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List of Mayday Episodes

Mayday, also known as Air Crash Investigation is a documentary television program investigating air crashes, hijackings, near-misses, bombings and other aviation related disasters. The documentaries use re-enactments and computer generated imagery to reconstruct the events leading up to the disaster. Several aviation experts, air crash investigators and retired pilots are interviewed during each episode, they explain how these emergencies happened, how were they investigated and potential ways to avoid similar events

As of 20 February 2018, 153 episodes have aired. This includes 5 Science of Disaster specials and 3 Crash Scene Investigation spin-offs (these do not examine aircraft crashes)

Series timeline


Episode list


Season 1 (2003)


No
#
Title
Incident
Original air date
1 1 Unlocking Disaster United Airlines Flight 811 10 September 2003
On 24 February 1989 a United Airlines Flight 811 suffers an explosive decompression after part of the right-side fuselage rips off. Nine people are ejected from the aircraft but the pilots safely land the airplane in Honolulu without any more loss of life. The investigation later determined that an electrical short-circuit caused the cargo door to open.
Type of aircraft: Boeing 747-100

2 2 Racing the Storm American Airlines Flight 1420 3 September 2003
On 1 June 1999, American Airlines Flight 1420 overruns the runway upon landing at the Little Rock National Airport during a storm, killing 11 people. The crash was attributed to pilot error, the crew failed to arm the spoilers during their pre-landing checks.
Type of aircraft: McDonnel Douglas MD-82

3 3 Fire on Board Swissair Flight 111 22 October 2003
On 2 September 1998 a fire breaks out on Swissair Flight 111 while in flight over the Atlantic Ocean. The fire damages vital systems and causes the aircraft to crash into the ocean near Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. There were no survivors. The investigation revealed that the fire was caused by faulty wiring in the on-board first-class and business-class entertainement systems.
Type of aircraft: McDonnel Douglas MD-11

4 4 Flying Blind Aeroperú Flight 603 17 September 2003
On 2 October 1996, Aeroperú Flight 603 crashed into the water killing all passengers and crew. The aircraft was preparing for an emergency landing after the crew noticed false speed and altitude readings and contradictory warnings from the aircraft's air data system, however they descended too far by relying on those false readings. The cause of these readings was determined to be duct tape over the static ports, which was used to protect the ports during maintenance, but was never removed afterwards.
Type of aircraft: Boeing 757-200

5 5 Cutting Corners Alaska Airlines Flight 261 15 October 2003
On 31 January 2000, the trimmable horizontal stabilizer of the McDonnel Douglas MD-83 operating Alaska Airlines Flight 261 jams and breaks from its control system. The aircraft starts an inverted dive into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 passengers and crew on board. The investigation determined that the horizontal stabilizer failed due to an improperly maintained jack-screw assembly.
Type of aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-83

6 6 Flying on Empty Air Transat Flight 236 8 October 2003
On 24 August 2001 an Airbus A330-200 operating Air Transat Flight 236 runs out of fuel while flying over the Atlantic Ocean. The pilots manage to glide the aircraft to a safe landing at a naval base in the Azores. Investigation determined that improper maintenance work allowed a hydraulic line and a fuel line to rub together, as a result the line fractured and started to leak.
Type of aircraft: Airbus A330-200


Season 2 (2004)


No
#
Title
Incident
Original air date
7 1 Blowout British Airways Flight 5390 23 January 2005
On 10 June 1990, the cockpit window of a Bac One Eleven operating British Airways Flight 5390 blows out. The captain of the aircraft is partially ejected and injured. Another member of the cabin crew clings to his legs preventing him from being completely ejected. The co-pilot of the aircraft completes an emergency landing without any further injuries or death. Responding emergency services find that the captain is still alive after being outside the cockpit for 21 minutes. Investigation determined that the blowout was caused by a maintenance worker who installed the cockpit window with incorrect size bolts during maintenance work.
Type of aircraft: Bac 1-11 528FL

8 2 A Wounded Bird Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 529 30 January 2005
On 21 August 1995, a blade on the left-side propeller of an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft operating flight Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 529 breaks off. Due to the imbalance the rotating propeller causes the engine to partly tear itself from its mounting, creating excessive drag. As a result the aircraft quickly loses altitude and crashes killing nine people. The investigation determined that chlorine deposits in the blade led to the development of corrosion pits and fatigue cracks, causing it to weaken and break.
Type of aircraft: Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia

9 3 The Killing Machine Air France Flight 8969 6 February 2005
On 24 December 1994, an Airbus A300B2 aircraft operating Air France Flight 8969 is hijacked by terrorists on the ground at Algiers Airport. They demand the aircraft be allowed to depart for Paris. Their plan was to blow up the aircraft over the Eiffel Tower. The Algerian Army refuses to allow the aircraft to take off and it blocks it with vehicles. Over the next two days the terrorist kill three passengers to force the authorities to allow them to leave. The aircraft is then allowed to take off, but the crew diverts to Marseille Provence Airport. French special services storm the aircraft and after a short gun battle the hijackers are killed, while everyone else survives.
Type of aircraft: Airbus A300B2

10 4 Deadly Crossroads Überlingen mid-air collision 13 February 2005
On 1 July 2002, a Tupolev Tu154M operating Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 collided with a Boeing 757-200PF aircraft that was operating DHL Flight 611. The collision occurred in German airspace near Überlingen, killing all 71 people on board the two aircraft. The investigation determined that the crew of Flight 611 followed the on-board traffic collision avoidance system TCAS instructions to initiate a descent. In the same time, the crew of Flight 2937 instead of following their TCAS, initiated a descent as well following instructions from the air traffic controller. That block of airspace was monitored only by one air traffic controller at the time of the collision—his colleague, who was also meant to be on duty, was resting instead.
Type of aircraft: Flight 2937: Tupolev Tu-154M; Flight 611: Boeing 757-200PF

11 5 Lost American Airlines Flight 965 20 February 2005
On 20 December 1995 a Boeing 757-200 operating American Airlines Flight 965 is en route to Cali, Colombia. The crew is offered a straight-in approach to Cali. The pilots accepted the offer and started making the necessary changes in their flight management system. However they inadvertently deleted waypoints from the flight plan, causing them to lose certainty of their exact position. Their mistakes caused the aircraft to fly into a mountain near Buga. There were only four survivors. A dog also survived.the crash.
Type of aircraft: Boeing 757-200


Season 3 (2005)


No
#
Title
Incident
Original air date

Season 4 (2006)


No
#
Title
Incident
Original air date



Season 16 (2016)


No
#
Title
Incident
Original air date
131 1 Deadly Silence 1999 South Dakota Learjet crash 7 June 2016
On 25 October 1999, a chartered Learjet 35 operated by Sunjet Aviation, carrying golfer Payne Stewart and his agents, flies off course shortly after takeoff. It runs out of fuel and crashes into a field in South Dakota, killing all 6 occupants on board. The investigation concluded that everyone on board suffered hypoxia, but the cause of the decompression remains undetermined.
Type of aircraft: Learjet 35



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