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Mayday is a documentary series focusing on real life air crashes and occasionally other types of diasters from around the world. Produced in Canada by the Cineflix production company the first season was commissioned by the U.K.'s Channel Five; the National Geographic Channel has since taken the show around the world.

In its native Caada the show is known by the name Mayday, in the U.S. as Air Disaster and in the rest of the world as Air Crash Investigation. The more than 90 episodes of Mayday have been shown in over 140 countries around the world and translated into numerous languages.

Mayday follows a similar format in each episode s the focus of the show is placed on a single air crash or near miss. A mixture of computer generated images, interviews and reconstructions of events is used to provide an overview of the events leading up to a specific disaster. Actors portray key passengers, crew members and ground staff who were part of the events from the time of boarding the plane up to the moment of disaster. Interviews are used with survivors, family members, and aviation and safety experts to explain the events that led to or caused the air crash. Voice recordings of the cabin crews communications with the air traffic control tower are also used to convey information about the plane.

Despite being sold around the world Mayday is produced from the Cineflix production offices in Toronto, Canada. Mayday has been both a critical and commercial success for its producers.

Discovery Channel
11 Seasons, 109 Episodes - Returning Series
September 3, 2003
Documentary & Biography
8.9/10
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Mayday Full Episode Guide

  • On 1 June 2009, Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after an aerodynamic stall killing all 216 passengers and 12 aircrew, the worst crash of an A330.

  • On 21 February 2008, Santa B'árbara Airlines Flight 518 was operating as a scheduled domestic flight from Mérida, Venezuela to Caracas when it crashed into the side of a mountain shortly after takeoff. All 43 passengers and 3 crew members aboard the plane died.

  • On 25 January 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 an international scheduled passenger plane en route to Addis Ababa plunged into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after takeoff from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport during a thunderstorm, killing all 90 people on board.

  • On 28 December 1978, United Airlines Flight 173 ran out of fuel after a landing gear problem. The DC-8 circled in the vicinity of Portland and crashed in a sparsely populated area near 158th and East Burnside Street, killing 10 and seriously injuring 24 of the 189 on board. According to the NTSB, the flight crew failed to check the fuel state causing the DC-8 to crash.

  • On 7 September 2011, a Yakovlev Yak-42D carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl professional ice hockey team crashed on take-off at the Volga River, near Yaroslavl, Russia. Out of the 45 occupants only two survived. Five days later one of the survivors (Alexander Galimov) died, succumbing to his injuries.

  • On April 10, 2010, in limited visibility, a Tupolev Tu-154M carrying the Polish president Lech KaczyÅ„ski his wife Maria KaczyÅ„ska and other top officials, crashed on final approach to Smolensk North Airport. All 96 occupants on board were killed. The cause of the crash was pilot error.

  • August 23, 2005 a flight in Peru landed in a swamp 4 miles off the airfield.

  • December 19, 1997 a flight on it's way to Singapore crashed into the Musi River.

  • In Singapore - a flight collided with construction equipment on takeoff.

  • Valujet Flight 592 crashed into the Florida Everglades 10 minutes after impact.

  • Reeve Aleutian Airways Flight 8's propeller caused an explosion and loss of control

  • United Airlines Flight 232 has an engine explode knocking out the hydraulic system.

  • SAS Flight 686 takes off from Milan's Linate Airport to only moments later collide with a Cessna on the runway.

  • On May 24, 1988 a Boeing 737 suffered a dual engine flameout in a thunderstorm and manged to land and all on board survived.

  • A hijacker/disgruntled former employee named David Burke got on PSA Flight 1771 and shot the pilots and himself, eventually the plane crashed killing everyone on board.

  • Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 suffered an in-flight fire shortly after taking off. Efforts to return to the runway were unsuccessful .

  • Two flights crash into a residential area in San Diego.

  • A Korean Air Cargo flight takes off form England and shortly after crashes into a field.

  • British European Airways Flight 609 was carrying members of the famed Manchester United football team in 1958 when it crashed shortly after take off killing 23.

  • In October, 2002 Northwest Airlines Flight 85 is over the Bering Sea when problems develop and pilots must make an emergency landing in Anchorage, Alaska.

  • Flight #2574 is flying from Laredo to Houston, Texas and drops thousands of feet in mere seconds.

  • 248 American Soldiers on Christmas vacation are on their way home when a decision is made and it becomes one of the most deadly aviation accidents of all time.

  • West Caribbean Airways Flight #708 takes off from Panama City several hours late. The plane hits severe weather.

  • The captain of TAM Airlines Flight #3054 tries to land with no brakes and ends up crossing a highway, slamming into a building and gas station, and killing all on board.

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