IMDb > Airplane! (1980) > Synopsis
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Synopsis for
Airplane! (1980) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.

Warning! This synopsis may contain spoilers

See plot summary for non-spoiler summarized description.
Visit our Synopsis Help to learn more
Unable to edit? Request access
Ex-fighter pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) became traumatized after an incident during the war, leading to his fear of flying. Recovering his courage, Striker attempts to regain the love of his life from the war, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), now a stewardess. In order to win her love, Striker overcomes his fear and buys a ticket on a flight she is serving on, from Los Angeles to Chicago. However, during the flight, Elaine rebuffs his attempts.

After dinner is served, many of the passengers fall ill, and Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) quickly realizes that one of the meal options gave the passengers food poisoning. The stewards discover that the pilot crew, including Captain Oveur (Peter Graves) and Roger Murdock (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), have all come down with food poisoning, leaving no one aboard to fly the plane. Elaine is instructed by the Chicago control tower supervisor Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges) to activate the plane's autopilot a large blow-up doll named "Otto" which will get them to Chicago but will not be able to land the plane. Elaine realizes that Striker is their only chance, and he is convinced to fly the plane, though he still feels his trauma will prevent him from safely landing the plane.

McCroskey, after hearing Striker's name on the radio, sends for Striker's former commander, Rex Kramer (Robert Stack) to help talk him down. As the plane nears Chicago, Striker neglects to check the oil temperature which damages one of the engines while a bad thunderstorm reduces visibility, making the landing even more difficult. Thanks to Kramer's endless stream of advice, Striker is able to overcome his fears and safely land the plane with only minor injuries to some passengers. Striker's courage rekindles Elaine's love for him, and the two share a kiss while Otto takes off in the evacuated plane after inflating a female autopilot doll.


Related Links

Plot summary Plot keywords FAQ
Parents Guide User reviews Alternate versions
Quotes Trivia Main details
MoKA: keyword discovery