Authentic drama of United Airlines flight 232 from Denver to Chicago. The DC-10 crashed during an emergency landing at Sioux City Gateway Airport on July 19, 1989. 184 people survived, partly thanks to the ground rescue workers who had 40 minutes to prepare for the event. Written by
In 1988, Sioux City Iowa organized a revolutionary "Disaster Preparedness Program." On July 19th, 1989, they needed every trick in the book.
Did You Know?
Gary Brown, the real life director of Woodbury County Emergency Services (now called the Disaster Services Office) in Sioux City, Iowa, makes a cameo appearance as an emergency services employee in the film. He can be seen operating a radio in the mobile command post when Richard Thomas' character of Gary Brown arrives at the airport. See more
When Flight Engineer Dudley Dvorak notices that the hydraulic quantity drops to zero, Captain Haynes asks him to turn on "backup systems", but they are also found unworkable. Haynes then states that "all three hydraulics lines at once" must have been destroyed. This exchange shows that the screenwriter misunderstands the way hydraulics work: the DC-10, like all airliners, has three different hydraulic lines (marked as red, blue and yellow), but they are used simultaneously in flight, as each of them controls different control surfaces of the aircraft - while the movie implies one of three is the main one and the other two are backup, used only when the main hydraulic line fails. (In fact, the DC-10 did not have any backup hydraulics: they are running through different parts of the airplane, so it was found improbable to have all three taken out at once with the exception of a total disintegration of the airliner; however, in case of UA232, when the turbine disc on the tailfin engine disintegrated, it ruptured shrapnel pieces all around, severing all three lines, as the red one ran just under the engine and blue and yellow lines ran through the tail fin in fairly close proximity.) See more
Denver Tower, this is United 232 heavy, ready for take-off, 35 Right.
Denver Tower Controller
232 heavy, cleared for take-off, 35 Right, and have a good day sir.
Denver Tower, roger that, cleared for take-off runway 35 Right... and you have a good one too.