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"Survival In The Sky" -- A Personal Review

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein


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Posted June 26 2009 - 12:29 PM






  • VIDEO -- Full Frame (1.33:1)(In Color)
  • AUDIO -- Hi-Fi Stereo (English)
  • RUNNING TIME FOR ALL 4 PARTS -- 3 hours, 12 minutes
  • TAPE SPEED -- Standard Play (SP)
  • VIDEO RELEASE DATE -- March 21, 2000 (Unapix Home Entertainment)

The Learning Channel (TLC) produced a four-part documentary in 1996 called "SURVIVAL IN THE SKY", centering attention on various commercial aviation accidents. The series was released on home video early in the year 2000 in the form of a 4-Tape VHS boxed set.

That now-hard-to-find set is a prized part of my video collection. I was fortunate enough to purchase a new copy from Amazon.com on March 22, 2001, before this excellent mini-series went out of print.

The four outstanding "Survival In The Sky" programs are expertly narrated by [img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/d/dc/htf_imgcache_43358.jpeg[/img]



This entire four-part video series is very much recommended by this writer. These programs provide a powerful "you are there" atmosphere as they are being presented and narrated with skill by Will Lyman.

David Von Pein
October 2006
June 2009




  • "Going Boeing" (VHS Video)(Moviecraft, Inc.). .... "Going Boeing" is a video treasure chest for airplane aficionados. The 55-minute video includes four separate vintage films produced by the Boeing Airplane Company in the 1960s and 1970s.

    The 4 films are:

    1.) "Welcome Aboard" (1969 film promoting the brand-new Boeing 747);

    2.) "New Dimension: First Flight Of The Boeing 747 Superjet" (1969 film, with very rare interior and exterior footage of the maiden flight of the B747 on February 9, 1969);

    3.) "Putting The Pieces Together" (1972; a very interesting behind-the-scenes look at how a Boeing 727 is built);

    4.) "An Airport" (1960; this short film serves as a time capsule back to the early '60s, when jet travel was a special "event" for most people, instead of an air-taxi service; the film seems to be aimed mainly at children and spotlights Pan Am's Boeing 707 service, circa 1960).

  • "Air Disaster" (Volumes 1-4), by Macarthur Job (Book Series). .... This four-volume series of books is just fabulous, as the author dissects many aircraft accidents in microscopic detail. The illustrations in these books are also worthy of high praise.

    There's one particular chapter in "Air Disaster: Volume 2" that I found to be absolutely mesmerizing -- that being the incredible edge-of-your-seat tale of British Airways Flight 009 on June 24, 1982.

    Flight 009 suffered an unparalleled equipment failure while flying at 37,000 feet above Jakarta. Unbelievably, all four engines of the British Airways Boeing 747-200 failed at the same time, turning the jumbo jet into a 231-foot-long, 800,000-pound glider.

    Unbeknownst to the aircraft's pilots, the 747 had flown through the ash cloud of a recently-erupted volcano. The thick ash and soot from the volcanic cloud of debris immediately began to clog the 4 massive engines of the 747, forcing each engine (one by one) to cease functioning.

    In addition, the 247 passengers aboard Flight 009 had the unfortunate ability to see (and hear) what was happening to the stricken powerplants outside the cabin windows, with many passengers looking on in horror as they saw the engines literally "light up", with streams of fire shooting out of the engines' jetpipes! Plus, everyone on board could hear the deafening silence after each of the engines had choked and failed.

    Can you just imagine the terror of being inside the cabin of a Boeing 747 jetliner, 37,000 feet above the Earth, and suddenly hearing .... NOTHING!? No sounds of power at all coming from any of the engines?! Engines that should be providing that familiar "hum" that all passengers grow accustomed to when flying on jet-powered aircraft.

    The fear and anxiety on that plane much have been overwhelming indeed. All the engines have stopped; the jet is "gliding" at 37,000 feet; and flames are belching out of the stalled engines. Nice situation, huh? This highly unlikely set of circumstances is, though, exactly what was facing the stunned cockpit crew of BA 009 that June day in 1982.

    The Flight 009 chapter is a rarity in the series of "Air Disaster" books, in that (thankfully) the 747 did NOT crash, and no lives were lost. Fortunately, as the 747 descended below the level of the volcanic ash cloud, the pilots were able to re-start the engines and the jet landed safely at Jakarta's airport approximately 45 minutes after the terror-filled adventure began, although the landing was certainly no walk in the park for the pilots, because another side effect of flying directly through all that volcanic ash was that the aircraft's windshield was almost completely covered in ash and soot, severely reducing the pilots' visibility while landing.

    Author Macarthur Job guides the reader through the terrifying plight experienced by Flight 009 in almost minute-by-minute detail. It's absolutely fascinating.

    Amazon.com: David Von Pein's review of Air Disaster (Vol. 1)

    Amazon.com: David Von Pein's review of Air Disaster (Vol. 2)

    Amazon.com: David Von Pein's review of Air Disaster (Vol. 3)

    Amazon.com: David Von Pein's review of Air Disaster (Vol. 4)
  • "Boeing 707 & 720: The Early Years Through 1960" (DVD)(AirlineHobby.com). .... A gold mine of rare films from 1954 to 1960, promoting the Boeing 707 and Boeing 720. This DVD is a must-have item for airplane buffs, with two solid hours of vintage footage of classic airliners.
  • "21st Century Jet: The Building Of The 777" (5-Tape VHS Set)(PBS Home Video).
  • "Super Structures Of The World: The Kansai International Airport" (VHS Video)(Unapix Home Entertainment).
  • "Golden Age Airlines; 1940s-1960s" (DVD)(AirlineHobby.com).
  • "Hong Kong Kai Tak" (2-Disc DVD Set)(Just Planes Videos, Inc.). .... Six full hours of landings and takeoffs at Hong Kong's now-closed Kai Tak International Airport.



AirDisaster.com -- Commercial Aviation Accident Database

Image Gallery for "Survival In The Sky"



JustPlanes.com -- Hundreds of Aviation DVDs

AirlineHobby.com -- Aviation DVDs

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   sestamuch


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Posted June 26 2009 - 06:38 PM

Again great review, it goes on my to watch list.

#3 of 3 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein


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Posted November 03 2009 - 08:59 PM

50 years ago.....


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