Mayday: Air Disasters
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Hold on to your seat! Each episode of this white-knuckled, thrilling series features a detailed re-enactment of a real-life air emergency. Using cockpit voice recorders and air traffic control transcripts, as well as eyewitness accounts and interviews with aviation experts, Mayday: Air Disasters provides an exciting and compelling look at the critical moments before, during and after these catastrophes and near-misses.
Includes Six Gripping Episodes:
“Unlocking Disaster” – At an altitude of 33,000 feet, the cargo door of Flight 811 opens, ripping a huge hole in the 747 and taking out five rows of seats and nine passengers.
“Racing the Storm” – At the height of thunderstorm season in Arkansas, American Airlines 1420 slips off a wet runway, down an embankment and breaks apart.
“Fire on Board” – The pilot of Swissair Flight 111 smells smoke in the cockpit. Minutes later, fire and complete electrical failure cause the MD11 to crash into the Atlantic.
“Flying Blind” – As Aeroperu Flight 603 takes off from Lima, its airspeed and altitude indicators jam. The flight crew is flying blind and heading for disaster.
“Cutting Corners” – Shortly after Air Alaska Flight 261 takes off, the stabilizer malfunctions. The pilots struggle to control the nose-diving plane before it crashes into the ocean.
“Flying on Empty” – An Air Transat Airbus runs out of fuel over the Atlantic and has to glide to a power-free landing, narrowly avoiding catastrophe.
Top Customer Reviews
Later episodes of the series aired in HD, but I don't ever recall seeing these earlier episodes in HD. An extra bonus for this set is that it's in anamorphic widescreen. Having only seen these early ones in their 4x3 aspect ratio, it was nice to see them in their full 16x9 aspect ration.
To the folks at Koch and National Geographic, PLEASE continue releasing this series. I'll absolutely purchase them all. And heck, it'd be extra cool to get the ones produced for it released in high def.
UPDATE: These episodes on the DVD's are definitely extended from the aired versions I've got previous recordings of. The couple episodes I compared had some 6+ more minutes on this DVD version (interview clips with family & survivors less important to the narrative seem to be a favorite for cuts). Each episode clocks in at 52 minutes, give or take a few seconds.
The two-DVD set reviewed here is very basic. The packaging for the DVDs in a regular two-DVD case containing only the DVDs and an advertisement for other DVD sets. The DVDs themselves are also quite plain. There are no subtitles or closed captions, alternate languages, or extra features - merely an opening menu and three episodes per DVD. The image quality of the episodes is not particularly good - which could either be the transfer or simply the quality of the source material.
Comparing the 10-DVD set to this one, the 10-DVD set is a better value for the money. For barely twice the price of the two-DVD set, you get nearly four times the episodes. The episodes in the 10-disc set are from later in the series when the production values had improved. The video quality of the 10-dvd set is noticeably better than the video quality of the two-disc set.
I'd recommend a purchase of this set if you already have the 10-disc set and want some more episodes to watch. if you don't have the 10-disc set, get that first.
For all flight crew reenactments, the screenplays are taken verbatim from the cockpit voice recordings and are rendered with chilling realism. At times you feel like you're in the cockpit with the crew, helplessly watching them make crucial decisions that seal the fate of all souls onboard.
One other thing of note: The final, 80-second dive of Alaska Airlines flight 261 was, in all likelihood, even more terrifying than the reenactment as shown in "Mayday." According to the captain of a Skywest jet that was in the area at the time (see the NTSB's "Operations/Human Performance" report for the accident), flight 261, at one point, curved up until "it appeared to nearly stop, and then the nose fell back to the horizontal, leaving the airplane inverted," and then it "did an indescribable maneuver during which it appeared to tumble end-over-end.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book kept me on the seat all the way to the end. Wish I could see the movie?Published 1 month ago by Joann C Hormann
Smelled a bit funny. Left it out to air and wiped it down after a couple of data it was fine. My mother absolutely loved it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ConfusedEternally
Excellent recreation of actual in flight emergencies; one of the best things I've seen on this subject. Buy it; it's a great value. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Roland Behny
Mayday: Air Disasters is exactly as described and expected. No doubt most people here have seen at least one episode on television so no need to go into details about the content... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Keith H.