Several passengers and crew members (whether they survived the accident or not) of the accident aircraft would be picked and actors/actresses would play the role of those passengers and crews throughout the accident flight usually starting from boarding of the flight. The flight routines in the air traffic control, cockpit and cabin would be recreated on screen starting from departure up to the moment of the accident. At the moment of the accident, external view of the aircraft from different angles would be recreated to show the effect and what had happened to the aircraft. The responses and reactions of the passengers, crews and air traffic control after the accident had happened leading up to the eventual crash or emergency landing are then recreated. All the scenes in cockpit and air traffic control centres are recreated using the actual script obtained from the cockpit voice recorder of the accident aircraft.
The rescue and recovery effort and the investigations process is then recreated in details, showing how the aircraft parts, the flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders are recovered and examined, how the pieces are related together to maintenance records, initial design, training procedures, etc. to draw the final conclusion.
Surviving passengers and crews or surviving relatives and friends of deceased passengers are interviewed throughout each episode. Investigators, from NTSB in most cases, involved in the subsequent accident investigations are interviewed to explain the flow of the investigations and how the conclusion and subsequent recommendations are made. Each episode usually ends with a short interview with one of the survivors (or a relative of a deceased) to summarize their experience and how they feel.