Terror in the Sky (1971)


Terror in the Sky (1971)

On a transcontinental flight, the flight crew suffer from food poisioning and become incapacitated. To save the aircraft, the cabin crew locate a passenger with flying experience. He is coached by an experienced pilot on the ground.
IMDb   5.7 /10
TheMovieDb    7.0 /10
Director Bernard L. Kowalski
Writer Stephen Karpf
Writer Elinor Karpf
Writer Dick Nelson
Writer Arthur Hailey
Release Date1971-09-17
Runtime1h 14min
GenreDrama, Thriller
Content Rating
CompanyParamount Television
Marty Treleavan
George Spencer
Dr. Ralph Baird
Harry Burdick
Mr. Swenson
Christopher Dark
Christopher Dark
Mr. McCann
Loretta Leversee
Loretta Leversee
Mrs. McCann
Patricia Mattick
Patricia Mattick
Capt. Wilson
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Terror in the Sky

Terror in the Sky is a low budget 1971 television film remake of 1957's Zero Hour!, which itself was based on the 1956 television play Flight into Danger. Arthur Hailey recycled the premise in his book Runway Zero-Eight which was co-written with John Castle in 1958. The film stars Doug McClure, Lois Nettleton, Roddy McDowall, Leif Erickson, Kenneth Tobey, and Keenan Wynn.


Passengers on a plane headed from the Midwest to the West Coast (Winnipeg to Vancouver in the book; Minneapolis to Seattle in the film) get quite ill after eating the chicken pot pie entree. Both pilots also ate the chicken. Passenger George Spencer, a man who has not flown since the Vietnam War (single-engine planes in the book, helicopter/war choppers in the film), is reluctantly pressed into flying the plane, where he makes a very neurotic, but survivable landing.


  • Doug McClure - George Spencer
  • Leif Erickson - Marty Treleavan
  • Roddy McDowall - Dr. Baird
  • Lois Nettleton - Janet Turner
  • Keenan Wynn - Milton
  • Kenneth Tobey - Captain Wilson
  • Jack Ging - Controller
  • Sam Melville - Stewart
  • Leonard Stone - Harry Burdick