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How-to-Survive-title

Director Robert Zemeckis is no stranger to filming terrifyingly realistic plane crashes.

In 2000, he opened Cast Away with a harrowing scene showing Tom Hank’s freight plane plunging into the sea. Now he’s at it again with his new flight Flight, with Denzel Washington’s heroic pilot saving many lives by crash-landing a stricken passenger jet.

Here we take a look at what it takes to walk away from a movie plane ride (WARNING: Spoilers abound).

Die-Hard-2

If the movies have taught us anything it’s that the festive period is not a good time to travel by air.

In the 1997 action thriller Turbulence, TransCon Airlines’s Christmas Eve Flight 7 from New York to LA is terrorized by serial killer Ryan Weaver (played with boggle-eyed relish by Ray Liotta). While in Die Hard 2 (1988), American mercenaries led by former US Army Special Forces type (and naked Tai Chi enthusiast) Colonel Stuart choose the night before Christmas to take over Washington Dulles Airport, causing travel chaos for hundreds of passengers.

To demonstrate his bad guy credentials, Stuart reprogrammes the Instrument Landing System to make the pilot of an incoming plane think his aircraft is 200 feet higher than it really is. Trusting Captain Colm Meany flies Windsor Air Flight 114 from London (and its plummy English crew and passengers) straight into the runway.

The trouble is: Death and destruction from above doesn’t just limit itself to the holiday season, as we’re about to find out…

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