22 user 3 critic

Final Descent (1997)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | TV Movie 12 October 1997
A commercial pilot is forced to keep a plane aloft that was struck in midair by another plane to keep it from ripping apart even as the fuel is running out and the air and cabin pressure is dropping.



(book), (teleplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Connie Phipps
Ian Pryce
Jack Eberly
Pilot of Private Plane N9478C
Henry Gibbons
Lt. Col. Frank O'Hearn
Lorraine Landry ...
Jill Zimmer
Crystal Dupree (as Carrie Cain Sparks)
Aaron Joseph ...
Adam Dupree
Louva Meloche ...
Cody Serpa ...


An airliner collides with a light plane just after takeoff, causing its elevators to jam in the full climb position. It will crash as soon as the fuel runs out, unless some desperate measure succeeds in bringing the nose down. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aircrash - Katastrophe beim Take Off  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John de Lancie plays the co-pilot of the ill-fated plane accidentally hit by a small jet due to a distracted air controller. The actor would later play a distracted air controller who causes two planes to crash in one of the episodes of Breaking Bad (2008). See more »


If '48C had taken off from 9L as it was supposed to, it would be on almost the same course, only displaced to the left by the distance between the runways. If the actual position of '48C following takeoff from 9R created a collision course with Quest 19, then the intended position would still have created a dangerous close approach. Therefore no such order to turn would have been given. See more »


Mrs. Singer: Glen Singer you are just flat-out "lucky".
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Followed by Final Run (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Plane Stupid...
6 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

Although I have rarely flown myself, I am keenly interested in aviation... and this film has added to the precious laughing stock in aviation cinema.

1. Why is the captain doing the ground checks? Why does he even measure the oil levels in the engines? With turnaround times as low as 15 minutes in commercial aviation this is not a typical pre-flight check.

2. WHY does the captain KICK against the aircraft tire? Strange kind of pressure check. Or anger management :-)

3. The cockpit has a crew of 3. All large, western, two-engined jets built since the 1980ies have a crew of 2 people. Now try a guess at how old the movie script is.

4. A helicopter manages to fly alongside the crippled airliner. Must be a fast one... and the captain's words to explain the "maneuver" to the passengers are indeed hilarious ones!

5. With arrested elevator rudders it is always possible to lower the nose of the aircraft. It happens, for example, when any aircraft moves slower than the stall speed.

6. The elevator rudders have hydraulic actuators. After the collision with the business plane it would, most probably, have severed the hydraulic lines and thus make them useless for steering, but it would NOT fix them in certain position.

7. The fire in the aft galley was a stupid idea. It was designed to show that only gentlemen ask for the extinguisher and fight the fire, regardless of who was actually trained to do that – the flight attendant.

8. At the time of collision, the aircraft's elevators would have been in a neutral position. The film could have ended here...

9. The flight engineer (the third person in the cockpit) has three bars on his uniform. In reality, flight engineers have two.

10. Why does the captain slash the cabin casing with an axe to examine the damage behind? I thought it would have been the flight engineer's duty, as he is already supposed to perform technical checks before and after flight.

11. In any aircraft, there is no unused space. At least commercial airplanes cannot afford the luxury of a compartment that can be filled with tons of water.

I could go on and on... but at last I laughed hysterically about how the screenwriters imagine aircraft disasters! Woooohooo! Most aircraft disasters happen in such a short time span that you simply cannot make 90-minute flicks out of them. But you can always fill 90 minutes with mind-boggling and insane crap, irrespective of the genre.

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