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Air Disasters:

See and Be Seen

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»System Breakdown

See and Be Seen

Short | 01:46

In 1956, air traffic control wasn't what it is today. Pilots operated on the "See and Be Seen" rule; they'd simply watch out for the other planes in the sky.

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Our air traffic control system has reached a breaking point. There are simply too many planes in the sky and the tools on the ground are in dire need of upgrading. Take a harrowing journey into the past, aboard five flights doomed by communication breakdowns, and chart the changes these air disasters forced. Then peek into the future as we join FAA test pilots experimenting with NextGen, a whole new system of air traffic control. If successful, it will greatly ease the mounting stress in control towers, and ultimately save countless lives.

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