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Reviews & Ratings for
"Air Emergency" More at IMDbPro »"Mayday" (original title)

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32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Great series, accurately presented

Author: nomad472002 from Toronto
18 January 2007

I like this series. Being a pilot, I'm aware of when an aviation related program is nonsense or not, and most of the facts presented in this program are fairly accurate. It's a relief that it isn't all nonsense.

The facts seem to be presented in such a way that the average non-pilot can understand what happened.

Seeing this program makes you want to stay home and not travel, although statistically speaking, if one must travel, air travel is the safest way to go, with the exception (in North America) of the train.

One episode you'll want to avoid is 'Blow Out', unless you want a headache. It's an hour of mostly camera shaking, when it is unwarranted.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A superb series, w/stories too amazing to be made up.

Author: TheEmulator23 ( from S. Lake Tahoe, CA
29 November 2008

This is a great show which besides some of the mediocre re-enacting, is almost perfectly presented. I only have a couple real complaints about it. If anything I wish that "ACI" covered even more about the investigations as they can sometimes go on for years. I would think that being a NTSB investigator would be an amazing job although it's sad it has to come to that. It must be very rewarding for those trying to figure out what went wrong & explaining to those who both survived, & to those that have lost loved ones exactly what happened. This is one of those shows that has stories that are absolutely astounding that cannot be made up, otherwise you wouldn't believe it. (The pilot outside, Air France hostages, Hawaiian airlines losing their top, the mid-air collision etc.) I would hate to wish for more accidents to happen, but unfortunately that is the only way for us to learn about them and make them safer. I know it's all about money, but why every system doesn't have at least 1 redundancy (2 for the major systems such as the hydraulics) built in, is beyond me. You can't put a price on these people yet we do it every day. Anyway love this show & for anybody trying to expand their knowledge as well as being entertained, this is the show for you.

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

An exceptional TV show

Author: Felipe Bachian from Brazil
20 April 2008

I'm an aviation enthusiast and a big fan of this show, presented in Brazil by National Geographic and called "Mayday Desastres Aéreos" (something like "Mayday Air Disasters)".

It's presented in a very easy way to understand so everybody can watch and enjoy it.

One my my favorite episodes is the "Blow Out", that's the first episode of the second season. It's really amazing the pilot survived.

The computer graphics is a must and recreates the aircraft models and situations with accuracy.

The actors dramatization are not bad, but it seems to be overused sometimes.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching but can be irritating

Author: purkaeus from Australia
20 April 2012

A must watch for all interested in aircraft and air safety. However, it is not without its flaws.

The quality of reenactments varies from decent to awful, but they seem to have improved in later episodes. Aircraft sound effects and take off cockpit drills are generally pretty boring, sometimes just plain wrong, and could do with improvement.

Unlike Black Box, an air crash programme from the 1990s, actual cockpit voice recordings are never used; the reenactments often sound rather different to the real thing.

The narrator will often be heard asking questions like "How could a state of the art xxxx aircraft crash?" etc, which can get a little annoying after awhile. Owing to widespread abuse on this programme, the term "State of the art" is pretty meaningless. Furthermore, "state of the art" does not mean "impossible to crash", as evidenced by the fact that new episodes continue to be made.

Also annoying is the delicate manner in which aircraft manufacturers are handled. With a few exceptions, criticism of manufacturers seems to be carefully sidestepped. Aircraft fans might not like my saying this, but praise for aircraft manufacturers and their designs, particularly Boeing, is all too frequent. Just because they are a market leader does not mean their products are the safest permitted by the current level of technological advancement. Manufacturers and their products are highly fallible, as anyone who has looked beyond the detail given in this programme would know.

NTSB bureaucrats really get to blow their trumpet on this show, too.

Perhaps I have been too harsh a judge of this show. With all its faults, I still enjoy watching it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A great series that make air travel safer...

Author: jacksondzerio from Malaysia
3 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now I'm going to include the episode of Seconds from disaster air crash episode in this preview.I like this series,I never thought that air disaster can be very unique and have so many culprit.This series can developed phobia towards air travel,but I think every episode makes air travel faster.Pilot can learn a lot of thing from this series as some episode reveal that a simple mistake can cause plane to crash.For example pilot who watch this show would know how to react to rudder reversal,a blocked pitot tube scenario,not to use rudder aggressively in wake turbulence and much more.The reenactment of the actor is also good as it shows the passenger and crew turn upside down when the plane is rolling in mid air.And there are so many mistake and culprit that cause plane to crash.Some episode are quite repetitive but others crashes are more difficult to solve.The acting and investigation always keep me interested.The series also get better after season 3 as they focus more on investigating rather than the reenactment and with new intro.I also think that any people who involved in airliner company will be more aware towards aircraft maintenance and pilot will be more aware from making any mistake after watching this show.

Overall both ACI and SFD plane crash increase aviation knowledge as well develop a bit of phobia.Worth watching.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: Blueghost from The San Francisco Bay Area
27 December 2012

Most of us have flown, and have heard of those horrible airplane crashes that used to make big splashy news' headlines. They don't happen quite as often as they used to, and in our day and age of information overload, they tend to get drowned out with all the other news around the world. But, they still occasionally occur, and still draw attention.

This show, "Air Crash Investigations", "May Day", or "Air Emergency", or whatever you want to call it, delves deep into the causes and effects of many a famous air liner disaster. And, amazingly enough, despite the theatrics in the recreations, educates the viewer as to the realities of air craft functions and procedures of operation. By the end of the episode you'll feel like an aerospace engineering expert.

The format of the episodes follow a presentation of the event in brief, then an elongated version showing the developments to the event, followed by investigation and analysis. Nearly every episode has an act four that tells of the aftermath's, good and bad, of the disaster or crash that was investigated. All the while you, the viewer, are given great insight into the short comings of procedure, design or environment--more often than not it will be a combination of these factors that will lead to the inevitable; a crash of some form.

Not every episode deals with a crash landing. Sometimes the crew is able to salvage mortal failure on part of the plane, and bring things to a safe end--or, more often than not, a relative safe end. Even when the pilots can bring back a wounded bird so the show still looks into what forced the pilots into that situation, and how the event culminated in its eventful end.

One of the amazing things about this show is that the engineering aspects are explained such that any lay person, anyone who doesn't have any kind of engineering nor scientific background, are brought up to speed on the mechanics and science behind aircraft design so that they can understand, for the duration of the episode, the engineering aspects that were involved. Similarly procedures are explained as to how jets are flown, how they are berthed, how they land, takeoff, and are maintained. Interviews with key players, witnesses, experts in the field, make clear along with charts, animations and recreations provide visual cues to further explain and educate.

As a casual viewer who's flown, but flies no more, I have a curiosity about some crashes here in the United States. The series explored and explained them. I also had a curiosity about the reputation of the DC- 10 during the 70s, and the series looked into that aircraft in a series of episodes as well. All the major crashes are examined; from the bombing of Pan Am over Lockerbie Scotland, to PSA Flight 182 in San Diego, to the more contemporary events such as British Airways flight 38 in Heathrowe.

If this series has a shortcoming it's not that it caters to sensationalism (it uses that as a hook, but this is not the focus of the series), it's the actors in the recreations. It's a double edged sword with the performances because the actors needed to convey the emotional atmosphere of the participants involved, and therefore by necessity ham up the effort. It makes for an unusual viewing experience, but again gives the viewer a concept of the events and the actions of the people involved.

Well, just as car wrecks create rubber-neckers, so it is that I found this show addicting. Again, in spite of its sensationalist promotion, it is an actual documentary with elements of recreated drama interspersed between interviews and explanations. Married to it is a kind of tension that holds the show together and keeps the viewer riveted. You already know what happens, but the show is going to show you why it happened, and, hopefully, what solutions resulted from these horrible events.

It's not a show for the squeamish nor emotional. You might find yourself tearing up, being shocked, maybe outraged, but not very often will you feel settled after viewing this show.

I do recommend it, but definitely watch at your risk.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Series

Author: Robert W. Anderson ( from United States
13 January 2012

I didn't get to see any of the episodes of this great show when it was in it's first run. The episodes I've seen were all in rerun on the National Geographic Channel. This is an amazing well done show. There aren't any well know stars in any of these episodes but the subject matter is so compelling that's a big part of the success. In the cases where there were survivors those people have inserts into the story to elaborate on the telling of the story. These shows are very gripping; you get drawn right into these stories. You find yourself pulling for people literally praying that their character will survive what ever is going to happen. I hope National Geographic will run this who series again on NAT GEO. It's high caliber entertainment.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Enthralling documentary series

Author: webberrules from Canberra, Australia
4 December 2014

Air Crash Investigation is a documentary series that takes an in- depth look at what happens in the accident, what happened after the accident, what the investigators to scrutinise the accident and how air safety improves after the accident so that they can prevent the same event from reoccurring.

It is a good series if you are interested in aviation or want an enthralling documentary. It is not only a good series for those reasons alone, it can also be a good way to develop the skill of going in- depth with a variety of things, like if you see a negative review on a series or movie that has a lot of positive reviews on IMDb, yet get more unhelpful responses than helpful responses, possible reasons include: gigantic fanbase (like the Japanese animation fanbase with series Cowboy Bebop in the United States) or people that cannot take a negative review of predominantly positive reviews or vice versa (like people seeing a positive review of anything Barney the Dinosaur will go off in a raging fit).

If you are a person who has a fear of flying, avoid this television series at all costs!

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An amazing Documentary Drama

Author: hujustinapple from United States
3 April 2013

It is an amazing Documentary that well and simple explanations to plane crashes. It explains to even to the regular joe. The CGI varies from episode to episode (PS: The Grand Canyon's one was crap). Although there episode release schedule was out the window during Season 10 and 12 (It took 6 months to release an episode). I prefer the narrator in the British/Pacific version rather then the narrator in the Canadian version. The reenactments are are believable although I wish the script writers would stick to the Black box recordings rather then trying to script it (its really noticeable in episodes where there aren't black boxes recordings to fall on) And it is a bit boring watching the pilots doing preflight checklists. And on a final note I wish they covered more plane crashes.

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Adventure, thriller, drama and mystery come together.

Author: Olga_baikova from London
25 May 2012

This is the best documentary series I've ever seen. The computer generated images and re-enactment gives you a great picture of what really happened on the flight, what people were saying and doing at the time. It makes you feel you were on board that plane as well. These series are not meant to scare the general public to the point when no one wants to travel by plane, but in fact it's goal is to tell people what has been done to prevent something like this from ever happening again. I cannot wait to see the new episodes from season 12, which is in production at the moment. I'm also looking forward to see the episode about the recent Sukhoi SuperJet crash in the future seasons. I do believe it will be eerily similar to the Airbus show flight featured in season 9 episode 3- Pilot vs Plane. One of the downsides of the series is that sometimes the same actors portray different pilots in several episodes, which can be somewhat confusing.

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