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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Discovery Channel To Premiere Air Asia 8501 Special



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Discovery Channel today announced that it will be broadcasting FLIGHT 8501: STORM DISASTER, about the tragic events of Air Asia flight 8501. The aircraft, with its 155 passengers and seven crew, was lost in a storm 40 minutes into its journey from Indonesia to Singapore on 28 December 2014 – concluding the worst year for aviation disasters in a decade. The sixty-minute special attempts to shed some light on the mystery that surrounds the event, and provides one of the most comprehensive explanations as to what happened. FLIGHT 8501: STORM DISASTER will premiere on Discovery Channel on 12 April at 8:00 p.m. (MNL). The special will also air across Asia Pacific and internationally, in more than 220 countries and territories.

Theresa Ong, senior vice president and general manager, Southeast Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “Once again, Discovery is bringing viewers compelling stories that have strong local interest. In the past, topical shows such as HAIYAN: AFTER THE MEGASTORM, AFTER THE WAVE, and FLIGHT 370: THE MISSING LINKS, have resonated well with audiences in the region. These specials help provide insight into the tragedies and tell inspiring stories of bravery and the tenacity of the human spirit in the darkest of hours.”

Comparing and contrasting the story of Air Asia flight 8501 with recent aviation tragedies such as Air France flight 447 and Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the documentary will examine the impact of the Earth’s changing climate on the aviation industry. It will question whether so-called “super storms” are becoming more frequent and severe, putting planes at greater risk than ever before. It will also explore whether today’s aviation technology leaves pilots too dependent on automation, resulting in information overload in critical situations.
For the first time, computer-generated animation will break down radar data from the final moments of the flight. Leading meteorologists will use bespoke weather data from the day of the accident to look at the effects of the storm on one of the world’s safest planes, the Airbus A320. The special will also demonstrate the consequences of a mid-air stall, performed in a light aircraft by an experienced test pilot, explaining how such an occurrence could have been a factor in Flight 8501’s final moments. The documentary also features exclusive interviews with renowned global experts and those close to the event, including the legal representative for the victims’ families.

FLIGHT 8501: STORM DISASTER is commissioned by Elizabeth McIntyre, VP Production and Development, Factual for Discovery Networks International. Tom Gorham is Executive Producer for Discovery Networks International. Ian Russell is Executive Producer for ITN Productions.

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