View Full Version : Air Crash Investigation TV series

27th Mar 2008, 14:59
Having watched this dramatic series on NatGeo enough times now it has come to my attention that they need a little more accuracy.

On last nights episode, regarding a Delta L1011 accident, it showed a controller giving instructions to an aircraft to turn left on heading 620 degrees?

Farmer 1
27th Mar 2008, 15:02
Idiot. Obviously, he should have said turn right.

27th Mar 2008, 15:19
After watching several series of aircrash investigation I have come to the conclusion that all aircraft incidents have one thing in common............
.............bad acting and ill fitting hairpieces:)

27th Mar 2008, 15:57
/Pedant on

have one thing in common............
.............bad acting and ill fitting hairpieces

One thing?

/Pedant off

27th Mar 2008, 16:03
Ok, make it three things... 'bad acting, ill fitting hairpieces and a viewer who is numerically challenged'

Happy now:8

27th Mar 2008, 16:09
Even more pedantic, but, the slash is generally used in Markup languages to indicate the END of a markup value. Therefore, it would have been more accurate to say . . .

have one thing in common............
.............bad acting and ill fitting hairpieces
One thing?


Loose rivets
27th Mar 2008, 16:57
bad acting and ill fitting hairpieces

Silly boy. Everyone knows that hirpieces act badly.:}

Mercenary Pilot
27th Mar 2008, 17:12
turn left on heading 620

That'll be the long way 'round then! :}

27th Mar 2008, 17:15
How does a hairpiece turn onto a heading of 620 ?

Solid Rust Twotter
27th Mar 2008, 17:27
100 degrees off two complete rotations like those humorous Three Stooges revolving wigs?

27th Mar 2008, 17:43
have one thing in common............
.............bad acting and ill fitting hairpieces
One thing?

That would make it a bad piece of acting

Foxy Loxy
27th Mar 2008, 19:54
Of course, not everyone they use in these programmes are actors!

I speak from personal experience...


Richard Taylor
27th Mar 2008, 20:48
So it's a REAL hairpiece? :eek:

The Many Tentacles
27th Mar 2008, 21:18
The Missus likes to watch this - I can't watch it because of the reasons above. The complete lack of accuracy annoys me, the acting and dialogue that makes Neighbours look like a Shakesperian drama and to steal a line, the hair pieces scare me :)

It's the same as most of the other crap on that channel - don't even get me started on Cold Case Files or Forensic Detectives

27th Mar 2008, 21:21
.......bad acting and ill fitting hairpieces

Not unlike a good ole 70's porno, eh?

27th Mar 2008, 21:29
Mmmmm I knew there was another reason I watched it:ooh:

27th Mar 2008, 21:31
Not unlike a good ole 70's porno, eh?
Nope....the music couldn't be that bad:E

The thing I can't stand with these dramatizations is the repetition and the voice over.

If not for these the whole thing even with ad breaks would last only 20 minutes or so.....

The Many Tentacles....That's why your other half likes to watch because it's like a later version of the Bold and the Boring.....:E

28th Mar 2008, 00:50
These reinactments are a waste of time, often whitewash the truth.
I remember one being made where the "crew" where made out to be heroes, when a dramatisation of the court case for gross negligence would have been more entertaining!

28th Mar 2008, 10:50
Are you seriously implying BEB, that one of more of our peers sitting at the sharp end, may have made some sort of mistake? Shocking!! bm:=

28th Mar 2008, 12:25
Of course, not everyone they use in these programmes are actors

True enough. Friend of mine got involved in a reconstruction of a railway accident where there had been an injured child on a track with a 'third rail' electic supply. His job, as a real train driver, was to drive the train and stop it, after which an actor, pretending to be the driver, would climb out of the cab and short-out the third rail to cut the power supply. The problem was the actor kept making a complete cods of it so my mate, who was trained in the appropriate techniques, ended up doing the actors bit as well.

28th Mar 2008, 13:55
Have to say, the best of such documentaries must have been the "black box" series shown on channel 4 in the nineties. Factually correct, no acting, just very very interesting!

28th Mar 2008, 14:51
I took part in a 'dramatic reconstruction' of an accident. It was hilarious rolling about as if spinning to Earth inside an aircraft sitting in a warm hangar. You've seen the same thing in every episode of Star Trek. Suddenly not so hilarious when I considered how it must have felt for the real passengers trapped inside a dark tumbling metal box. Better for us pilots, at least we have something to do on the way down.

I don't mind the air disaster programmes too much. But it's not as if I don't know how the story is going to end. I have read all the accident reports before. After all some of those accidents changed the way we fly. So it's useful to reinforce visually what went wrong. Just in case I ever find myself in a similar situation.

But what irritates me is the constant and inappropriate use of metres for altitude and km for speed. I suspect the versions shown on American channels use the proper terms or maybe MPH and feet. Another is the 'dramatic tension' they tend to build in. That's the trouble with too many documentaries these days. Far too heavy on the drama and acting. Less so on the facts.

I'm not going to complain too much. They are useful at times for pilots. Sobering but useful. Scary for potential passengers though:eek:

28th Mar 2008, 14:52
One thing that strikes me with these programmes is that the captain always looks like he's in charge of Thunderbird 1 rather than an airliner. I ain't kiddin' when I tell you that I'm looking for the puppet strings on some of these shows... m'lady! :8


Farmer 1
28th Mar 2008, 15:03
But what irritates me is the constant and inappropriate use of metres for altitude and km for speed.

Or even km for altitude. I quite agree, Corsair. Every time I hear it it makes me think the whole production team knows not the slightest thing about aviation matters, which spoils the programme for me. It also makes me wonder who is the target audience. Who, in the flying world, uses metres and km, and speaks English?

28th Mar 2008, 16:26
The other thing that annoys me is they always show en route controllers in a tower, usually with a hand held mike!

They also don't show genuine conversations between flightcrew, like which member of crew has the biggest tits, and showing each other the latest hottie in Nuts magazine!!!

28th Mar 2008, 18:10
In general I agree to avoid watching TV or film about aviation matters, to prevent too much irritation.

One exception though, Flight93 or whatever it was called about the aircraft which crashed in Pennsylvania 9/11.

I decided to go to the cinema after I had read an interview with the main actor on the ATC side, who played himself.

Marvellous acting!

29th Mar 2008, 02:45
Then there are the camera operators who insist on the pilot outside views always being horizontal instead of rolling and pitching as we see it.

Hopefully some will read these posts.

29th Mar 2008, 03:35
I hope so too. Lot's of (amusing) info here.

The interesting thing about Air Crash Investigation is that half is techinical stuff, and half is human interest (eg, interviews with relatives of dead pax). I always fast-forward through the latter, while others in the family fast-forward through the former.

The Many Tentacles #14: Those American crime docos (eg, Cold Case Files, New Detectives, FBI Files, etc.) annoy the cr*p out of me too. It seems that the same narrator does all of them, and, about one third through the program, the detectives do something to "BUILD THEIR CASE". (To be fair, I did hear another narrator on last week - although he sounded like a large bottle of vodka had recently passed through his digestive tract.)

Still, one can't stop watching. There's b*gger all else on at 4am.

uffington sb
29th Mar 2008, 17:43
I watched the new series last night which featured the tragic crash of a Beech1900 at Charlottesville.

Unfortunately they had the sound tracks of piston engined planes in the reconstruction, the inside of the cabin was massive and the air traffic controller seemed to be sitting in an office looking at an computer display.

It was abit like the Airplane movies with the B707 sounding like a DC-7.

30th Mar 2008, 01:50
Isn't is about time for another Airplane movie? Thirty years is a long time to wait.

And there's plenty of good script material on Air Crash Investigation. eg, A380 runs out of gas, then loses hydraulics, then gets hit by lightning and loses all electrics and navigation. Fortunately, retired DC-7 captain Charlton Heston is one of the passengers.

uffington sb
30th Mar 2008, 09:23
At least in the Airplane movie the wrong engine sound was intentional as was, I suppose, the B17 shadow in Dr Strangelove.

At least in this ACI, the controller appeared to be in an office, albeit windowless. In the program about the Swissair MD-11, the controller appeared to be in a boiler house surrounded by big dials etc and looking up at something on the ceiling!

30th Mar 2008, 14:16
I remember a 'documentary' about the Potomac crash (I think) where the glamorous presenter said, very dramatically
'and then the ENGINE stalled!'

I also saw another, more sensible, documentary about Al Haynes with a reconstruction of the events. However the conversations between flight and cabin crew were very formal indeed - cabin crew calling the Captain 'Sir'.

Several years later I heard the actual tapes where everyone was much less formal - I think one of the flight crew called the cabin crew 'honey' in very kind tones as they were discussing the dire situation.

1st Apr 2008, 12:11
I enjoyed (from an educational point of view) the 'Seconds from Disaster' programme about the Comet 1 Crash northbound from Rome. They appeared to use a Comet cockpit (probably a 4) as well as good uses of cgi graphics to show the explosive decompression. There were also witnesses including the Ciampino Ground Engineer; an Italian fisherman who witnessed the crash and; movingly, one of the Passenger's (a BBC Radio presenter) deaf daughter who, as a young girl was waiting at Heathrow to meet him with her mother. The programme finished up with a present day metallurgist, confirming the results of the original investigation into metal fatigue as being correct, despite the inferior technology then available.

1st Apr 2008, 21:04
It's the same as most of the other crap on that channel - don't even get me started on Cold Case Files or Forensic Detectives

Tut tut, The Many Tentacles! :=

On a thread touting the inaccuracies of a show on National Geographic Channel, wouldn't it serve the case a little better if the posters were also accurate? The two shows you mention are on History and Discovery, totally different channels from National Geographic, I'm sure you'll agree... :8