6.1/10
197
13 user 2 critic

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 »

Writer:

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

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Freefall: Flight 174 (TV Movie 1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

True story of a brand-new Canadian airliner running out of fuel in-flight and forced to glide to the nearest airfield.

Director: Jorge Montesi
Stars: William Devane, Scott Hylands, Shelley Hack
The Horror at 37,000 Feet (TV Movie 1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An invisible demon in the cargo hold of a jet airliner terrorizes the passengers.

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Chuck Connors, Buddy Ebsen, Tammy Grimes
Blackout (TV Movie 1985)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A police officer suspects that a local husband and father who has recently undergone facial surgery because of injuries received in a car accident is in reality the same man who committed a... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Keith Carradine, Kathleen Quinlan, Richard Widmark
Miracle Landing (TV Movie 1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A passenger jet loses a portion of its fuselage in flight over Hawaii and is forced to make an emergency landing.

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Connie Sellecca, Wayne Rogers, Ana Alicia
Fire and Rain (TV Movie 1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This movie is based on the actual events on the tragic day of August 2nd, 1985. Delta Airlines flight 191 en route to Los Angeles via Dallas-Ft. Worth took off from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. When... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Charles Haid, John Beck, Tom Bosley
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Clive Riordan plans a devilish revenge against his wife's lover.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Newton, Sally Gray, Phil Brown
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

The fictional story of the first "hypersonic" commercial passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to London in a mere four hours. On the maiden flight of this plane, a minor... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton
The Ghost of Flight 401 (TV Movie 1978)
Mystery | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An aircraft crashes in the Florida Everglades, killing 103 passengers. After the wreckage is removed, salvageable parts from the plane are used to repair other aircraft. Soon passengers and... See full summary »

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Gary Lockwood, Tina Chen
Nowhere to Land (TV Movie 2000)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A pilot must safely land a 747 on which deadly nerve gas has been planted.

Director: Armand Mastroianni
Stars: Jack Wagner, Christine Elise, James Sikking
Mayday at 40,000 Feet! (TV Movie 1976)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The co-pilot and engineer of a passenger jet struggle to keep the plane airborne until it can reach an open airfield after a killer aboard the plane fires a gun at an engine and pilot of the plane.

Director: Robert Butler
Stars: David Janssen, Don Meredith, Christopher George
Panic in the Skies! (TV Movie 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

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... See full summary »

Director: Paul Ziller
Stars: Kate Jackson, Ed Marinaro, Erik Estrada
Crash (TV Movie 1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

True story recounting the crash of Eastern Airlines flight 401, which crashed in the Everglades while on approach to Miami in December 1972. Accurate in many respects, the movie goes ... See full summary »

Director: Barry Shear
Stars: William Shatner, Adrienne Barbeau, Brooke Bundy
Edit

Cast

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
Richard Backus ...
Larry Nichols
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

THE TRUE STORY. [Video] See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flight No. 90  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Air Florida flight 90 is a Boeing 737 throughout the movie, but the scene right before the impact shows instead a McDonnell Douglas DC-9. See more »

Quotes

Marilyn Nichols: You're here before me? I don't believe it!
Donna Adams: The first time and probably the last! I can't explain it. It was like any other morning. I figured to be late as usual. But I got a clean road right away, the car turned on immediately, and there was no back of traffic. It's an unusual day.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Lost Flight (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Well-Made Docudrama
26 April 2004 | by (Morristown, NJ) – See all my reviews

This TV-movie about the January 13, 1982 crash of Air Florida Flight #90 into the Potomac river is for the most part a well-made docudrama surrounding many of the people involved in the story. Legal hurdles prevented some stories from being depicted, in particular that of Lenny Skutnik who dove into the river to rescue Priscilla Tirado from drowning. Skutnik felt that any movie about the event was exploitative and thus refused to let his story be dramatized. His scene is confined to a look-alike actor (billed only as "Man On Shore" in the original credits) jumping in at the appropriate moment. However, compensation is offered by focusing on the more neglected story of mental hospital worker Roger Olian (Richard Masur) who first swam out to give the trapped passengers enocouragement before the helicopters arrived. His story is as remarkable as Skutnik's ultimately and the TV movie allowed those of us who weren't familiar with his efforts to see how there was more than one hero that day who jumped into the Potomac to provide help.

The docudrama approach with no special effects of the plane crash managed to work well because there is a desire to keep things as authentic as possible, which includes a large use of actual news footage of the rescue operations, which is blended in seamlessly with the scenes of actors in the tank. Gil Melle's score is a bit awkward and the most dated aspect of the production, but still has some hauntingly beautiful sections when he gets away from the synths.

A few postscripts to the story of the survivors. Nikki Felch's marriage to David Frank did not last and she sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2002, just two weeks after Burt Hamilton also passed away. Joe Stiley was forced into early retirement by his injuries and lives in Washington state. Priscilla Tirado has not granted an interview in more than ten years and remains traumatized by the events that saw her lose her husband and baby. By far, the happiest story has been that of Flight Attendant Kelly Duncan (who is given the least attention of any of the survivors in the movie, with greater focus coming on the other two flight attendants who were killed) who today teaches at a Christian pre-school and has three children.


12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was it not released on DVD? filmsfan38
well made movie for its time skitzoette

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?