One of my favorite past times is watching anything aviation related on television. The Smithsonian channel often has fantastic segments called “Great Planes” on which they discuss the history of the most important aircraft in the history of aviation. Smithsonian also does a great series called “Air Disasters” in which they document various incidents throughout aviation history.
There are other similar air disaster shows on various networks around the world as well. You may think watching shows about crashes would make a flier nervous, but I find it cathartic. Almost every show provides the reason for the incident and the technological advances which help prevent similar incidents in the future.
One my favorite episodes featured British Airways 38. On that flight, ice crystals formed in the jet fuel lines which lead to the engines. Upon decent the ice blocked fuel to the engines and almost caused a catastrophic crash. Once investigators discovered the problem they introduced a simple solution. Now icing in fuel lines isn’t an issue.
City In The Sky
City In The Sky is a PBS produced docuseries which gives viewers a behind the scenes look into the airline industry. The show stands out because of how well PBS produced each episode. The entire series is informative, but presents information in an easy to digest way. I’ve heard multiple people mention this series and not all of them are AvGeeks. A few people who could care less about aviation even mentioned enjoying the three-hour series which is now available on Netflix.
The first City In The Sky episode titled “Departure” documents the various systems required to get a plane in the sky. These systems include the baggage handling services, people movers, catering services, jet fuel supply systems, and airplane manufacturing processes required to even get airborne.
The second hour-long episode titled “Airborne” shows viewers what’s happening when the plane is in flight. This episode gives viewers a behind the scenes look at air traffic control, weather testing, and pilot training. I also never realized just how many people work together to get a plane full of people from point a to b.
City In The Sky’s third and final episode shows viewers what happens after you land and deplane an aircraft. The episode also shows the complexities of landing. I never knew just how much training goes into the last and most critical portion of flight. Lastly, the episode shows the absolute final moments of an aircraft’s life.
While it’s no surprise that I’d love this docuseries, I think it’s a show non-aviation enthusiasts will also enjoy. I recently finished the three-hour series and thoroughly enjoyed watching. While I consider myself familiar with much of the aviation and airline industries, I’ve never seen such a detailed behind the scenes look. For example, I’ve never seen how catering services work or the massive network of conveyer belts that move bags around an airport. Hopefully you’ll also enjoy this series. Currently, the series is available on Netflix for streaming and iTunes or Amazon for purchase.
Featured Image Courtesy of PBS