Air Crash Investigation is a Canadian documentary and docudrama TV series that airs on National Geographic Channel. The TV series focuses on various air accidents, their causes, and everything related to them. Air Crash Investigation is the name of TV series out of the USA and Canada. However, in the United States of America and Canada, the series is known as Mayday. Whereas in some other countries of the world, it is known as Air Emergency or Air Disaster. In this documentary series, some notable and important air accidents are covered. Every episode of the series covers a story about various accidents on flights like a plane crash, hijack, near-crashes, etc. the story covers commercial flights, private jets, as well as defence cockpits.
In the episodes of Air Crash Investigation, you will be able to relive the whole process and situation of an air accident. The episodes explain how a crash or hijack took place, the causes of the accident, loopholes in the system, after effects, cautions that could be taken, and actions are taken to prevent such incidences later. To explain all this, the documentary series shows interviews of authorities and individuals involved in the accident, investigation teams, and the live witnesses of the event. To explain, what may happen to the flight or cockpit; graphics and animations are also used in the series. The detail that is shown in every episode of the series makes it viewers’ favourite.
Mayday or Air Crash Investigation was first released in 2003. However, till now 22 episodes of the series have been released. The latest 22nd episode was released in 2022 only on the National Geographic Channel. In these 22 seasons and some spin-offs, the series has produced around 250 episodes. However, it is difficult for a new viewer of the Air crash investigation to watch all the episodes of the series. Hence, we decided to make the list small. For the new viewers of Mayday and for the audience who loves thrilling documentaries, we have brought a list of Best Episodes of Air Crash Investigation. Read the full article to know the best episodes of the docudrama series Air Crash Investigation and go on a journey of real thrill.
15. Who’s Flying The Plane? (Season 6 Episode 3)
Season 6 of Air Crash Investigation had a few episodes only in which multiple stories are covered. The third episode of the season- Who’s Flying Plane tells you several stories of air crashes caused due to some interface issues between crew members and avionics in the flight. Notably, avionics is the system that facilitates various important operations including communication and navigation. In this episode, air accidents of China Airlines Flight 006, Air Transat’s Flight 236, Aeroflot Flight 593, and a few other flights were included. Notably, this cause of air crashes is less discussed. Hence, Who’s Flying The Plane is a must-watch episode of the series.
14. Mixed Signals- Birgenair Flight 301 (Season 5 Episode 9)
Mixed Signal is about a major plane crash caused due to negligence. In 1996, Birgenair Flight 301 take-off from Puerto Plata to Frankfurt. However, mid-way the aircraft crashed after the pilot received incorrect information about airspeed. In the investigation, it was revealed that the wrong information was passed due to flaws in the functioning of the pilot tube due to a wasp nest which may be created because the flight was not in use for a few days and the pilot tube covers were not used by the time. The crash took the lives of all 189 occupants on the flight. Hence, Mixed Signal is also one of the best episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
13. Free Fall- Qantas Flight 72 (Season 18 Episode 7)
Free Fall is the story of an inflight accident that took place on Qantas Flight 72 on October 7, 2008, when it was flying from Singapore to Perth. The inflight accident caused some serious injuries to occupants including passengers and crew members. That is why the flight was diverted for an emergency landing at Learmonth Airport. From the airport, all the injured were taken to the hospital. In this event, out of 315 occupants, 119 served injuries. Free Fall is an interesting episode because it is among very few stories of an internal accident in a flight that could prove deadly. Hence, the episode is a must-watch.
12. Imperfect Pitch- XL Airways Germany, Flight 888T (Season 13 Episode 8)
Imperfect Pitch delivers the story and investigation about the air crash of a testing flight of Germany Airways. On 27 November 2008, Flight 888T take off from Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport. When it was returning to the airport, the flight crashed into the Mediterranean Sea near France’s coast. In the accident, all the seven crew members were dead. The 8th episode of Air Crash Investigation season 13 tells the story of this air incident. The episode will take you on a journey of the sequence of incidences that caused the crash of a valuable asset. You could revisit the whole incident through several interviews and data available about the accident. The episode has managed to get good ratings. Hence, we have included it in our list of Best Episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
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11. Impossible Landing- United Airlines Flight 232 (Season 11 Episode 13)
Impossible Landing is the episode of Air Crash Investigation, in which you will go through a magnificent story of the successful emergency landing of Flight 232 on United Airlines. On July 19, 1989; DC- 10 aircraft of United Airlines faced certain failures in the system while flying from Denver to Chicago. This led to the loss of control of the flight. However, the crew and pilots of the flight managed to reduce the loss of lives through their quick and smart actions. Out of 296 passengers on the flight, 184 were saved in the emergency. However, more than a hundred people died in the accident. But the way, the crew, and piolets handled the difficult situation is appreciable. That is why Impossible Landing is one is the best episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
10. Kid in the Cockpit- Aeroflot Flight 593 (Season 3 Episode 9)
Aeroflot Flight 593 was crashed on March 23, 1994, when it was flying between Moscow to Hong Kong. During the initial investigation, no sign of any flaws in the flight functioning was detected. However, when the record box of the flight was recovered, the presence of a minor was observed in the flight. With the recorder, it was revealed that the son of the flight’s relief captain, a sixteen-year-old teenager has put the aircraft in autopilot mode. Knowing the situation, the pilots tried to save the plane from diving. But even after subsequent attempts, the flight did not acme in a controllable position. Resulting in its colliding with the Kuznetsk Alatau mountain range. All the 75 occupants including the passengers and the crew died in this accident which raised many questions about the negligence of the pilot. Kid in the Cockpit is a highly watched and liked episode of Air Crash Investigation. Hence, we have added it to our list of Best Episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
9. Speed Trap- Hughes Airwest, Flight 706 (Season 13 Episode 2)
Episode 2 of the Air Crash investigation is about the mid-air crash of two aircraft. The first flight was a commercial flight McDonnell Douglas DC- 9 operating as Flight 706 of Hughes Airwest. While the second aircraft was the McDonnell Douglas F- 4 Phantom II which is an aircraft of the US Marine Corps. On June 6th, 1971; Flight 706 flew from Los Angeles to Seattle at its scheduled time. But mid-way, it collided with Marine Corps’ Aircraft F- 4 Phantom resulting in the death of all the passenger and crew members of DC- 9 and one out of two piolets of F- 4. This was a very dangerous and notable incidence in the USA. As an after effect of this accident, the US armed forces reduced the operation of its aircraft in civilian air corridor and also agreed on better communication with civilian air corridor traffic control. It is a very interesting episode to watch, which involves both civilian aircraft and defence aircraft. Hence, Speed Trap is also included in our list of Best Episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
8. Stealth Bomber Down (Season 22 Episode 3)
This episode of Air Crash Investigation is about a defence aircraft crash. Stealth Bomber B-2 Spirit is a well-known and expensive aircraft of the US air force. The 008 aircraft crash was its first and only crash till now. On February 23, 2008, when the aircraft take-off from Andersen Air Force Base Guam; the plots lost control of the aircraft after a few moments it left the runway. However, even after several attempts of controlling and saving the essential asset of the air force, the pilot remained unsuccessful. But both the piolets of the cockpit managed to eject safely. B-2 crashed and was destroyed which caused a loss of 1.4 billion US dollars. It was a major incident and a major asset loss at that time. The whole story and the investigation results are shown in the Stealth Bomber Down episode of Air Crash Investigation. This episode is also one of the best episodes of the docudrama series. Especially, for the fans of defence aircraft, this story is a must-watch.
7. Explosive Evidence- Air India Flight 182 (Season 5 Episode 7)
Explosive Evidence is the story of the world’s second most deadly act of aviation terrorism after 9//11. The episode investigates the explosion of a planted bomb on Air India’s flight when it was mid-route for Montreal to London on 23rd June 1985. From London, the flight has to go back to India. The bomb was planted when the security of aircraft was under Canada. The mid-air explosion of the bomb took the lives of all the passengers and crew members present on the flight. The total causalities were 329.
Later in the investigation of this bombing, it was revealed that the bomb was planted on Flight 182 in Canada. A Canadian Sikh was responsible for the act. Unfortunately, the carelessness and lack of security arrangements from the side of Canada led to a major terror attack that took the lives of many. In Explosive Evidence, you will be able to know all the incidences prior to the attack and after the attack. As this explosion is one of the major acts of terrorism in a flight, Explosive Evidence is a must-watch episode of Air Crash Investigation. Notably, the IMDb rating for this season is also 8.1 which is very good. Hence, we have included this episode as well in our list of Best Episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
6. I’m The Problem- Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 (Season 11 Episode 10)
I’m The Problem is one of the most terrifying episodes of Air Crash Investigation. This episode traces the investigative story of a plane hijack and crash due by a single man. Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 was hijacked by an ex-employee of Pacific Southwest Airlines which is now acquired by USAir. After the acquisition, the USAir terminated David Burke who later entered Flight 1771 with his employee that he has not surrendered yet. The flight was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to California. But it was hijacked by a man and his rage and anger took the lives of all 43 passengers, crew members, and pilots of the plane. The incident was termed a mass suicidal murder. In the 10th episode of Air Crash Investigation, the known information about this incident is shown. However, what happened in the flight is partially revealed through the recording box. Still, so many things about the incident are unknown. If you like to watch about air accidents and hijacking, then this episode is a must-watch for you. Additionally, it has also received 8 IMDb rating points out of 10 which means it is a people’s choice episode of the series.
5. Turning Point- Northwest Airlines Flight 85 (Season 11 Episode 6)
Turning Point is the 6th episode of Air Crash Investigation season 11. In this story, you will see one of the most dangerous air accidents that if not controlled on time could have taken the lives of hundreds of people on the flight. In this episode of docudrama, a rudder hardover of Northwest Airlines Flight 85 is conducted. The incident took place on 9th October 2022. While the flight was above the Bering Sea, the plane took a lower rudder hardover. To save the flight from diving and a crash, piolet has to put all the skills and efforts that he did. Hence, the life of 404 occupants including 386 passengers on the flight was saved without any injury. However, this could be proved a very dangerous air accident if piolets failed to control it. Air Crash Investigators showed all aspects of this incidence in the episode Turning Point. The IMDb rating of this episode is also 8.2 which is a good rating. Hence, you should must give a chance to this series.
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4. Lockerbie Disaster- Pan Am 103 (Season 7 Episode 2)
Lockerbie Disaster and Lockerbie Bombing are the sequences of incidences caused by a terror attack on the Pan Am 103 flight. It is one of the major terror attacks and flight bombings in the history of the USA. Explosive bombs were already plated in the flight which exploded around 1900 hours when the flight was flying from the city of Lockerbie. The explosion took the lives of all the 243 passengers and 16 crew members on the flight. Additionally, the parts of exploded aircraft fell in various residential areas of the city which also took the lives of 11 people. This incident raises various questions about the security of people and security management by airports.
The terror attack was a big incident. Several levels of investigations were conducted and actions were taken after the incident. The complete story of the event with the details of the investigation is shown in the Lockerbie Disaster episode of Air Crash Investigator. This episode is a much liked and widely watched episode of Air Crash Investigation. The IMDb rating of the episode is also 8.4 which is very good. That is why we have included it in our list of Best Episodes of Air Crash Investigation.
3. Collision Course (Season 3 Episode 11)
Collision Course is a spin-off episode of the series. In this episode, rather than a flight crash investigation, a ship crash has been investigated. Collision Course is the story of a Ferry MS Express Samina. The ship lost track due to waves in the Bay of Patrikia which resulted in its collision with rocks. Later, the ship was drowned in the sea resulting in 82 deaths. The complete investigation of this incident was shown in the Collision Course episode of Air Crash Investigation. However, it is revealed that the sinking of the ship was not a natural accident, but it was the result of the crew’s negligence. The crew members had put the ferry in autopilot mode. And rather than observing it and the sea, the crew was engaged in watching an association football match. A mere football match took the lives of so many innocent people. This episode of Air Crash Investigation is a spin-off but got a very good response from the viewers. Its IMDb rating is 8.6. Hence, Collision Course is the Best Episode of Air Crash Investigation.
2. Pacific Plunge- Alaska Airline Flight 261 (Season 22 Episode 5)
The fifth episode of the latest 22nd season of Air crash Investigation focuses on the investigation and docudrama of a 2000 plane crash. On January 31, 2002, an Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed in the Pacific Ocean. The flight lost control after a jackscrew failure. In this incident, all 88 people on the plane including passengers, crew, and pilots were dead. Such an incident is not accepted when the piolets are very experienced. However, it was discovered that the crash was not because of negligence or any mistake from the side of piolets; the low maintenance of the flight caused the crash and took the lives of people. Notably, it was also revealed in the investigation that the pilots tried their best to save the people. Hence, they were posthumously awarded for the act. Notably, a 2012 movie named Flight is also inspired by this event. Pacific Plunge provides every detail of this aircraft accident. Its IMDb rating is 8.4. Hence, you should must watch this season of Air Crash Investigation.
1. Falling From The Sky- British Airways Flight 009 (Season 4 Episode 2)
Falling from the Sky is the best episode of the Canadian documentary series Air Crash Investigator. This episode is also known as ‘All Engine Failed: British Airways Flight 009.’ The 2nd episode of season 4, focuses on the story of British Airways Flights whose all engines failed while the flight was in the air. British Airways Flight 009 was scheduled to fly from London to Auckland on 24th June 1982. During the journey, the flight was about to land in a few stoppages. However, when the plane takes off on 24th June, mid-air the engines of the flight stopped working. The plane was in a cloud of dust when the incident happened. It took the lives of 248 passengers then seated on the flight. However, the incident which could take the lives of all the passengers and the crew on the flight was averted that day. The pilot of the flight managed to take the plane out of the dust storm and the 3 three engines of the flight restarted. Then the flight was directed to Jakarta for an emergency landing.
In this episode of Air Crash Investigation, all the activities taken by pilots, crew, air traffic control, and other to save the flight and facilitate an emergency landing is shown. Falling from the Sky has 8.5 rating points on IMDb. Fans of Air Crash Investigation also liked the way, the episode is presented. Hence, it is a must-watch Air Crash Investigation episode.
Where To Watch Air Crash Investigation?
Air Crash Investigation is a Canadian documentary series produced by Cineflix. It is originally streamed on National Geographic Channel around the globe. However, if you want to watch various episodes of the series online, you can switch to Disney Plus. On Disney Plus, android and iPhone users can easily watch Air Crash Investigation aka Mayday. However, to all the episodes smoothly, you have to take a subscription to Disney Plus. Notably, the subscription plan and subscription cost of Disney Plus vary from country to country. In India premium membership of Disney Plus Hotstar cost rupees 149 per month and rupees 499 per year for mobile. However, the streaming platform offers some other beneficiary plans to the viewers that you can check on the app.