Flight 401 went down in the Florida Everglades around Christmas of 1972. This movie simply tells that story. In some instances, such as with Sharon Gless and Adrienne Barbeau, who were based on the actual stewardesses, the film works, but in other instances, like George Maharis' bickering romance, it says cliche'. Christopher Connelly and Ron Glass were also based on actual persons. The movie shows incredible events that occurred, such as the two men in the swamp boat who are the first to arrive on the scene and the survival of the baby and the poodle. D.W. Moffat is the first rescuer to appear and hears the survivors singing Christmas carols. Lorraine Gary and Ed Nelson's story, whether or not it is true, I couldn't say, but I doubt it, nontheless is interesting to watch. Eddie Albert and Lane Smith are a bit on the wasted side as far as being the pilots goes. William Shatner adds his Rescue 911 dialogue in a final summary. The movie concludes one of the pilots bumped the wheel and knocked out the automatic pilot, but the myth about the crash is that the flight crew became too absorbed in why the warning light that the landing gear wasn't down was still lit up, until they looked and saw the ground in front of them. Again, according to the movie, the gear was down, the fault was in the lightbulb.
Another movie that came out the same year, Ghost of Flight 401, that starred Ernest Borgnine and Kim Basinger, continues the story about the ghosts of the flight crew seen on other planes that had pieces of the fuselage from Flight 401 used in their assembly. Would be interesting to see these two movies together.