Air Emergency

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Air Emergency TV Poster Image
Graphic docuseries is too intense for kids.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show offers an educational look at the causes of aircraft disasters.


Graphic computer-generated images, re-enactments, and dummies in simulators are used to re-create aircraft crashes, collisions, and emergency landings. Video footage and photos are also used when they're available. While there's never any blood or close-up shots of actual victims, they do show real corpses covered by sheets. One scene showed an actor carrying the limp body of a girl, replaying the scene of a father finding his daughter's dead body after a plane crash.


Cursing is rare, and the occasional use of "f--k" is bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this show's TV-G rating is misleading. The graphic, realistic nature of the subject matter is much too strong for kids and should probably be previewed even for teens. Each episode documents events leading up to aircraft crashes, explosions, and other emergencies, and actors re-create the points of view of all the players, including passengers, pilots, and air traffic controllers. Interviews with survivors and family members of victims can be very sad, and dramatized scenes of passengers panicking and crying can be disturbing even for adults. On the flip side, the show offers an intriguing, in-depth look at the conclusions drawn from post-disaster investigations.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 8 years old May 8, 2011


love it my fav eposiod is swiss air 111.
Kid, 12 years old September 27, 2010

In-depth, detailed, accurate but disturbing at the same time!!!

I must admit, i am quite interested into disasters but though the accurate accounts, detailed re-enacts and in-depth discussions, it very disturbing even to the... Continue reading

What's the story?

AIR EMERGENCY documents the events leading up to some of the most high-profile aircraft crises in recent history, including the 1999 crash of EgyptAir flight 990. Actors re-create scenes from the point of view of pilots, passengers, and ground personnel while the series offers a near minute-by-minute recount of how the emergencies played out. Interviews with survivors and victims' family and friends offer personal glances at the traumas -- both physical and emotional -- suffered by those involved in the tragedies. Computer-generated images portray crashes and offer a close look at mechanical mishaps, and video footage and photos are used when they're available. Experts weigh in with their views on contributing factors like weather, errant technology, and the professional judgment used by pilots and air traffic controllers, while investigators describe the efforts that followed each disaster.

Is it any good?

While the series rates high on the intrigue scale -- playing to many people's need for facts and reason in the face of terrible crises -- viewers need to know that much of the subject matter can be emotionally disturbing, even for adults. Dramatized scenes of passengers screaming and crying and pilots scrambling to control a diving plane are very intense, as are the realistic computer images of fiery crashes. Video footage shows aircraft wreckage falling from the sky, bodies covered by sheets, and the anguish of mourning family members.

In short, Air Emergency isn't a good choice for young viewers or for anyone who's even slightly squeamish about air travel, as it will seem to confirm nervous passengers' worst fears. Parents would be wise even to preview the show before allowing teens to watch to make sure the content won't be too upsetting for them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how aircraft industry professionals train for possible emergencies. What expertise do safety personnel, air traffic controllers, pilots, and flight attendants have? How can they keep cool heads under pressure? How do emergency workers on the ground prepare for emergencies? Is a program like this exploiting a painful experience, or using it as a teaching tool? What's the difference? Parents may also want to discuss the statistical likelihood of experiencing such an emergency, since teens may need some reassurance, especially if they ever travel by air on their own.

TV details

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