Greetings, readers. As I’ve mentioned before, begin fascinated with aircraft, I watch the TV series Air Crash Investigation. There is a huge part of me that likes to understand what goes wrong when aircraft don’t make it to point B. Here is a top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes that I have studied, not really in any particular order.
#10. “Catastrophe at O’Hare” – American Airlines flight 191 [The year was 1979 and a DC-10 aircraft lost an engine – literally – right after takeoff. With hydraulic fluid leaking from the wing, the plane never stood a chance. All on board were killed. It was determined that the engine was removed, serviced, and incorrectly re-mounted.]
#9. “Blow Out” – British Airways flight 5390 [Year 1990. Due to an incorrectly refitted windscreen that blew out, the captain was partially sucked out of the cockpit. Two flight attendants hung on to his legs while the co-pilot wrestled with the stricken plane and successfully landed it. The captain survived.]
#8. “Unlocking Disaster” – United Airlines flight 811 [Year 1989. 747 From Honolulu Hawaii to Auckland New Zealand. The locking clamps on the cargo bay door opened causing an explosive decompression.]
#7. “Turning Point” – Northwest Airlines 85 [Year 2002. The top part of the tail rudder went to one side due to mechanical failure and would not come back. The long flight luckily had two crews aboard who took turns wrestled the plane and landed the flight at its point of origin, Anchorage Alaska.]
#6. “Lockerbie” – Pan Am Airlines 103 [Year 1988. A terrorist planted a bomb inside a radio and packed it in his suitcase, which was put in the cargo hold.; the passenger never boarded the plane. All on board are killed and parts of Lockerbie Scotland are also destroyed when burning debris fell.]
#5. “Focused on Failure” – United Airlines 173 [Year 1978. DC 8. The captain fixated on a landing gear light that malfunctioned to the extent that he did not realize that he was running out of fuel, even with warnings from the crew.]
#4. “Lokomotiv Russian Hockey Team” – YAK Service 9633 [Year 2011. YAK 47 Russian airliner. Co-pilot had a nerve problem that was never reported and he didn’t know he was putting his foot on the brake, which kept the nose from lifting from the ground.]
#3. “Cracks in the System” – Chalk’s Ocean Airways 101 [Year 2005. Due to horrendous maintenance practices and stop-gap repairs the right wing of the plane broke off shortly after take-off. The flight never had a chance.]
#2. “Hudson River Runway” – U.S. Airways 1549 [Year 2009. Just outside of LaGuardia airport, birds flew into both engines and caused a double flame-out. The captain landed the plane on the Hudson River.]
#1. “Missing over New York” – Aviancia 52 [Year 1990 . From Colombia to New York, the flight was put in several holding patterns due to bad weather. Because of bad communication between crew and air traffic controllers, the fact that they were running out of fuel was never truly understood. The plane went down with fuel tanks empty.]
There you be. These are the ten episodes of this series that I have studied the most. The episodes that have intrigued me and that have made me angry. MY thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims.
Until next time, when we post number 200, take care, enjoy your day, and happy reading.
UPDATE: On June 13, 2014 I wrote a post on a specific episode, #4 on the list above, Lokomotiv Russian Hockey Team. Here is the link to that entry, if you wish to read it too: https://josephmkockelmans.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/the-air-crash-investigation-episode-on-the-lokomotiv-yaroslavl-hockey-team-crash/
UPDATE: On February 1, 2017 I did another top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes that I have watched and studied. If you wish to read it, here is the link: https://josephmkockelmans.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/top-ten-list-of-air-crash-investigation-stories-part-2/ Thank you for reading.