When a British airliner catches fire on the runway, investigators must answer two questions: where did the fire come from, and why was it so surprisingly destructive?
How does a survivable airline emergency turn into one of British aviation's most horrific disasters? Investigators face this question after 55 passengers perish aboard a plane that never even leaves the ground. Experience the tragic events that befell Airtours Flight 28M in 1985, and see how an engine fire proved far less deadly than the toxic fumes it produced. The findings of this catastrophe led to sweeping changes in the design of commercial aircrafts to increase passengers' survival chances in the future.
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.