Monday, February 20, 2012

What R U Watchin'? - Air Crash Investigations

One of my favourite documentaries to watch is Air Crash Investigation. I'm never fond flying and watching this makes it worse but I don't know why, I just enjoy watching it. I like watching stuff about disasters (What does that tell about me?). It does gives you an understanding of what happened and teaches you a bit about aviation industry. They learn from these incidents and make the airplanes safer. It's already in its 11th season with a 12th under production currently. You can watch episodes online on YouTube by searching either Air Crash Investigation or Mayday, its original Canadian title. You can refer the list of episodes here. Here are some of my favourite episodes after the break.

Kid in the Cockpit - On 23 March 1994, Aeroflot Flight 593 stalled and crashed killing 75 people. The pilot's 15 year old son accidentally disabled the autopilot while in the captain's seat, causing the aircraft to bank heavily to the right creating the stall.

Hanging by a Thread - On 28 April 1988, Aloha Airlines Flight 243 was en route from Hilo to Honolulu in Hawaii when the roof of the front fuselage was torn off sucking out a flight attendant. The aircraft landed safely at Kahului, Maui. The fuselage failed from corrosion damage and metal fatigue.

Death and Denial - On 31 October 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990 from New York to Cairo, Egypt dove out of the sky and crashed into the sea killing 217 people. The cause of the crash is disputed, the Egyptian government claims mechanical failure associated with the elevator controls caused the crash, while the US government claims the aircraft was deliberately crashed by the First Officer Gameel Al-Batouti in a suicide/homicide.

Bomb on Board - On 11 December 1994, a bomb exploded on Philippine Airlines Flight 434 to Tokyo, killing a passenger, injuring many and damaging some of the aircraft's control systems. The crew successfully landed the aircraft at Naha Airport in Okinawa. Ramzi Yousef, a terrorist smuggled the bomb aboard on the first leg of the flight.

Ghost Plane - On 14 August 2005, air traffic controllers lost radio contact with Helios Airways Flight 522. Two F-16s from the Hellenic Air Force intercepted and investigated the flight and found all but one person aboard not moving. A few moments later the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed, killing 121 people. An incorrect setting on the cabin pressurization panel caused the pilots and everyone else on board to succumb to hypoxia.