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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 »

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

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Patricia 'Nikki' Felch
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Burt Hamilton
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Joe Stiley
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...
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Arland Williams
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Richard Beauchamp ...
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Barbara Hamilton
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Carole Biggs
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James Whitmore Jr. ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Dishevelled Man
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Larry Nichols
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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>

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THE TRUE STORY. [Video] See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

1 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flight No. 90  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donnelly Rhodes and Dinah Manoff appeared together in the sitcom Soap. 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

[fatal take-off scene]
Washington Air Traffic Controller: Palm 90, cleared for take-off.
Captain Larry Wheaton: Palm 90, cleared for take-off.
Washington Air Traffic Controller: No delay on departure if you will. Traffic's two and a half out for the runway.
Captain Larry Wheaton: Okay.
First Officer Roger Pettit: [referring to the engine gauges] God! Look at that thing. That doesn't seem right does it? Ah, that's not right!
Captain Larry Wheaton: Yeah it is.
[referring to the airspeed indicator]
Captain Larry Wheaton: There's 80.
First Officer Roger Pettit: Nah, I don't think that's right.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Edited from Lost Flight (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
General movie overview, focussing on actors performances, writing, and realism of the movie vs. the actual event.
9 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

This movie is one of the best of its genre as far as I am concerned. Though made for TV, a fair amount of research and money has gone into its production, evident from how close to the actual facts the movie is. Being a well documented true story, it's good to see the movie adhering to this. The writing and characterisation is very realistic - nothing two dimensional or superfluous here. It also follows the characters through a little of their day before and why they're travelling on this particular flight. You become emotionally attached and care about them, wondering who is going to live and who is going to die.

Brilliant performances from the cast only raise the picture further. Barry Corbin and Dinah Manoff both went on to successful sitcoms (Northern Exposure and Empty Nest respectively), and it's not surprising from their acting in this film. The on screen chemistry between Jamie Rose and Kate Vernon (as flight attendants) has to be seen to be believed. It's enough to make you think they were actually friends in real life, not just actors brought together for a movie. They truly become who they're portraying.

What really adds to the film is the detail. The same airline that actually crashed is featured in the movie, the same aircraft type, and the details as to why the plane crashed are added in a way that you'll notice without it being in your face or detrimental to the story flow. Impressively, the actual cockpit dialog from the flight is repeated almost verbatim in the movie. Finally, actual news footage of the rescue that day is incorporated into the acted out footage, adding a deal of realism rarely seen in "crash movies".

The only bad marks I can give the film is for the total unrealistic "crash" scene. Obviously there was no special effects budget. Also, the "cars on the bridge" are obviously not real and shot in a studio, another downfall for a movie that is otherwise virtually flawless.

Flight 90: Disaster On The Potomac - definitely worth watching, and not one to miss - for plane buffs and movie buffs alike!


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