China Airlines Flight 006, February 19, 1985

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While flying commercial airlines is a relatively safe way to travel, that does not mean that things cannot go wrong. There might be difficult weather, mechanical problems with the aircraft, or pilot error. Or, for the 274 passengers and crew of China Air Flight 006, February 19, 1985, all of the above. That terrifying time that a 747 fell thirty thousand feet in just under two and a half minutes, deserves to be remembered.

This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.

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All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.

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Script by THG

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  • Um actually…. ;). Air Force One is the Air Force plane carrying the president. Marine One is when the president flies a Marine Corp aircraft (like the helicopter flights to Andrews) and the more rare Navy One when flying a Navy aircraft. A civilian aircraft is Executive One I’ve seen dozens of your videos and that is my first nit pick. Thanks for making these!

    benjamin drakebenjamin drake6 өдрийн өмнө
  • This is what an artificial horizon is for. If you can't see the real horizon, that should always be your point of reference, with glances at the second unit just in cast yours is malfunctioning. Ignoring it is a sign of ineptitude.

    NozomuYumeNozomuYume9 өдрийн өмнө
  • Rule number one : Fly The Plane. Rule number two : See Rule Number One.

    dwoodman26dwoodman269 өдрийн өмнө
  • And an entire video in itself could be made on China’s Communist Party reaction and internal coverup to suppress the bad press.

    NorthernChevNorthernChev12 өдрийн өмнө
  • Even the most experienced aircrew makes mistakes.

    human cattoyhuman cattoy15 өдрийн өмнө
  • Hey I love your videos. Can you do a video on Korean Air 007 and how it essentially is the reason we have GPS (Reagan did an "excecutive order" that basically forced the AF to release GPS. its in quotes because i cant remember perfectly as i wasn't born yet so i learned after: Its sad so many people had to die to allow us this technology but its so essential to my everyday life and I don't think many people my age even know why we are allowed to have it. (GPS would've saved the lives of everyone on board as the pilots misused their autopilot and flew over Russia twice and they shot them down, oh and the russian pilot that did it in the MIG to this day believes it was an American Spy plane (for obvious reasons just imagine living with that guilt). SO interesting and I was looking it up but found this one instead. Thanks for reading this even if you don't make the video!

    DestinyCreatorDestinyCreator25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Ah yes...pilot "Wei too Lo"...

    YooToob ModeratorYooToob ModeratorСарын өмнө
  • And THAT, is why checklists should be followed.

    Dean DDean DСарын өмнө
  • Pilot error is the cause of almost every modern avation accident

    SkyKingSkyKingСарын өмнө
  • Sadly the Blinkist channel seems only available in the USA. Even so, thanks for your very interesting and well presented videos

    steveinfrancesteveinfranceСарын өмнө
  • This kind of thing can happen to pilots when they lose site of the horizon when the plane banks too far and falls into a death dive. The autopilot can control this but if the pilot is countermanding the instruments then it can be fatal like it was.

    Nicholas SmithNicholas SmithСарын өмнө
  • I turned my fruit of the looms into a fudge factory listening to that one.

    Terrance ArndtTerrance Arndt2 сарын өмнө
  • How about doing a show about the history of youtube? Probably way too long winded though..

    Terrance ArndtTerrance Arndt2 сарын өмнө
  • A prime opportunity to scream WEEEEE! while everyone else freaked. Going out with style or laugh at the others after the ride.

    Greg WallGreg Wall2 сарын өмнө
  • Love the Lava Lamp...

    Dennis SDennis S2 сарын өмнө
  • I absolutely loved flying on L-1011s. Spacious, and on the 'red eye' flights from Honolulu to the mainland, you could stretch out in back of the plane by the restrooms across several seats...ah, those WERE the days...

    QuantumRiftQuantumRift2 сарын өмнө
  • Tamales sold on the side of the streets on the Big Island of Hawaii along with fresh fish Papayas and green and ripe bananas. Come see us. Get vaccinated first!

    Enckidoo FallingEnckidoo Falling2 сарын өмнө
  • I use my phone as a phone and text messenger, I can't stand the damage they are doing to social interactions.

    Dai NealDai Neal2 сарын өмнө
  • Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines...

    Ema ArredondoEma Arredondo2 сарын өмнө
  • My father was an electrical engineer as part of the design and engineering of the 747.

    Dana ReynoldsDana Reynolds2 сарын өмнө
  • Wow, that was truly riveting. Thanks!

    Brandon BBrandon B2 сарын өмнө
  • I think its wrong to turn off autopilot like that ? Its what you can do in straight level flight ,where the control surfaces arent far from "home" and won't wildly change their setting. But in the energency of banking too hard, override autopilot instead. Set bank correction to your first guess at correct setting and then hit bank autopilot override. He should also have acted on making power symmetrical... Cut opposite power a bit

    LeonGLeonG2 сарын өмнө
  • A 3 minute commercial is pretty excessive. 30 seconds, and I'll watch it, but 3 minutes? I'm fast forwarding. Just an fyi.

    Andy WilliamsAndy Williams2 сарын өмнө
  • As a retired airline employee (40 years), somehow I missed that incident. It's scary to imagine those passengers during the descend. Boeing 747 are safe but their accidents are atrocious.

    Marcelino DelgadoMarcelino Delgado3 сарын өмнө
  • If all advertising was this insightful.

    James HammonsJames Hammons3 сарын өмнө
  • This was possibly the most harrowing scary flight in aviation history. Talk about a roller coaster ride....

    SkylineToTheSeaAndMeSkylineToTheSeaAndMe3 сарын өмнө
  • As a footnote, you can find articles online about other instances where autopilot was used during icy conditions and the mechanism maneuvered the controls to keep the aircraft flying normally - until the autopilot is disengaged, then the aircraft becomes unstable. American Eagle Flight 4184 went down in 1994 this way....as did commuter Flight 3407 in 2009.

    pagamenewspagamenews3 сарын өмнө
  • I prefer the term SS: Short Stuff

    Moon MoonMoon Moon3 сарын өмнө
  • Excellent video, thank you! I'm interested in Swiss Air Flight 11 also. My aunt and uncle perished in that crash and there was a lot to the story. It crashed going full speed.

    Terence GeloTerence Gelo3 сарын өмнө
  • The voracious basketball inversely miss because experience implicitly raise by a orange lasagna. stingy, dead height

    tay ohhtay ohh3 сарын өмнө
  • Things to remember; China is a Communist nation with Rigid ingrained obedience to authority and second, God bless American engineers with a "lets make it strong" mindset. The 747 is and will remain the most successful FAST large aircraft ever built.

    Bruce The CurmudgeonBruce The Curmudgeon3 сарын өмнө
    • But China Airlines is from Taiwan.

      Dynasty001Dynasty0012 сарын өмнө
  • I believe what kept that plane together it's what we call American Pride along with Pilots not giving up

    James TroutenJames Trouten3 сарын өмнө
  • Excellent lesson to be learned about automated vehicles

    Matt BergMatt Berg3 сарын өмнө
  • A forgotten episode to do: Gene Roddenberry's last flight as a Pan Am employee.

    teto85teto853 сарын өмнө
  • Excellent, as Always.

    Moreno FrancoMoreno Franco3 сарын өмнө
  • Where is the rest of the story - how did the landing go w/ missing gear ?

    Pierre DeCinePierre DeCine3 сарын өмнө
  • I remember one of the passengers saying the cabin smelled like urine. Jeez. Scary AF. A big reason this happened was a lack of CRM training. Think of all the crashes that happened because of a lack of CRM, that accident in the Tenerife is the worst.

    Jude74Jude743 сарын өмнө
  • Major Wang to ground control.

    Marshall Smith™Marshall Smith™3 сарын өмнө
  • WEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

    Ste JerSte Jer3 сарын өмнө
  • I spent 16 years as a Flight Attendant and flew close to 20 million miles. I've been a a flight out of San Fran on route to Dulles, ( DC-10), where turbulence was so bad that 4 of my crew hit the roof and had to be taken off on backboards. I was lucky enough jump in an empty seat and strapped in. I was sitting next to a mother with a lap child. The baby was launched into the air and I caught the baby preventing injury. I also flew the 747SP many times, but the 747-400 was my favorite of the type. Another tidbit, UAL told Flight Attendants not to stand in the engine cowlings because of potential damage or injury.

    bionicsjwbionicsjw3 сарын өмнө
  • Flying isn't any safer than any other form of travel. What they won't tell you is private plans crash all the time since they seldom make any news outside of where it hits.

    Eric HicksEric Hicks3 сарын өмнө
  • Exactly the reason why the new leadership in the Democratic Party are promoting safer travel from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland....by train.

    North Dakota HamNorth Dakota Ham3 сарын өмнө
  • 10:39 SOFIA Is one of the few 747SP still flying. It is a NASA infrared telescope. behind the left wing you can see a big hatch that opens up for it.

    nitehawk86nitehawk863 сарын өмнө
  • That is one tough plane!

    Mike GirardMike Girard3 сарын өмнө
  • The 747 SP is one of my favorite planes of all time - such a weird but cool look! Short and stubby!

    OJTheAviatorOJTheAviator3 сарын өмнө
  • Pilots sum ting wong, Ho Lee fuk, bang ding oww.

    Scott JohnsonScott Johnson3 сарын өмнө
  • Gaslight Square, St. Louis, Missouri in the 1960s - place for jazz; my Mom who is 85 told me about it. Can you do a story about it?

    Joel BierbachJoel Bierbach3 сарын өмнө
  • Thx u

    Songklod SukuSongklod Suku3 сарын өмнө
  • So what happened to the air crew - were they punished; were their careers over? Did the airline get sued into bankruptcy?

    Christopher CharlesChristopher Charles4 сарын өмнө
  • I remember seeing the 747 flying above Seattle on it's maiden flight. It looked absolutely huge, flying fairly low and with the landing gear still down, guessing they didn't raise the gear to have one less thing to worry about. Years later I was bumped off the military flight coming back from Germany about March 1974 to finish my enlistment, and the next day a small group of us were put on Pan Am Flight 1 to come home on. The plane looked even bigger on the inside, and walking back to our seats we passed Muhammad Ali in first class. That trip had both a high and low point, at a stop over in London Ali came over and shot the breeze with us GIs for a while and signed our boarding passes (Pan Am Flight 1 boarding pass with Ali's autograph!), and then over the Atlantic the movie was Woody Allen's Sleeper, I had no money for earphones and have no idea what why he was running around with his skin painted silver pointing a gun at a detached nose.

    Tony BarbanTony Barban4 сарын өмнө
  • An excellent explanation of a classic "air disasters"

    Frank GullaFrank Gulla4 сарын өмнө
  • Starts at 3:12

    Jason VoorheesJason Voorhees4 сарын өмнө
  • I thought this was going to be a crash

    Pickle PPickle P4 сарын өмнө
  • And that, boys and girls, is why I don't get on airplanes.

    TheNutriaratTheNutriarat4 сарын өмнө
  • I'm an aviation nut and this is likely the most incredible recovery ever completed.

    Ethan BoydEthan Boyd4 сарын өмнө
  • Ding Bang Owe, We Too Low, Sum Ting Wong & Ho Lee Fook were the pilots names...

    Flat Rock Fox!Flat Rock Fox!4 сарын өмнө
  • Shill

    Talk to SufferTalk to Suffer4 сарын өмнө
  • Please do a segment on the Tesla WWII Philadelphia Experiment.

    Zina RhoneZina Rhone4 сарын өмнө
  • Back in the good ole days when America knew who the Commies were and didnt elect them. McCarthy wasn't a verb, he was a Prophet. The useful idiots are everywhere.

    Mitchel R********Mitchel R********4 сарын өмнө
  • i was taught rule 1: aviate,navigate, comunicate. then we took 1st walk to the plane. this rule has effect in all sorts of ground stuations too. thanks THG for refresher

    mike rafonemike rafone4 сарын өмнө
  • Captain Ho... LOL!

    ImTrxshyツImTrxshyツ4 сарын өмнө
  • How many videos of plane crashes have we watched where the pilots blindly obeyed the instruments... or assumed the instruments must be faulty? I agree with the statement that all this modern technology has reduced a pilot to "a gauge watcher". Yes, flying on instruments is important, but I believe reliance on autopilot is wrong. Let the pilot be in total control and the autopilot be the one watching the pilot... and training on use of the emergency checklist should be reinforced until using that checklist is "automatic" by the second officer.

    Johnathan SaegalJohnathan Saegal4 сарын өмнө
  • Hmmm ... Allec Ibay hasn’t covered this one, I believe.

    Neil NewhallNeil Newhall4 сарын өмнө
  • Good lord, this ended unexpectedly.

    themonkeyhandthemonkeyhand4 сарын өмнө
  • The captain almost screwed the pooch. Not surprisingly, he never flew for an airline again.

    grozbeek mosegrozbeek mose4 сарын өмнө
  • You forgot to mention flight engineer Ho Le Sheet

    Thomas BrownThomas Brown4 сарын өмнө
  • I love when everyone survives!!!

    R011INGPSYCHOS1SR011INGPSYCHOS1S4 сарын өмнө
  • I’d like to see a Spanish version of this, for my kids to be able to watch. You are awesome HG!

    Angelo PortorrealAngelo Portorreal4 сарын өмнө
  • The science guys brother?

    K bellangerK bellanger4 сарын өмнө
  • So on to your list has to go British Airways 747 Speedbird 9 or Flight 9 Jakarta 24th June 1982. Of course the Hudson River ditch by US Airways A320 (2009) was phenomenal. But Speedbird/Flight 9 just has the best Air Captain quote ever, and British understatement, and battling the elements into the bargain :-))

    John AshtoneJohn Ashtone4 сарын өмнө
  • Never could figure out why you needed a balcony on an aircraft. "Wow, I am flying at 30,000 feet!" "Hell, that's nothing, I am flying at 30,016 feet!"

    Chief PontiacChief Pontiac4 сарын өмнө
  • To err is human. To really screw up requires a computer.

    Jobe00Jobe004 сарын өмнө
  • I want to know what happened to the plane afterwards - I doubt the let if fly again. The stresses put on that frame were far beyond what they were designed for.

    Moses ZeroMoses Zero4 сарын өмнө
    • The plane is currently stored in Tijuana International Airport after nearly two decades of service in commercial and private use after Flight 6.

      Dynasty001Dynasty0013 сарын өмнө
    • It was repaired and flew for another 12 years

      dave smithdave smith4 сарын өмнө
  • This was very well explained. I highly recommend watching the episode of Mayday (sometimes known as "Air Emergency" or "Air Crash Investigations") on this incident. It's a harrowing retelling of what happened in the cabin and how the pilot finally managed to save the aircraft. It also goes into the investigation and how ultimately the crew ended up making so many seemingly small but obvious errors.

    Glenn HethGlenn Heth4 сарын өмнө
  • commercial ends @ 3:09

    joe stewartjoe stewart4 сарын өмнө
  • Amazing Story.

    AAAAAA4 сарын өмнө
  • A story that could have been horrible that proves the old adage of "any landing you can walk away from, is a good landing. "

    Steven BakerSteven Baker4 сарын өмнө
  • Pilots - Fly the goddamnned plane! Let everyone else focus on checklists/radio/etc. Automation is a blessing and curse all wrapped up in flashy screens and fly by wire controls. It’s so easy to forget why you’re there in the first place. Computers are very powerful now but they still can’t make decisions or come up with alternatives as fast as humans.

    Matt FieldsMatt Fields4 сарын өмнө
  • I didn't think a jumbo jet could do 5Gs without disintegrating into a million pieces

    mtallmen184mtallmen1844 сарын өмнө
  • I've maintained Jumbos for 4 years, hard to think of another mechanical abomination that I hated more, but this story eraned the beast some respect in my eyes

    Maxim KozinMaxim Kozin4 сарын өмнө
  • Have you ever related the history of "THE GIMLEY GLUIDER," I am fairly close on the spelling of Gimley, it happened near Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada about 30 years ago the passenger/airline jet passenger flight started in Eastern Canada, I think Toronto. ( I spelled Toronto phonetically, I was to lazy to check the spelling)

    Steven GrotteSteven Grotte4 сарын өмнө
  • Every landing is a controlled crash

    GD FGD F4 сарын өмнө
  • You lost me at 'Guardian newspaper'.

    Andy KenchAndy Kench4 сарын өмнө
  • Sadly, there's only one 747SP left in the world, that still flies.

    Charles X.Charles X.4 сарын өмнө
    • ...Well...the introduction of the Airbus A300 kinda killed it as well...a 2 engine jet certified for trans-oceanic flights (the "law" used to be that 3 or more engines were mandatory for those type of flights)...that's the main killer of the SP...it also killed the DC-10, and the L-1011.

      Charles X.Charles X.4 сарын өмнө
    • What has me scratching my head, though, is that the Sands website says that, as of August 2019, they have 1. Perhaps they bought a younger aircraft to replace an older aircraft? And honestly, aside from either being cheap, or understanding the rarity of a 747SP, I don't know why they don't just buy a 747-300 or -400: they can make the same long range flights, and carry more passengers. That, and age, are the only reasons the SP's were retired, and no more were built simply because technology caught up in better engines, and aerodynamics.

      Charles X.Charles X.4 сарын өмнө
    • And I managed to mistype my reply which really doesn't help. Sands has 2 SP's, one was in Lake Charles having a C check done when part of hurricane Laura hit the airport, the SP as well as a couple of small aircraft and a hanger were damaged, the SP as far as I know is still there. From the pictures I saw she will never leave, so I should have written 5 not 6.

      dave smithdave smith4 сарын өмнө
    • Interesting: I read an article last fall, that said only one was still flying (owned by a private company...maybe the Sands?). Looking at Wikipedia, they say 6 are still flying, but they only account for 5...

      Charles X.Charles X.4 сарын өмнө
    • Actually there are 6 still flying. 2 for Pratt, 1 for Oman, 1 for LV Sands and 1 for NASA/DLR

      dave smithdave smith4 сарын өмнө
  • 747 is amazing 1st was on 747 ahead of Kindergarten in Quonset Hut Was in Boeing Everett ahead of empange testing of 787 Boeing Corporate moved to Chicago, tried to screw the Machinists Union, broke Boeing instead

    Mark RossowMark Rossow4 сарын өмнө
  • Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.

    riverraisin1riverraisin14 сарын өмнө
  • Well done 👍👍👍

    Patricia Marie MitchellPatricia Marie Mitchell4 сарын өмнө
  • I've never heard about this incident before. And up until the ending part of the story, I, with all due respect, didn't expect the plane and the people abroad to have survived. I then wonder, of all the aviation history. How many incidents like this were left untold, had the people involved not survive to tell what exactly was going on.

    White MosesWhite Moses4 сарын өмнө
  • In my book, 1 The History Guy 2 Mark Felton. The History Channel became a cubby for junk collectors, pawn brokers and guys searching for buried treasure on an island that In five years only found more dirt...

    E P RamosE P Ramos4 сарын өмнө
  • Back when Boeing made planes that saved lives rather than corporate profits and bonuses.

    Gromitdog1Gromitdog14 сарын өмнө
  • Surprised no passengers had injuries or died of heart failure. Curious if they were compensated at all for the experience.

    Miss PocketMiss Pocket4 сарын өмнө
    • There were numerous injuries, but only 2 people were seriously hurt, actually pretty amazing given the incident.

      dave smithdave smith4 сарын өмнө
  • Pilot: Ho Lee Shit, and first officer Wee Tu Lo survived

    pabobfinpabobfin4 сарын өмнө
    • @XPLAlN Those are funny because some news organization actually reported it thus without vetting the source.

      pabobfinpabobfin4 сарын өмнө
    • and fligth engineer Sum Ting Wong, according to Fox News and the NTSB.

      XPLAlNXPLAlN4 сарын өмнө
  • I love your channel, and have been a loyal subscriber for along time now. I can't listen to your sponsor spiels any longer, goodbye .

    joel whytejoel whyte4 сарын өмнө
    • We understand that some viewers do not prefer sponsored content. That is why we limit to two sponsored episodes a month.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered4 сарын өмнө
  • Funny but I see to little automation. Had the restart been automated the valve would have closed and they would have found the hung engine. But the interface between man and machine is often complex.

    David SiebertDavid Siebert4 сарын өмнө
  • Blinkist, the new Classics Illustrated?

    Billy BobBilly Bob4 сарын өмнө
  • Whew! I thought this was going to be fatal. So glad everything turned out for the two hundred plus souls! I've made that fight before, more than once!

    StevenSteven4 сарын өмнө
  • For those of you who are old enough to remember college life before the internet, there was a certain yellow and black, "condensed" version of every book deemed noteworthy. They were a life saver. "Cliff Notes" were an absolute God-send for any time you had to cram, skim chapters, or just didn't get it or just didn't feel like reading the whole thing, like Canterbury Tales...fear not...it's all in this little black and yellow book, even the deep stuff. His sponsor, Blinkist, sounds like a new version.

    Chris BusenkellChris Busenkell4 сарын өмнө
  • Have you done a piece on the bulldozer rampage in Granby CO in 2004?

    Johnny SundbyJohnny Sundby4 сарын өмнө
  • Excellent content THG, thank you. Sioux City 232 most definitely deserves to be remembered too, just a thought....Thanks!

    Lodge CavLodge Cav4 сарын өмнө
  • Hey great shoutout to AdmiralCloudberg!! His air accident analysis on Reddit are personally some of my favourites.

    Danniels95Danniels954 сарын өмнө