Social Studies

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Flying Cheap: The Crash of Continental Flight 3407

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In Feb 2009, Continental Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. The flight was operated by Colgan Air, a regional airline that flies routes under contract for US Airways, United and Continental. The crash and subsequent investigation revealed a little-known trend in the airline industry: Major airlines have outsourced more of their flights to obscure regional carriers.

In this video chapter from FRONTLINE  Flying Cheap, correspondent Miles O'Brien explores this trend and examines some of the many factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Southern Africa: Troubled Water

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In 2005, FRONTLINE/World featured the PlayPump, a promising new technology that pumped fresh water when children played on a merry-go-round. The story appealed to the good intentions of politicians, celebrities and funders, who gave support to installing thousands of these devices in Africa.

Now, in Troubled Water, reporter Amy Costello continues her investigation into what happened to those communities as the promise of the PlayPump fell short, villages were left with non-working PlayPumps for months, and the device’s biggest American boosters began to back away from a technology they had once championed.