August 13, 2010
Buckled In and Cabin Baggage Safely Stowed, MAYDAY returns to Discovery Channel for a 9th Season, Sept. 8
– Eight new episodes investigate the causes behind catastrophic crashes that ultimately revolutionize airline engineering and passenger safety –
Toronto, ON (August 13, 2010) – Statistically safer than car and train travel, thousands of airline passengers board flights everyday without hesitation. But when airline disaster strikes, it is often catastrophic: The first-ever passenger flight of an Airbus A320 ends in disaster at a French air show; a 747 crashes when an LAX traffic controller is overwhelmed on a stormy afternoon; and when a Korean passenger jet is mistaken for a spy plane, 269 people pay with their lives. Discovery Channel explores these disasters – and the advancements in aviation engineering and safety improvements that resulted – when MAYDAY returns with 8 new episodes. Airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, Season 9 of MAYDAY premieres September 8.
From structural failures and design flaws, to complex computer systems that even cabin crews don’t fully understand, MAYDAY combines compelling human drama and detailed aviation science to reveal the unsettling truth that aviation safety improves one crash at a time. Featuring cockpit recorders, news footage, eyewitness accounts, survivor and family interviews and gripping re-enactments, eight new episodes investigate aviation disasters to find out what went wrong… And why.
Highlights from the first episodes of MAYDAY include:
MAYDAY – “Panic on the Runway”
Wed., Sept. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
On August 22, 1985, British Airtours Flight #28 is taking off from Manchester Airport for the Greek Island of Corfu. As the aircraft is accelerating, a loud “thud” emanates from the fuselage and the pilots abandon takeoff. They believe a tire has blown, but passengers on the left side of the plane see the real problem – one of the engines is actually on fire. Within seconds, thick black smoke fills the cabin, panicked passengers struggle to escape, and just six minutes later, the aircraft is completely ravaged by fire, killing 55 people. Can investigators determine how a minor emergency turned into one of the worst disasters in British aviation history?
MAYDAY – “Alarming Silence”
Wed., Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines Flight #255 is on the tarmac at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The pilots are bound for Phoenix Arizona, but first they have to find their runway. Controllers have given them a last-minute change and the pilots are having a hard time locating the entrance to their runway. Finally, one hour behind schedule, the pilots taxi the DC-9 into position and are soon roaring down the runway at 270kph. Captain John Mause pulls back on his control column but the plane barely manages to get off the ground before it hits a light pole, slams into a building and disintegrates on a highway. This is the second-deadliest airplane disaster in U.S. history... But can investigators determine what went wrong?
MAYDAY – “Pilot vs. Plane”
Wed., Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
On July 26, 1988, The Airbus A320 – the world’s most sophisticated passenger jet – takes off on its maiden passenger flight and first-ever public demonstration. The plane is headed for the Alsace air show where the pilots are planning a breathtaking low-altitude fly-by. But after getting into position over the tiny airfield, the exhibition turns to disaster. The plane plows into a forest and is consumed by flames. More than a tragedy, it is a public relations nightmare for Europe’s aerospace industry. With such a huge investment on the line, there is enormous pressure on investigators to determine whether the pilot or the plane was at fault.
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For more information:
Jodi Cook, Discovery Channel, 416.384.4603 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Hall, Discovery Channel, 416.384.5903 or email@example.com
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