Discovery Turbo sheds light on Aviation Disasters

Plane Collision in Southern GermanyAiring this September, Discovery Turbo’s gripping series Aircrash Confidential  explores the most incredible aviation detective stories ever.

Each episode starts with a mystery, from planes with a mind of their own to pilots going apparently crazy, taking viewers on a journey through other crashes and near-misses that enable investigators to explain what happened, and how to help prevent disasters in the future.

Aircrash Confidential  airs on Discovery Turbo every Thursday at 11 pm beginning September 4.The episodes repeat every Friday at 4 pm.

Every air crash is a catastrophe that leaves behind bereaved families and ruined lives. But with each disaster, a lesson is learnt, and aviation safety is gradually improved. In the series opener,  Aircrash Confidential takes a closer look at the Boeing 737 mystery that plagued the world’s most popular jet liner for six years and led to two fatal crashes, highlighting the engineering ingenuity that led to a solution.

Various aviation disasters from recent years are also investigated, including the Russian plane crash in 2011 when, due to mistakes made by the pilot during take-off, 44 people were killed including an entire professional hockey team, to the deadliest single-aircraft accident in aviation history, when in 1985, 520 people died after Japan Airlines Flight 123 suffered mechanical failures and crashed into Mount Takamagahara.

A six-part series,  Aircrash Confidential explores how and why the disaster happened, including pilot fatigue, poor maintenance and systems failure. Powerful personal accounts from witnesses, survivors and the families of the bereaved will show the human cost of air disasters, while dramatic reconstructions, CGI and interviews with investigators and experts illustrate the precise technical causes of the disasters.

Gain insight into these aviation disasters and find out how and why the tragedies happened.  Aircrash Confidential
takes you right into the cockpit as events unfold.

Aircrash Confidential Episode Descriptions

The Great Boeing 737 Tail-Fin Mystery
For six years the Boeing 737, the most widely used jet liner in the world, was dogged by a mysterious fault. Twice, pilots have lost control and the aircrafts— crashed. This is the story of the desperate hunt for an explanation to the Boeing 737 mystery and the engineering ingenuity that led to a solution.

Auto-Pilot Error
Three planes, two crashes, and one cause. This episode looks at the invisible third pilot of the cockpit – the electronic autopilot that does most of the flying on commercial flights these days, and how things wrong things can go when pilots rely on it too much. Turkish Airlines flight 1951 and Birgenair flight 301 crashed when its autopilot took data from a faulty altimeter and the latter, a faulty airspeed indicator. When the Qantas 1020 suffers the same fault as the Turkish flight however, the pilot monitoring the autopilot’s actions was able to save the day.

Pilot Fatigue
This episode tells of three chilling stories of death and destruction where pilot fatigue has been blamed. All too often, highly experienced pilots, with thousands of hours in the air, have made suicidal errors after backbreaking schedules have effectively left them drunk with fatigue. Find out why these deadly mistakes were made as the pilots’ footsteps are retraced with forensic scrutiny.

Systems Failure
In a world of highly computerised aircrafts, flying has never been safer. But one small problem can spark a cascade of systems failures, leaving pilots on their own. Two heroic crews bring their planes home, flying with almost no controls, saving lives by sheer skill and the skin of their teeth. As planes get more complex and reliance on the computer gets heavier, system failures push pilots to confusion and hence, greater disasters.

Poor Maintenance
A flight leaves Phoenix, Arizona, climbs to cruise altitude when a hole blows in the roof. As air is sucked out of the cabin and passengers struggle to breathe, the pilots desperately try to bring the plane down safely. This disaster had not been caused by anyone on the plane— the problem was there before the plane took off, but was not picked up in the maintenance bay. From the Titanic of the air, a Japanese 747 crash that caused more deaths than any other aviation disaster, to the staggering story of a British Airways captain who was sucked out of the front window of his plane and survived, maintenance mistakes have caused of terrors in the air.

Take-Offs & Crash Landings
A Russian jet crashes into the Volga, killing an entire major league hockey team. It’s a crash that sends reverberations around the world, and as investigators try to find out what went wrong, they suspect parallels with other take-off crashes. At this flight critical moment, almost any error or failure can mean disaster.

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