It was a routine takeoff for Emery Worldwide Flight 17, a domestic cargo plane making its way to Ohio, on February 16, 2000. Seconds later, that illusion was shattered as the plane began to violently tilt and rotate.
Emery Worldwide Flight 17 leaves Sacramento Mather Airport in February 2000 while carrying a load of freight containers. Upon takeoff, the aircraft dives repeatedly and banks to the left. The pilots attempt to regain control of the crippled plane and return to the airport, but the DC-8 crashes a mile from the runway, killing all three crewmembers. Investigators suspect the cargo was loaded improperly, until a much more troubling cause is discovered upon closer examination.
Watch this episode online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus. Check the availability of this title and explore our vast library of original documentaries and series.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
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.