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Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac (1984)

Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac is a true story based on the crash of Air Florida flight 90 on January 13, 1982 in Washington D.C. This movie follows the main players throughout the day,... See full summary »


Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Patricia 'Nikki' Felch
Burt Hamilton
Joe Stiley
Priscilla Tirado
Roger Olian
Arland Williams
Marilyn Nichols
Richard Beauchamp ...
Jose Tirado
Donna Olian
Carole Biggs
David Frank
James Whitmore Jr. ...
Captain Larry Wheaton
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dishevelled Man
Larry Nichols

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Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac is a true story based on the crash of Air Florida flight 90 on January 13, 1982 in Washington D.C. This movie follows the main players throughout the day, with a lot of care taken to re-create what actually went wrong, who died, and who survived. There is a lot of actual footage from the day, as well as accurate representations of aircraft type and airline. Written by Trent Nickson <callisto@zip.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE TAKEOFF In a blinding snowstorm. THE CRASH On a bridge stalled with traffic. THE RESCUE That came too late. [Video] See more »




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Release Date:

1 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flight No. 90  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Incorporated original television footage of the survivors as they clung to wreckage and chunks of ice in the freezing water of the Potomac. See more »


The tractor shown "pushing" the aircraft off the gate is a baggage tug, that would not have the weight or the power to move even an empty 737. See more »


[Marilyn has the glow of a pregnant woman]
Donna Adams: So, are you?
Marilyn Nichols: Am I what?
Donna Adams: Didn't you get the results from the tests back *yesterday*?
Donna Adams: So, are you?
Marilyn Nichols: [big smile on her face] Of course!
[the two women laugh and hug]
See more »


Edited from Lost Flight (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Disaster Film that gets strong once it picks up
30 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When one decides what film they want to watch, this is not what would come to mind. I came into this picking it at random and not expecting much out of it, especially since it is a TV movie. What I got was more than I thought, especially when the film picks up when the disaster does happen.

The beginning of the film sets up the characters that are involved one way or another with the crash, which feels obligatory because who else could be characters in the film? This had a few cute scenes, but overall, the first act of the movie I felt was tepid because the pacing was slow at times. To be honest, that's the flaw this film has because it takes too much time setting up.

BUT when the film DOES get going, it doesn't crash like the plane. In fact, it soars with some authentic footage from the actual event as well as heartbreak and a feeling of togetherness. When the film picks up steam, the storyline becomes red-hot.

For this reason, the film actually becomes a great stand alone film. The pacing throughout the film is comparable to that of the 2014 film Pompeii in that that movie also took its sweet time to set up before bringing out the big guns with its central disaster, therefore allowing me to also be satisfied with that film, just like this one.

Since this movie is free on YouTube, you can easily check this out, and if you're in the mood for a TV movie, that's exactly what you should do as long as you are prepared to make it through the average first half of the film.

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