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An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.



1,567 ( 140)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father on Plane (as Adam Ciesielski)
Ken Evans
Conor O'Neill ...
Tiki Pot (as Charlie E. Schmidt Jr.)
Will Sherrod ...
Camelia Satou
Adam Tomei ...
Derek Hogue
Field Reporter


Whip Whitaker is a commuter airline pilot. While on a flight from Orlando to Atlanta something goes wrong and the plane starts to fly erratically. With little choice Whip crashes the plane and saves almost all on board. When he wakes up in the hospital, his friend from the airline union introduces him to a lawyer who tells him there's a chance he could face criminal charges because his blood test reveals that he was intoxicated with alcohol and cocaine. He denies being impaired, so while an investigation is underway, he is told to keep his act together. However, letting go of his addiction is not as easy as it seems... Written by Immanuel Ambhara

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 November 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vuelo  »

Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,900,566 (USA) (2 November 2012)


$93,749,203 (USA) (8 February 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Writer John Gatins was inspired by a pilot who happened to be a fellow passenger on a flight. The pilot went on about his family life and issues, which gave Gatins pause and made him realize that whenever he is on a plane, he has to entrust himself to a stranger, who is only human, after all. See more »


Nicole mentions that her apartment is in Bankhead, which is on the west side of Atlanta, but when the skyline is visible from her apartment, it is east of downtown. See more »


Whip: [to hearing committee] I'm drunk right now, because I'm an alcoholic.
See more »


References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »


With a Little Help From My Friends
Written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Incredible Film
17 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Washington gives what is nothing less than a performance of a lifetime in this tension filled film dealing with a pilot wrestling with inner demons. The aviation sequences are stunning and the crash one of the most breathtaking ever filmed. The director is highly gifted and his skill and passion are clearly evident. The script is superb, with intelligent plotting and sharp dialog that captures reality. It is, once again, Washington who shines here above all else. His power as an actor is what truly gives this movies its fire. His portrayal of a substance abusing addict/alcoholic is painful to watch because of the humanity he brings to the part. It is a tremendous accomplishment and one of the finest studies of addiction ever filmed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
seriously? they sent him to jail for saving people's lives? otakutommychan
The main problem with this movie Brandon_Marlo
His Alcoholism probably caused him to successfully land the plane lisasetser0409
In the real world, the crash would have been Whip's fault hish747
The Mini Bar - Realism robfabrams
Nerdy detail complaint - it is very clear what type of airplane this is. mjl1966
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