• Smithsonian Channel
    Terror in the Skies

    S1 E1 Pilot Error

    One pilot falls asleep in the cockpit. Another suffers a panic attack in the cabin. Yet another, distracted by his laptop, overshoots his destination by 150 miles. Are these freak occurrences or the new normal in air travel? Witness pilot mishaps, as revealed through shocking footage captured by passengers on their cameras and phones. These firsthand accounts, combined with newly released cockpit recordings, give a chilling view into the world of overstressed, undertrained pilots, and what it could mean to passengers if changes aren't made.

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Terror in the Skies
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While plane crashes are rare, near misses in our crowded skies are anything but. Thanks to modern technology, these terrifying experiences are being captured more and more, as they happen, on cameras, mobile phones, and cockpit recordings, providing insights that are as informative as they are horrifying. See firsthand how recent pilot errors, technical failures, small mistakes, and big storms have placed passengers in life-or-death situations. Then discover why these incidents happened, and what must be done to prevent them from reoccurring.
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Terror in the Skies