The Best Documentaries About Plane Crashes

Aug 13, 2023 | Articles, Aviation, Best Of

A plane crash is one of the world’s most extreme and tragic events. Unfortunately, these tragedies still occur today, even with advances in safety measures and technology. Documentaries about plane crashes provide an informative glimpse into the investigation process surrounding such horrific incidents, as well as a deeper look into the lives affected by them. Whether you’re interested in aviation history or simply curious about what really happened, there are many fascinating documentaries out there for you to explore. Read on to learn more about the best plane crash documentaries available today. These documentaries often attempt to uncover the truth behind some of the most horrific air disasters in history. From interviews with survivors and family members affected by the tragedy, to in-depth investigations into what went wrong and possible causes, plane crash documentaries offer an insightful and captivating look into the stories behind these tragedies.


Lost: MH370 (2014)

Have you ever wondered what truly transpired on the fateful day of Flight MH370’s disappearance? This inquisitive investigation uncovers startling revelations about the series of events that occurred in the critical minutes and hours following the plane’s vanishing act. Using meticulous reconstruction techniques, this penetrating documentary raises uncomfortable inquiries for the Malaysian authorities.





Airline Disaster: Crash of the Century (2003)

On that fateful day, the sun was shining and the sky was clear. All seemed well at Los Rodeos Airport in Tenerife, a peaceful island in the Canary Islands. But suddenly, without warning, a dense fog descended upon the runway. It came out of nowhere, like a scene from a horror movie.






Mayday – Air Disasters (2012)

Welcome to Mayday, where we delve into the tragic stories of aviation disasters. Through detailed investigations using cockpit voice recorders, accident reports, and eyewitness accounts, we aim to uncover the events that led to these catastrophic incidents. Our episodes feature in-depth interviews, reenactments, and cutting-edge CGI to provide a comprehensive understanding of what went wrong and why.



Flight/Risk (2022)

Flight / Risk is a gripping and emotional documentary that delves into one of the most tragic events in recent aviation history – the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max planes. Through personal accounts from family members, legal experts, whistleblowers, and acclaimed journalist Dominic Gates, this film sheds light on the devastating impact of these crashes on everyday people.






Air Crash Investigation – Air Disasters (2007)

From the early days of aviation to modern air travel, people have pushed the limits of what is possible in the sky. However, with this thrill comes a great risk. Airplanes are complex machines that require precision and attention to detail for safe operation.





The Best Free Documentaries About Plane Crashes

American Airlines Flight 587 was a flight that had taken off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, bound for Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. It was an international passenger flight with 251 passengers and 9 crew members aboard her. However, on November 12 2001 tragedy struck as the aircraft crashed into the Belle Harbor neighbourhood of Queens, a borough of New York City. All those aboard the plane were killed as well 5 people on the ground in what was dubbed one of the third-deadliest aviation incident to occur on U.S. soil. The tragedy was made all the more worse because it occurred just two months and one day after September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Thus, it was initially feared that terrorism had struck once more and this caused major buildings like the Empire State Building and the United Nations Headquarters to be evacuated.


The plane that crashed on the morning of July 11th, 1947 had 92 skeletons aboard. This remarkable discovery was made in the small town of Roswell. Reports of a suspicious crash and unusual activity had been swirling around this area for years prior to the fateful day when the unexplainable happened. But what exactly did happen? Witnesses described seeing a large, shiny object that glowed in the night sky. Some said it was a UFO-like craft, while others claimed to have seen small figures of humanoid creatures on board. When the crash site was eventually uncovered, there were no bodies or wreckage found; only skeletons remained. This mysterious story has spawned numerous theories and speculations over the years. Was it an alien spacecraft crash landing? Was the plane carrying passengers who had already perished? Or was something much more sinister at play here?


From a routine takeoff quickly going off-script, these videos capture the indomitable spirit of airline flight and the nerve-wracking moments when things go wrong. Emory Worldwide Flight 17 Loses Control is an unforgettable testament to pilots’ skill, as the plane navigates dangerous terrain while losing control. In China Air Flight 120 Runway Explosion, a man heard screaming in the background as a plane crashes into its parking spot. Rogue Learjet Goes Down is one of those reminders that even the most experienced pilots can make mistakes, and NationAir Flight 2121 Catches Fire Mid-Flight captures a pilot’s desperate attempt to keep his passengers safe. Concorde Flight 4590 Destroys A Brand is an eerie reminder of just how devastating air disasters can be, while FineAir Crashes in the Heart of Miami captures the fear and worry that comes along with a disaster. Cathay Pacific Flight 780 Engine Fails on Approach is another testament to pilots’ skill, as they try to land the plane without its engine. Thunderstorm Cause a Plane to Lose Power is an incredible testament to the power of nature, and U.S. Airways Miracle on the Hudson captures how a pilot can save lives in the most difficult of circumstances. Finally, Asiana Air Crashes on San Fran Runway shows how every second counts when disaster strikes.


As the Boeing 767 took off from JFK airport, it promised all of its 217 passengers an exciting journey to Egypt. Little did they know that this would be their last flight. Suddenly, the plane began to lose altitude and plunge towards the sea. With a thunderous crash, it hit the waves near Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. All lives were lost in the tragedy, leaving the Egyptian government to ask for help from the American NTSB. The investigators examined every angle to try and discover what had caused the terrible accident – was it a mechanical malfunction or something more sinister? As they worked tirelessly to uncover the truth, families grieved over their untimely loss. A moment of joy and anticipation turned into one of great sorrow. But with pain, comes the hope that one day the truth will be revealed. From this tragedy, we must remember to cherish every moment of life and never take a single second for granted.


There are countless amazing stories of survival from seemingly hopeless situations, particularly when it comes to plane crashes. Here are five incredible tales of perseverance in the face of danger and tragedy. The first story we have is that of Vesna Vulović, a former flight attendant for what was then Yugoslavia’s national airline JAT Airways. In 1972, her plane was destroyed mid-flight at 33,000 feet in the air. Miraculously, Vulović survived the explosion and fell 10,160 meters into a snow-covered mountain. She spent 27 days unconscious in hospital with multiple broken bones but managed to make a full recovery. Next is that of Juliane Koepcke who endured as unlikely an experience as was possible in 1971. Her plane crashed deep within the Peruvian Amazon with her still strapped into her seat. After 14 hours alone in the jungle, she managed to track down some villagers who helped her make it back to civilization.


On the 27th of March 1977, a disaster occurred at Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife North Airport) on the Spanish island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. Two Boeing 747 passenger jets – KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736 – collided on the runway resulting in 583 fatalities; making it the deadliest aviation accident in history. An explosion at Gran Canaria Airport led to many planes being diverted to Los Rodeos, leading to a congested bottleneck of aircraft blocking taxiways. It became even more dangerous after thick fog descended on the airport, reducing visibility drastically. Air traffic controllers were forced to have both KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736 taxi on the only runway in order to take off.


The year 2020 brought about a new appreciation for air travel. With all of the restrictions and lockdowns that took place globally, so many people turned to flying to get away from their lives in one way or another. In this thrilling documentary we follow the story of Flight 35,000 feet as it take off in the sky. The journey begins with a beautiful takeoff from one of the world’s most iconic airports and takes us to see some of the most unique views, only available from above clouds. The documentary also captures some of the challenges that come along with such a high altitude flight, including turbulence and extreme weather conditions. In addition, we get a glimpse of the air traffic controllers on duty who are charged with keeping everyone in the sky safe.


8. The Single Deadliest Air Crash In History: Japan Airlines Flight 123

On a summer day in August, 1985, Japan Airlines 123 set off on its routine flight from Haneda Airport to Osaka. But unbeknownst to the passengers and crew, a disaster was waiting for them in the form of an improperly installed doubler plate. As soon as it was exposed to rapid decompression, the plane plummeted towards Mount Takamagahara and the lives of 520 people were tragically taken. It was the deadliest single-aircraft accident in aviation history, an unforgettable tragedy that will never be forgotten. The disaster shook the world, forcing governments to take a closer look at their safety protocols. Numerous investigations into the cause of the crash took place and changes were made to ensure that such a tragedy would never occur again. Safer airplanes, better trained personnel and stricter maintenance standards became the norm in order to make sure that everyone arrives at their destination safely.


It was a day like no other. The sun shone brightly in the sky, unaware of the tragedy that was about to unfold. The plane soared through the clouds, one short burst from its destination. Soon enough, it seemed they were getting close to their goal – and then, out of nowhere, disaster struck. Suddenly, without warning, the aircraft dropped from the sky and crashed into the waters below. It was a truly terrifying sight to behold – one that those who witnessed it would never forget. The plane had been carrying dozens of people, all believing they were on their way home after a long journey. But in an instant, their hopes and dreams were dashed. Rescue teams were quickly dispatched, with hopes that there would be survivors.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B