The cockpit of a Boeing 747 is struck by lightning during takeoff for a flight to Europe, fatally injuring the flight crew. Laurie, the senior flight attendant, enlists the aid of passenger Brett Young. They determine that the autopilot can bring the plane in for a landing, but soon learn that the autopilot is locking onto the transponders of airfields at random, including signals from small airports with runways too short to accommodate the jumbo jet. Meanwhile, federal officials on the ground who have lost radio contact with the jet debate whether the plane should be shot down to prevent a more disastrous crash in a heavily populated area.
Dennis Lewis <email@example.com>
Lightning has struck Flight 115. The pilots are dead. 350 people are trapped. There are two choices: shoot it down or risk crashing into a heavily populated area.
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Did You Know?
The aircraft is supposed to fly a six-hour trip from New York to London, England, and would have to contain approximately two extra hours worth of fuel for contingency, yet it flies for more than 13 hours before running out of fuel. An aircraft cannot take off with that much excess fuel, otherwise it would be way above the maximum for a safe landing at the destination or alternate airport. However in the film, the chief air stewardess tries to explain that the flight is designated as "Heavy" because it contains enough fuel for the return flight, however this is an incorrect usage of the term Heavy. Heavy is used after a call sign to denote that an aircraft is capable of takeoff weights greater 255,000 lbs (115,666 kg) in the US (FAA standards) and 299,828 lbs (136,000 kg) in other parts of the world (ICAO standards). The Heavy addition reminds the tower to leave extra time for the next flight landing or taking off so the turbulence over the runway can clear. See more
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Referenced in Ma vie en l'air