Alaska Aircrash Investigations

Watch Alaska Aircrash Investigations

  • 2016
  • 1 Season
  • 6.8  (53)

Alaska is a land of beauty, ruggedness, and danger. Every year, dozens of planes crash in the state, often in remote and treacherous locations. In the documentary series "Alaska Aircrash Investigations" from Smithsonian Channel, viewers get an inside look at how investigators piece together the clues surrounding these crashes and try to understand the circumstances that led to each tragedy.

Each episode of the show features one or more crash investigations, starting with a brief overview of the incident and then delving into the details. Viewers see photos and videos of the wreckage, interviews with witnesses and survivors, and simulations that recreate key moments from the flight. Throughout the process, the investigators use a variety of techniques and technologies to determine what went wrong, such as examining the plane's maintenance records, analyzing data from the aircraft's black box, and studying weather reports.

One thing that quickly becomes clear in the series is just how dangerous flying in Alaska can be. The state's terrain and climate make it notoriously challenging for pilots, and small planes are particularly prone to crashes. In one episode, for example, investigators must brave bitterly cold temperatures and waist-deep snow to reach the crash site of a plane that went down in the Alaskan wilderness. In another episode, they must navigate a treacherous mountain pass to reach a plane that crashed near the top of a peak.

Despite the inherent dangers, the people who fly in Alaska are often seasoned pilots with years of experience. Many of them are flying to remote locations to work, hunt, fish, or explore, and they know the risks involved. But accidents still happen, and when they do, the investigators must determine whether pilot error, mechanical failure, or other factors were to blame.

Throughout the series, viewers get to know several of the investigators who work on these cases. They include experienced pilots, accident investigators, and specialists who are experts in fields like human factors and engineering. Together, they use their skills and expertise to unravel the mysteries behind each crash and prevent future accidents from occurring.

One of the most fascinating aspects of "Alaska Aircrash Investigations" is the way it blends science and storytelling. The investigators use rigorous scientific methods to analyze the data and uncover the facts, but the show also weaves together a compelling narrative that draws viewers in and keeps them engaged. By the end of each episode, viewers have a deep understanding of what happened and why, but they also have a sense of the human stories behind each crash.

Another notable aspect of the series is the way it highlights the role that technology plays in modern crash investigations. Throughout the show, viewers see how experts use cutting-edge tools like 3D printing, drone technology, and advanced simulations to reconstruct the events leading up to each accident. These tools not only help investigators determine what went wrong, but they also help them develop new strategies for preventing accidents in the future.

In addition to its scientific and technological aspects, "Alaska Aircrash Investigations" is also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The series showcases the bravery of the pilots and other individuals involved in each crash, as well as the dedication and determination of the investigators who work tirelessly to understand what happened. It's a reminder that even in the face of tragedy, people can come together to solve problems and make the world a safer place.

Overall, "Alaska Aircrash Investigations" is a fascinating and captivating show that offers viewers a unique look into the world of accident investigation. Whether you're a fan of aviation or simply enjoy compelling stories, this series is sure to leave you with a greater appreciation for the science and technology behind modern crash investigations, as well as the courage and resilience of those who work to prevent accidents and keep us all safe.

Alaska Aircrash Investigations is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on March 13, 2016.

Alaska Aircrash Investigations
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Plane Down in Big Lake
6. Plane Down in Big Lake
April 17, 2016
A 23-year-old pilot's Cessna plunges nose first into a public road near Big Lake, and investigator Millicent Hoidal must piece together the evidence remaining from the fiery crash. A set of missing logbooks and a propeller with no serial number complicate the investigation, which must rely on a deep dive into the young pilot's history and training to determine the final cause of the disaster.
Lost Over The Inlet
5. Lost Over The Inlet
April 10, 2016
Newcomer Shaun Williams gets a report at midnight of a downed plane in a local bay, but by dawn, the aircraft has disappeared under the waters of Knik Arm. With rescuers and helicopters attempting to recover the wreckage, Williams tries to determine what caused the plane to plunge only two miles before its planned landing. When the fatal crash is pulled from the water, the NTSB rules out mechanical problems, leaving the possibly damaged GPS as the only evidence that might solve the mystery.
Plane Down In The Tundra
4. Plane Down In The Tundra
April 3, 2016
A tourist flight crashes just after takeoff from a remote fishing lodge, killing several passengers. The wreckage layout reveals that neither the airframe nor the engine caused the crash. Now the "Go Team" must launch a probe into the bizarre noises described by the survivors in the last minutes of the flight, and painstakingly determine whether the aircraft was overloaded past its weight limit.
Engine Out in Midair
3. Engine Out in Midair
March 27, 2016
When a Cessna 180 crashes on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, two lives are lost ... along with nearly all the evidence. After a terrible post-crash fire, investigator Shaun Williams must piece together eyewitness accounts from a grieving community, and compare that with the surviving pieces of wreckage. It takes a trip to an Alabama engine factory and back to Alaska to begin to make sense of the mysterious final sounds of the aircraft.
Trapper Creek Tragedy
2. Trapper Creek Tragedy
March 20, 2016
Senior investigator Brice Banning goes to the site of an Alaska tragedy: a bush pilot flying over his daughter's wedding party, who fatally crashed into nearby trees. Meanwhile, investigator Millicent Hoidal looks into a crash near the remote town of Bethel and uncovers a troubling medical issue that could have contributed to the pilot's fatal flight.
Forest Flight Down
1. Forest Flight Down
March 13, 2016
When a recent transplant to Alaska crashes a commuter plane west of Juneau, Chris Shaver launches an investigation to see whether the fatal crash was caused by mechanical issues or pilot error. On-scene investigation and a wreckage layout provide few clues. But recovered in-flight data reveals an unusual flight path, which might uncover the true cause of the tragedy.
Where to Watch Alaska Aircrash Investigations
Alaska Aircrash Investigations is available for streaming on the Smithsonian Channel website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Alaska Aircrash Investigations on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Philo, Amazon, Vudu, FuboTV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 13, 2016
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (53)