13 user 3 critic

The Ghost of Flight 401 (1978)

An aircraft crashes in the Florida Everglades, killing 103 passengers. After the wreckage is removed, salvageable parts from the plane are used to repair other aircraft. Soon passengers and... See full summary »


Robert Malcolm Young (teleplay), John G. Fuller (book)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest Borgnine ... Dom Cimoli
Gary Lockwood ... Jordan Evanhower
Tina Chen ... Val
Kim Basinger ... Prissy Frasier
Tom Clancy Tom Clancy ... Dutch
Howard Hesseman ... Bert Stockwell
Russell Johnson ... Loft
Robert F. Lyons ... Bill Bowdish
Allan Miller ... Les Garrick
Alan Oppenheimer ... Barton
Carol Eve Rossen ... Maria Cimoli (as Carol Rossen)
Eugene Roche ... Andrews
Luis Avalos
Ted Hartley Ted Hartley
Byron Morrow ... Bailey


An aircraft crashes in the Florida Everglades, killing 103 passengers. After the wreckage is removed, salvageable parts from the plane are used to repair other aircraft. Soon passengers and crew on those aircraft report seeing what they believe to be the ghost of the wrecked airplane's flight engineer. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

18 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Geist von Flug 401 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on a book that claimed to have been a true story. However, it has since emerged that almost no equipment from Flight 401 was salvaged for use in other planes, and no airline personnel ever admitted to having seen the ghost. (In the book, it's claimed that all personnel "spoke under the condition of anonymity" making their stories impossible to verify one way or the other.) Even retired personnel, who have nothing to lose, say there were no sightings. At one point the airline considering suing the publisher, but decided against it as it would create too much publicity. It is now felt that the story is almost completely fabricated and no ghost was ever seen. See more »


Narrator: Some of those who saw the ghost feared open discussion would jeopardize their jobs...
Narrator: The log books were replaced... access to them was denied by the airline...
Narrator: However, salvaged parts installed in other L-1011's were ordered removed...
Narrator: Since the "soul rescue," which took place in the late winter of 1974 in the New England home of an airline pilot, not a single reappearance of "The Ghost of Flight 401" has been reported.
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Followed by Crash (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

19 September 2016 | by StuOzSee all my reviews

Based on a true story, about the ghost of an airplane disaster.

I just bumped into this movie on YouTube thinking I was getting one of those 1970s airplane disaster movies, I got a totally different sort of disaster movie: one said to be based on fact!

I have not done the required research on this story to state if I think the whole event is real or not. But, I must admit, it strikes me as a bit strange that I am finding out about this "famous story" now in 2016. I am a middle aged man who usually knows about these sort of strange events in the USA. Yes, I know the airline involved kept a lid on it, but still, why did it take nearly 40 years for me to find out about this "famous story"??

I am not sure why Ernest Borgnine was cast in this film? Maybe he looks like the the real guy this happened to? If so, that is a good reason for casting him in the role. The problem I find is that he is such a big Hollywood name, sometimes a comical name, and seeing him pop in and out of the movie like Barbera Eden in I Dream Of Jeannie takes from the dramatic impact we are meant to feel.

But all in all, The Ghost Of Flight 401 is great to see on YouTube...I hope they don't take it down.

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