The Deadliest Plane Crash


Episode Info

On March 27, 1977 two fully loaded jet planes collided on a fog-shrouded runway in the Canary Islands, killing 583 people. A tragic accident that was as shocking as it was inexplicable, the Tenerife crash prompted determined aviation to investigate the cause of the crash in hopes that they could prevent such an incident from ever occurring again. As the KLM 747 cut through the fog to make an unauthorized take-off, the Pan AM 747 taxiing on the very same runway was obliterated by the force of the oncoming plane. With the KLM's senior caption and head of safety at the helm, such a catastrophe seemed near impossible. Now, after decades of investigation, NOVA offers a ripping investigation of the historic accident by combining haunting testimony from the few lucky souls who survived the accident with realistic recreations and interviews with accident investigators. While many travelers mistakenly assume that such a calamity could never occur again, NOVA explores how, despite notable technological improvements in runway safety, near misses remain to be the number one cause of fatal aviation accidents.


The Deadliest Plane Crash Photos