"Sorry I'm late, folks. I had to milk the cows before I took off."
— Scott Tracy

"Operation Crash-Dive" is the twelfth episode of Thunderbirds season 1, first broadcast on 16th December 1965. It was the eighth episode to be produced overall.


After the mysterious disappearance of Fireflash 3, all Fireflashes are ordered to be grounded. It now is up to International Rescue to save Fireflash 5 before it is sabotaged too.


Two giant Fireflash airliners have crashed into the Atlantic under mysterious circumstances. Although International Rescue manage to save the pilot of the second crash, they can find no explanation for it. On a third flight, Thunderbird 2 follows the Fireflash, and the cause of the trouble is located, a saboteur hidden in the wing. At the last moment, Gordon repairs the sabotage and the Fireflash is saved.

Episode GuideEdit

Main article: Operation Crash-Dive/Episode Guide


Main article: Operation Crash Dive/Transcript

Regular Voice CastEdit

Guest Voice CastEdit


Air-Sea-Rescue Jet Pilot

International Rescue Equipment UsedEdit

Non-International Rescue Equipment UsedEdit



Mad magazine 1961 "Special Summer Travel Issue"

  • The original title for this episode was The Test Crew.
  • The saboteur's pick-up aircraft would later be repainted and reused as the fake Thunderbird 2 in The Impostors.
  • This episode marks the second and final major appearance of the Fireflash airliners in the series.
  • The International Air Minister reveals that the Fireflash airliners cost £5 million.
  • Several guns from Stingray are visible on the wall in the Tracy Villa shooting range..
  • A pile of newspapers and magazines shows that The Daily Telegraph, Daily News, Life International and Mad are still being published in 2065.
  • The particular issue of Mad that is seen is readily identifiable as the "Special Summer Travel Issue" from 1961.


Main article: Operation Crash-Dive/Goofs

Foreign TitlesEdit

  • French: Le passager clandistin
  • German: Operation Fireflash
  • Spanish: Operación Impacto Profundo; Operación aterrizaje forzoso (DVD)
  • Italian: May Day! May Day!
  • Dutch: Operatie "noodlanding" (TV 1966), Operatie duikvlucht (TV 1991), Operatie Noodlanding (VHS, DVD)
  • Japanese: 原子力機ファイアーフラッシュ号の危機

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