FLIGHT (2012)PRODUCTION NOTES
© 2012 Paramount Pictures
On a mid-Autumn morning, SouthJet 227 departs Orlando, Florida for whatshould be a routine trip. Captain Whip Whitaker is at the helm of the Jackson-Ridgefield88 Passenger Jet along with his young clean-cut co-pilot and first officer Ken Evans, who
is Whip’s polar opposite in every
way. The flight soon encounters heavier-than-anticipated turbulence as they fly into a massive storm. Not a problem for Whip whosteers the plane into the clearing, albeit in an unconventional and eyebrow raising way, toth
e relief of the flight’s 96
passengers and six members of the flight crew.
But that’s when things start to go
wrong. Abruptly, the pilots encounter aseries of inexplicable mechanical malfunctions, causing the plane to rock and dip andshudder like a rollercoaster. As these breakdowns began to multiply, causing the plane to
spiral downward and seemingly out of the pilots’ control, Whip decides that his only
recourse to maintain a level altitude is to maneuver the 50-ton plane into a barrel roll andcomplete inversion, which will allow it to glide without its engines until he can right the plane and land it. Within minutes, unable to make it to the airport, flying the plane just afew hundred feet off the ground, Whip finds a patch of nearby land adjacent to a churchwhere he can attempt his landing. At 140 miles per hour, he inverts the aircraft and brings it down. The impact is shattering, but Whip, in an incredible, ingenious stroke,calmly manages to land safely enough to save all but six of the one hundred and twosouls on board.For his miraculous landing, the media hails Whip as a hero. But, there arelingering questions.
The cause of the crash isn’t entirely clear
to his superiors and particularly to the NTSB, although Whip is quite sure had he not been in the cockpit, the plane would have nose-dived and all its passengers would surely be dead. Nonetheless aninvestigation ensues.As the query drags on, Whip is literally grounded as he struggles with hisconsiderable demons. Convinced that his actions saved the passengers on-board, he isequally certain that his personal issues are not all that extraordinary and certainly had no bearing on the crash. Old and new allies rally around him. His friend and unionrepresentative Charlie Anderson takes on his case, as does the canny, sincere lawyer