Rescuers approach Air Niugini flight 73 following its crash landing in the water near Chuuk International Airport. (US Navy)

On the 28th of September 2018, a Boeing 737 on an island-hopping journey across Micronesia unexpectedly slammed into the bright blue waters of Chuuk Lagoon while on final approach, coming to rest 140 meters short of the runway. The unplanned ditching caught the occupants by surprise, and one passenger who didn’t wear his seat belt struck his head and died, but the remaining 46 passengers and crew all miraculously escaped with their lives. Stunned by the sudden crash and glad to be alive, only later would they ask how it was that a modern airplane equipped with numerous state-of-the-art safety…


Note: this accident was previously featured in episode 7 of the plane crash series on October 21st, 2017, prior to the series’ arrival on Medium. This article is written without reference to and supersedes the original.

The wreckage of Air New Zealand flight 901 lies on the slopes of Mount Erebus in Antarctica. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)

In 1841, Sir James Clark Ross and his crew sailed into a nameless bay on the hitherto unknown continent of Antarctica, and there watched awestruck as a towering volcano spewed fire into the midnight sun. Ross named the volcano Mount Erebus, after his flagship vessel HMS Erebus, and a neighboring peak was christened Mount Terror after Erebus’ sister ship. In Greek mythology, Erebus, son…


Note: this accident was previously featured in episode 6 of the plane crash series on October 14th, 2017, prior to the series’ arrival on Medium. This article is written without reference to and supersedes the original.

In a photo taken from on board a nearby 747, Concorde can be seen taking off in flames. (Toshihiko Sato/AP)

On the 25th of July 2000, travelers at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris watched in horror as a supersonic Concorde lifted off the runway in flames. Faced with a raging fire and two failing engines, the pilots fought to keep their unwieldy airplane aloft, hurtling along just above the ground in a desperate race against time. It was a race they could not…


An aerial view of the crash site of United Airlines flight 608 reveals the extent of the devastation. (Michael McComb/Lost Flights)

On the 24th of October 1947, a United Airlines Douglas DC-6 caught fire over Utah, forcing the pilots into a desperate battle to get their burning plane on the ground. But just moments before landing at a remote airfield, the flight controls failed and the plane smashed into the edge of a plateau in Bryce Canyon National Park, killing all 52 passengers and crew on board.

Eight months later, on the 17th of June 1948, another United Airlines DC-6 crashed near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania after the pilots reported a fire in the cargo hold. …


Note: this accident was previously featured in episode 5 of the plane crash series on October 7th, 2017, prior to the series’ arrival on Medium. This article is written without reference to and supersedes the original.

The wreckage of a Turkish Airlines DC-10 lies in France’s Ermenonville Forest, where it crashed on March 3rd, 1974. (New York Daily News)

On the 3rd of March 1974, a packed Turkish Airlines DC-10 was rocked by a tremendous explosion shortly after takeoff from Paris. A huge hole had opened up near the back of the cabin, throwing part of the floor, two rows of seats, and six passengers out into the sky. …


Rescuers approach the wreckage of USAir flight 5050 after it crashed into the East River following takeoff from LaGuardia. (New York Daily News)

On the 20th of September 1989, a USAir Boeing 737 began its takeoff roll on a stormy night at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. But as the plane sped down the runway, it began to pull to the left with increasing force. Fearing that they would crash, the captain decided to abort the takeoff — without checking whether or not it was already too late. As the pilots tried desperately to stop it, USAir flight 5050 skidded off the end of runway 31 and plunged into Bowery Bay, where it struck a pier and broke into three pieces. By the time…


Note: this accident was previously featured in episode 4 of the plane crash series on September 30th, 2017, prior to the series’ arrival on Medium. This article is written without reference to and supersedes the original.

The full timeline and track of Swissair flight 111’s final minutes. (TSB)

On the 2nd of September 1998, air traffic controllers in Moncton, New Brunswick received a distress call from a Swiss MD-11 over the Atlantic Ocean. The pilots of the wide-body jet reported smoke in the cockpit, and controllers authorized them to divert to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s Atlantic coast. At first, no one seemed to be worried. But as the plane drew closer…


Security camera footage captured the moment Tatarstan Airlines flight 363 nosedived into the ground next to the runway at Kazan International Airport. (RT)

On the 17th of November 2013, the crew of a Russian airliner on approach to the city of Kazan decided to abandon an unstable approach and go around for another attempt. But as the Boeing 737 climbed away from the runway, it pitched steeply upward, then turned over into a near-vertical dive, plummeting 2,000 feet in a matter of seconds before slamming into the ground with a massive explosion. None of the 50 people on board survived.

Investigators would find that answers lay not in the smoldering pile of wreckage, but in the troubled history of the flight crew and…


Note: this accident was previously featured in episode 3 of the plane crash series on September 23rd, 2017, prior to the series’ arrival on Medium. This article is written without reference to and supersedes the original.

The vast wreckage trail left by United 232 slices across two runways and a corn field at Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa. (Sioux City Journal)

On the 19th of July 1989, a United Airlines DC-10 bound for Chicago was rocked by a massive explosion. The number two engine tore itself to pieces, sending debris ricocheting through the tail section and severing all three of the plane’s hydraulic systems. Within moments, the pilots found themselves at 37,000 feet with a plane full of passengers and no way to control it…


The wreckage of Loganair flight 670A is revealed during low tide the day after the accident. (AAIB)

On the 27th of February 2001, a Scottish cargo plane lost power in both engines shortly after takeoff from Edinburgh. With only seconds to find a landing spot, the pilots faced a stark truth: they weren’t going to make it back to shore. Loganair flight 670A came down in the waters of the Firth of Forth and broke into two pieces, driving the cockpit underwater before the crew had any chance to escape. Both pilots drowned in the freezing waters of the North Sea, leaving only the black boxes to explain what went wrong with their plane.

The data showed…

Admiral_Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (soon™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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