25, 2010, and follow the investigation that led to a finding so controversial, some still refuse to believe it.

Watch Now:Amazon
Fight for Control
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0.00
0 votes

#9 - Fight for Control

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 4/27/2014

The Lockheed Electra was the workhorse of Reeve Aleutian Airways, one of the few links from Cold Bay, Alaska, to the outside world. But on June 8, 1983, the plane nearly plunged 19,000 feet into the Pacific Ocean after one of its propellers tore from the aircraft and cut a hole through the cabin. Join us as we document this incredible story of survival, from the cockpit to the cabin, with witness accounts, official records, and dramatic recreations.

Watch Now:Amazon
Fire in the Hold
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0 votes

#10 - Fire in the Hold

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/4/2014

The worst aviation disaster in Florida's history occurred on May 11, 1996. ValuJet Flight 592 mysteriously crashed into the alligator-infested swamps of the Everglades, killing all 110 aboard. Had the FAA implemented safety regulations instated after a similar crash eight years earlier, the tragedy would never have happened. Follow the investigation that would outrage a nation, cost the Secretary of Transportation and an FAA administrator their jobs, and ultimately doom ValuJet Airlines.

Watch Now:Amazon
Invisible Killer
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0 votes

#11 - Invisible Killer

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 5/15/2011

A landing goes wrong when Delta Airlines Flight 191 is hit by an invisible force.

Watch Now:Amazon
Gimli Glider
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0.00
0 votes

#12 - Gimli Glider

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/22/2011

A pilot heads for a decommissioned air force base when the 767 he is flying runs out of fuel.

Watch Now:Amazon
Behind Closed Doors
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0 votes

#13 - Behind Closed Doors

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 5/29/2011

A flaw on the infamous DC-10 airline causing two midair crashes in the early 70's.

Watch Now:Amazon
Fanning the Flames
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0 votes

#14 - Fanning the Flames

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 6/5/2011

A recovery operation is launched to find out if a 747 was carrying illegal weapons.

Watch Now:Amazon
Dead Weight
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0.00
0 votes

#15 - Dead Weight

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 6/12/2011

Just after take-off, Air Midwest Flight 5481 plummets to the ground, killing all on board.

Watch Now:Amazon
Southern Storm
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0.00
0 votes

#16 - Southern Storm

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 6/26/2011

Pilots of Southern Airways Flight 242 must try to land on a Georgia highway after the engines die.

Watch Now:Amazon
Explosive Evidence
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0 votes

#17 - Explosive Evidence

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 7/10/2011

A bomb explodes on Air India Flight 182 en route from Canada to India.

Watch Now:Amazon
Mixed Signals
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0.00
0 votes

#18 - Mixed Signals

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 7/17/2011

Conflicting alarms confuse pilots of Birgenair Flight 301 before it crashes into the ocean.

Watch Now:Amazon
Fatal Distraction
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0.00
0 votes

#19 - Fatal Distraction

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 7/24/2011

Pilots try to determine why both landing-gear lights do not function on an L-1011.

Watch Now:Amazon
Phantom Strike
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0 votes

#20 - Phantom Strike

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 7/31/2011

A Legacy business jet collides with a Boeing 737 in mid-air over the Amazon Rain Forest.

Cracks in the System
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0 votes

#21 - Cracks in the System

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 6/17/2012

Chalk's Ocean Airways flight 101 crashes just after take-off from Watson Island in Miami.

Watch Now:Amazon
Target is Destroyed
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0.00
0 votes

#22 - Target is Destroyed

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/24/2012

Korean Airlines Flight 007 is shot down by a fighter jet when it enters Soviet airspace.

Watch Now:Amazon
Cruel Skies
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0 votes

#23 - Cruel Skies

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/1/2012

The importance of weather forecasting to the aviation industry.

Watch Now:Amazon
Panic on the Runway
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0 votes

#24 - Panic on the Runway

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 7/8/2012

In August, 1985, an airplane's engine catches fire as it accelerates.

Watch Now:Amazon
Alarming Silence
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0.00
0 votes

#25 - Alarming Silence

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 7/15/2012

Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashes shortly after take-off in Detroit.

Watch Now:Amazon

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