Hollywood versus reality | Airplane 1996 Movie Review
if you don’t know me my name is Kelsey I’m a 747 pilot a lot of people asked for was a bigger picture of the view from my hotel room where I’m filming so this is my view from the hotel in Okinawa Japan executive decision is a movie from 1996 where Special Forces take over a 747that it’s been hijacked by terrorists and luckily I know a few things about the 747.
So, let’s see how real it is let’s get into it, maintain your course reduce your airspeed is indicated careful I am a pilot okay the first thing that Into Ticked as soon as he got on to the flight deck.
He started touching some buttons that really had nothing to do with anything that he would actually want to be touching for example he’s touching the Interphone switch which is just a way to communicate between the bunks or for us to communicated own stairs I’m not really sure which one he was touching but it has nothing to do with anything and they start touching one of the switches between the pilots on this Center pedestal that allows the pilots to have a hot mic to communicate to each other. so there’s really nothing that is touching that’s gonna be helping him take over the plane then he says reduce your airspeed as indicated now he hasn’t adjusted the airspeed or anything on the aircraft.
So he’s basically saying something that doesn’t make any sense if he had adjusted something or said maintain this speed that would make sense but reduce your speed as indicated makes it no sense because he hasn’t changed anything so there’s no new speed to maintain they have literally just given him some aviation words and he just shoved them all together but the most Hollywood part of this scene is actually the fact that the pilots are still wearing their shoulder harnesses that is something that comes off within a couple of minutes of getting in the air you’re obviously required to wear it for takeoff and landing but there’s no reason that up into the crews portion of the flight that you would have those on they’re not very comfortable it’s harder to reach and move things around in the flight deck so those are something that are gonna come off right away.
However, there is something that’s very realistic about the scene as soon as the terrorist comes into the cockpit he announces that he’s a pilot if you know a pilot you know that within 30 seconds just about every pilot is gonna let people know that you’re a pilot why don’t we need to tell everybody That I don’t know but just something that we have to get out of our mouth so that part is very accurate all right let’s get back to executive decision target sighted climbing to flight level 385activating Doppler imaging system 350 we’re entering heavy turbulence Mr.Cahill just me about eight to ten seconds of this Colonel we’re entering the slipstream in a moment it’ll settle that’s the sweet spot we’ll be out in two the first thing that’s off here is that he says they’re climbing to flight level 385 what that means is they’re climbing to 38,500 feet which makes no sense at all and then the other thing is that he says they’re climbing to flight level 385 which means he didn’t watch the video that I did on proper radio phraseology commercial aircraft fly at the full flight level meaning we’d fly it 37,000 feet or 38,000 feet but we don’t fly at 38,000 feet 500 which would be flight level 385 that’s not something that we do so that doesn’t make very much sense the other thing that’s very Hollywood in this scene is that he’s turning on this Doppler radar thing which I thought weatherman used to see when the storms were coming but apparently you can use it to see turbulence and then when he turns it on you see all these lines coming off the engines now the engines do produce turbulence obviously because they’re blowing air out the back of them but the majority of turbulence that you see from an aircraft is created actually from the wings from the lift from the wings. so you don’t really see a lot of turbulence coming from that.
So I’m assuming this Doppler imaging system is used to detect turbulence but the turbulence isn’t really showing that it’s coming from the wings so that’s not very accurate either all right let’s get back to the movies witching to the dorsal camera system all the approach to Mr. kale steady you’re right on it you’re right on it hold it right there activate Roger autopilot on we’re engaged Mr. gale we got a stable vacuum I’m opening the outer hatch so something that’s off here is that one the pilot is hand flying the aircraft until he gets attached to the 747 and then he turns the autopilot on but he doesn’t necessarily know what the other pilots are doing so that doesn’t really make a lot of sense one second I don’t understand why they didn’t just come underneath a thousand or two thousand feet below a 747 and then fly directly up into it they could have avoided all that turbulence and something else that just occurred to me is that the fighter pilot is actually wearing an oxygen mask now the people in the back don’t have an oxygen mask on.
So it doesn’t really make sense why he’s wearing that I’ve never worn one they don’t seem particularly comfortable but if you could breathe air just that’s into the cabin of the aircraft I would typically think that’s what you would do okay let’s get back to the movie have a short what is that like that’s a warning light it’s for an open outer hatch in the avionics room that’s impossible the whole plane is pressurized where does this room blow it’s under the first-class camp where the how’s the clip you put the clip in it was there see it went out gotta be a short why are we not climbing so Hollywood well done because that door does actually exist on the aircraft.
I honestly would have thought that you would have attached your self to some non-existent door and then climbed in so well done because that door does exist and you can actually access the plane through that door I don’t know about in flight but you could definitely do it so Hollywood You got that right next you see on that main panel that flashing light that says seal there is no light or flashing light or button or anything that’s on there that says seal if a door were to open or were to indicate it is open it would show actually on one of our computer screens so that does not exist next you see the pilots looking on the overhead panel when this seal light is going off on the captain side you have a bunch of stuff like the hydraulics for external power sources things like that and then on the first officer side you might have things like pressurization and things for the air conditioning for the temperature control throughout the aircraft but there is nothing in there that has anything to do with resetting a door or anything like that so the fact they are looking at that overhead panel makes no sense at all and finally that main terrorist who kicks into the door in the last minute and says why are we climbing so you heard the fighter pilot earlier talk about climbing to flight level 380 538thousand five hundred feet now on that – you saw it said thirty-nine hundred feet so I’m guessing they meant 39,000 feet but ok I’m assuming that the aircraft is at 39,000 feet and if you’re doing a long flight across the ocean you’re probably pretty heavy so you’re typically not gonna get a lot higher than that when you’re full of fuel and you still have a long flight to go so the aircraft at 39,000 feet is actually pretty high it can go higher but usually not when it’s full of people and full of fuel but hey when you’ve hijacked a plane I guess you can demand whatever you want alright let’s get back to executive decision I’m tight why is she said god damn heavy they’re climbing what did it mean listen to me how I’ve Got a club – now where I love these nineties movies and the one-liners we’re not gonna make it you are so the aircraft hit some turbulence which is pretty normal and sometimes turbulence is caused from wind shear that makes sense but at that altitude you’re not going to have winter that is typically gonna bring a plane down thousands of feet it’s gonna be bumpy you might go 20 or 30 feet but not thousands of feet like it’s portraying in this film next you hear the captain talking about how heavy she is now I’m assuming they’re referring to the other aircraft that’s at tached to the bottom of them but that doesn’t make any sense that aircraft isn’t affecting the wings of the lift or anything like that and obviously the whole idea is that you can’t tell that the other aircraft is there so that also doesn’t make any sense how the pilots are saying oh she’s so heavy that doesn’t make any sense because there should be no impact about aircraft underneath there.
However if the aircraft did start falling like that the pilots would take the aircraft off the autopilot but typically like it’s showing right there the captain has actually hand flying the aircraft at that altitude typically pilots don’t do that because we are kind of lazy by Nature but if the plane did start descending at thousands feet kind of like it’s portraying in here the pilots would actually have the autopilot disconnected to make sure that we grab control the aircraft because like I Always talk about safety safety safety is our number one priority so that does make sense okay let’s get back to the movie well I’m gonna have to check the equipment in the avionics room show me this room yeah I get your beer please oh hey give me a break okay Ken the first officer is looking at overhead panel and just randomly hitting switches we do not do that the only time we’re hitting switches is when it’s per a checklist or per some book that’s gonna tell us at this point do this we don’t just randomly hit switches and just see a wonder what this will do that’s not how it works when you’re fine the other thing I want to bring up is the room that these commandos are in the room that the first officer is climbing down to that is a real room that does exist but it is not nearly as big as they’re showing it to be in this video this is the picture that I took while back looking down into that area as you can see it’s not nearly as big as they’re shown here but it does exist also there aren’t multiple hiding spots and rooms and stuff inside there it’s just a compartment for a lot of the different electronics that we use or that run the aircraft I just wanted to clarify that point.
Going forward let’s get back to the movie there’s a lot that’s going on in this scene first you have a question I’m often asked about guns shooting in the plane what would happen in that scenario now if you shot one bullet into a plane and it was to go out the wall of the plane called the hole that would probably not break apart the plane planes leaked in the air we’re always pumping pressurization into the aircraft so would one bullet rip apart a plane would multiple bullets in a strategic spot rip apart a plane yeah probably they would what would be the spot of that plane.
I have literally no idea I’ma pilot I’m not an engineer I’m definitely not that smart but yes a bunch of bullets in the right spot could cause the hull to fail so that is possible they got some things right in this scene for example the oxygen mask would fall because the pressurization of the plane would go up very high one of the things they did kind of miss here is the plane would actually get misty with water vapors.