Air Disasters

The WORST episodes of Air Disasters

Every episode of Air Disasters ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst 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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Fight for Control
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#1 - 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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#2 - 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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#3 - 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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#4 - 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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#5 - 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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#6 - 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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#7 - 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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#8 - 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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#9 - 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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#10 - 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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#11 - 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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#12 - 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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#13 - 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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#14 - 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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#15 - 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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#16 - 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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#17 - Alarming Silence

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

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

Watch Now:Amazon
Cold Case
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#18 - Cold Case

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 7/22/2012

A design flaw on the Fokker F28 causes two similar plane crashes in Ontario and New York.

Watch Now:Amazon
Pilot vs. Plane
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#19 - Pilot vs. Plane

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 7/29/2012

Air France Flight 296 fails to regain altitude after performing a flyby during an air show.

Watch Now:Amazon
System Breakdown
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#20 - System Breakdown

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 8/5/2012

Five aviation disasters and the changes they have forced air-traffic controllers to make.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Final Blow
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#21 - The Final Blow

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 8/12/2012

An Air Inter flight crashes into the Vosges Mountains while attempting to land.

Watch Now:Amazon
Cleared for Disaster
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#22 - Cleared for Disaster

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 8/19/2012

An air traffic controller's mistake causes two planes to collide on the runway.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Plane That Flew Too High
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#23 - The Plane That Flew Too High

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 8/26/2012

The West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 crash ultimately leads to bankruptcy of the troubled airline.

Watch Now:Amazon
Deadly Reputation
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#24 - Deadly Reputation

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired 9/2/2012

AM Airlines Flight 3054 slides off a runway and crashes into a warehouse next to a petrol station.

Watch Now:Amazon
Blind Spot
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#25 - Blind Spot

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 3/3/2013

In 1978, passengers and seven people on the ground die when a PSA flight crashed into a Cessna.

Watch Now:Amazon

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