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Air Disasters:

The Checklist

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»Alarming Silence

The Checklist

Short | 01:36

Pilots must run through hundreds of small steps in order to make a plane fly; forgetting just one of the steps on the checklist could mean disaster.

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The loss of life from the 1987 crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255 was the second greatest loss in the history of US aviation. Yet there was one survivor, a four-year-old girl. Just as improbable and shocking as her survival is the reason why the plane fell to the earth just seconds after takeoff. Relive the aircraft's tragically brief but deadly flight, and discover, through investigators' painstaking research, the series of events and shocking blunders that claimed 156 lives.

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