In the midst of a crisis, a startled flight attendant on Helios Flight 522 follows his training for depressurization: Put your oxygen mask on and wait for instructions from the cockpit. Little did he know, those instructions would never come.
High above Athens, Greece, fighter jet pilots track a Helios Airways 737 as they circle the city. What they see is as puzzling as it is terrifying. The pilot is missing. The co-pilot is slumped in his seat, and over 100 passengers appear unconscious, or perhaps dead. But there is one man seen in the cockpit, awake and at the controls. Who is he? Why won't he answer the repeated radio calls? Is he attempting to save the plane or crash it? Join us as we revisit the bizarre case of Helios 522, one of the worst disasters in Greek aviation history.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel on air.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.