|Distributed by||CBS Television|
|Directed by||Dick Lowry|
|Produced by||Dick Lowry|
|Written by||Garner Simmons|
|Music by||Mark Snow|
|Release date||February 11, 1990|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Miracle Landing is a 1990 television film based on an in-flight accident aboard Aloha Airlines Flight 243 that occurred in April 1988. The Boeing 737-200 was flying from Hilo, Hawaii to Honolulu, Hawaii, when it experienced rapid decompression when a section of the fuselage was torn away. With one person blown from the cabin and dozens injured, the aircraft was able to make a successful emergency landing at Kahului Airport, on Maui. The film aired on the United States television network, CBS in early 1990 and has since been shown on networks throughout the world in syndication.
The story begins in February 1988, in a flight simulator with two pilots facing the challenge of landing a crippled jet that experiences a cabin decompression, an engine fire and a loss of hydraulics. The three emergency situations foreshadow the events of Paradise Airlines Flight 243 (Note: The airline was renamed for the movie.), taking place two months later.
The story follows three crew members.
- Madeleine "Mimi" Tompkins, a First Officer pilot for Aloha Airlines, who has been selected for training to become a full Captain in the airline, having been the first female pilot to be hired by Paradise in 1979.
- Captain Robert "Bob" Schornstheimer, introduced relaxing on his private boat with his wife.
- Flight attendant Michelle Honda, shown with her young daughter of whom she paints a portrait wearing traditional Hawaiian costume.
Paradise Airlines 243 is an inter-island flight from Honolulu to Hilo, with a return to Honolulu the same day. The characters are developed during several scenes set during the layover, and passengers are introduced to the audience during check-in scenes.
The flight then takes off over Hilo, and soon beverage service begins. During that time nothing out of the ordinary occurs, but soon after David - a young boy travelling with his mother - calls the lead flight attendant, C.B. and asks her about the crack appearing in the ceiling. At that moment, chaos breaks loose and the entire front and top half section of the plane apart from the cockpit and cargo hold, blows off in a clean cut. In the mess, Michelle falls to the floor and clings to a passenger's seat, C.B. is blown from the aircraft, and passengers are badly injured from debris and decompression. The third flight attendant Jane sustains serious head injuries, is thrown to the ground and clings to life and to other passengers to avoid the same fate as C.B. The cockpit is unaware of the full scale of the disaster and believe a bomb or decompression has occurred. Soon passengers seated in the section that was not swept away have oxygen masks fall but it is useless as all the lines were destroyed. However, the plane was at a low altitude thus it hadn't affected them as badly. Mimi and Bob contact Kahului Airport to declare an emergency.
Soon, the pilots are faced with the fact they may crash and passengers would die, and both Mimi and Bob have flashbacks to her training days and his Air Force, respectively. Michelle has a flashback to walking the shoreline with her father who as a soldier in the Army, has died. Jane's injuries worsen and Michelle struggles to climb to her and help her. Later, she also feels she might lose it from the chaos and picks up the call phone only to find it dead. Dorothy leans out of the plane and appears to have a state of shock before George notices and pulls her back in the plane. Michelle then begins to instruct the passengers on a possible crash landing or water landing and passes out life jackets. Gail becomes hysterical when she cannot get a life jacket for David, but soon is calmed by Michelle. Roy panics when he sees hydraulic fluid leaking from the wings. The tower alerts Kahului Fire and Rescue personnel and they arrive before the crippled jet lands. Finally after several tense minutes, Mimi and Bob are able to figure out a plan for the emergency.
After some time, the plane lands but with difficulties in the brakes to the vessel and hydraulics. The pilots were worried that the landing might result in a broken plane and fire, but miraculously their landing resulted in no deaths and the emergency notification allowed crews to treat and evacuate passengers immediately.
- Connie Sellecca — Madeleine "Mimi" Tompkins (First Officer)
- Wayne Rogers — Robert "Bob" Schornstheimer (Captain)
- Ana Alicia — Michelle Honda (Flight Attendant)
- Patty Toy — Jane Sato-Tomita (Flight Attendant)
- Nancy Kwan — Clarabelle "C.B." Lansing (Chief Flight Attendant)
- James Cromwell — B.J. Cocker
- Jay Thomas — Ed Meyer (Maui Tower Supervisor)
- Armin Shimerman — Rick (Maui Tower Controller)
- Shantel Cropper — Young Michelle