Why Planes Vanish

Can new technology prevent aircraft like Flight MH370 from disappearing without a trace? Airing October 8, 2014 at 9 pm on PBS Aired October 8, 2014 on PBS

Program Description

(Program not available for streaming.) The disappearance of Flight MH370 stunned the world. In an era of smart-phones and GPS, how could a 270-ton passenger jet vanish into thin air? It was a rude awakening for all of us, showing just how far we are from the world we imagined we lived in—in which every move is monitored all the time. NOVA tells the inside story of the search for Flight MH370 and meets the key players from all corners of the globe who have spent months searching for the lost plane. In the search for answers, we'll reveal how today's planes must fly through vast radar "blind spots," and investigate new technologies that could allow ground stations and satellites to track planes automatically, without pilot intervention, even in remote areas with no radar coverage. What will it take to guarantee that in the future, nothing will ever be 'lost' again?

Please be advised The Boeing Company is a funder of the NOVA series. Please note, however, that no funds from Boeing were applied to this specific episode.

Broadcast Credits

WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Miles O'Brien
EDITED BY
Brian Truglio
CAMERA
Cameron Hickey
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Suzi Tobias
SOUND RECORDISTS
Abe Dolinger
Dave Groman
Dennis Haggerty
Brian Horrell
MUSIC
Scorekeepers
ANIMATION
Elias Mallette
Analytical Graphics, Inc.
ASSISTANT EDITOR
Lindsey Rundell
ONLINE EDITOR AND COLORIST
Michael H. Amundson
AUDIO MIX
Heart Punch Studio, Inc.
RESEARCH
Will Toubman
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Katherine Graef
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Advanced Aerospace Solutions, LLC
Aileron
AP Archive
AP Photos
Artbeats
Australian Department of Defence
BEA
Civil Aviation Authority
Crown Copywright 2014
Flightradar24
Getty Images
Google Earth
Itidium
ITN Source/Reuters
Just Planes
Marinvent Corporation
Sabre Aircentre Flight Explorer
Shutterstock
U.S. Navy Video
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
SPECIAL THANKS
Cranfield University
Flight Data Systems Ltd
NAV CANADA
Phil and Kathy Riley
Alan Diehl
Robert Francis
David Evans
Mike Exner
Van Gurley
R. John Hansman
Charles Horning
Gary Johnson
Jon Regas
David Soucie
Larry Stone
Don Thompson
FOR BBC
Where is Flight MH370?
EDITOR
Steve Crabtree
PRODUCED & DIRECTED BY
Tristan Quinn
SERIES PRODUCER
Zoe Heron
LOCATION DIRECTOR
David Stewart
EDIT PRODUCER
Toby Macdonald
FILM EDITORS
Lee Sutton
Joao Nunes
ASSISTANT PRODUCER
Terry Black
RESEARCHER
Anna Kibblewhite
ARCHIVE RESEARCHERS
Clare Cooper
Maggie Oakley
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Libby Hand
PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE
Laura Davey
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Emma Chapman
TEAM ASSISTANT
Claudia Woolston
COLORIST
Rob Grainge
GRAPHICS
Weave
SOUND
Adam Toy
Brian Maier
Jean Asselin
David Keene
Ash Charlton
CAMERA
Vaughn Matthews
David Le May
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Kate Becker
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Lisa Leombruni
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCERS
Julia Cort Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

Produced for NOVA by Miles O'Brien Productions, LLC, for WGBH Boston.

© 2014 BBC

Why Planes Vanish Additional Material © 2014 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

IMAGE:

Image credit: (ocean)
© Chris Hackett/Tetra Images/Corbis

Participants

Les Abend
Boeing 777 Captain
Chris Ashton
Inmarsat
Rick Castaldo
Former FAA Radar Engineer
Mike Dalton
First Air
David Gallo
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
John Goglia
Former NTSB Member
Jean-Francois Lepage
Nav Canada
Najib Razak
Prime Minister, Malaysia
Mary Schiavo
Former U.S. DOT Inspector General
Alan Schuster-Bruce
Inmarsat
Mark Weiss
Retired Boeing 777 Captain
Jeff Wise
Journalist and Author

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