MSNBC Documentary Why Planes Crash

MSNBC Documentary Why Planes Crash: Brace For Impact

Normally this is the place where I review documentary films, but since I took part in this documentary I don’t want to appear as a self promoter. Having said that, you should definitely see this documentary. The producer, Caroline Sommers, was asked to do a documentary on the Hudson ditching. She decided instead to do a documentary on the subject of ditchings. Besides the USAir 1549 ditching, the documentary covers the 1956 ditching of a PanAm Clipper, the 1996 ditching of an Ethiopian Boeing 767 off the coast of Africa, and the ditching I wrote about in my book 35 Miles From Shore the 1970 ditching of ALM 980.

The animations used to recreate the ditchings are first rate, especially the ALM ditching in the Caribbean. You’ll also get a chance to hear directly from some of the passengers and crew involved in the various ditchings, including Balsey DeWitt, the former captain of ALM 980.

Since the scope of the film is what happened that led to the various ditchings, it does not go into the various rescue operations that followed the ditchings. I hope this part of the story will be covered in a future documentary. In the interim, you can certainly learn the whole story by reading the book. Okay so I’m a self promoter. If you haven’t seen the documentary you can still catch it tonight in repeat showings at 11:00 pm central and 2:00 am central time. If you miss these, I’m sure there will be other opportunities to catch it on MSNBC.

Update: Watch Why Planes Crash: Brace For Impact

Nothing like technology and the Internet. You can now watch the entire episode below:

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  1. captain balsey dewitt should not have had his pilots license revoked as what happened was not his fault–he made the best he could of a bad situation

  2. I agree he should have never had his license revoked! It’s always easier to make judgement than to understand why. He did what he felt was best.
    Good man!

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