Airport 1970,

Minute 055: Eight Million to Pay for It

October 14, 2016

Guest Host: Josh Horowitz

Josh Horowitz is the founder of one of the longest-running fan sites for the John Carpenter film Big Trouble in Little China, the Wing Kong Exchange ( He recently teamed up with movie guru Brett Stillo to co-host the weekly 5 minutes-at-a-time podcast “5 Minutes of Trouble” (

When not driving the Podcast Express, Josh is a digital producer in Los Angeles, married to a girl with green eyes, and has two young kids.


Mel and Patroni are discussing the next steps to get the stuck 707 out of the snow. Patroni is going to have to dig deeper and put lumber under the wheels. Because Captain Benson won’t use full throttle, Patroni has another plan for who’s going to be at the wheel.

“I’ll drive it out,” says Patroni.

“I’m not turning this ship over to anybody without authorization from our chief pilot,” says Benson.

“I’ve phoned Kettering, but there’s no answer,” says Mel.

“Then I guess we just sit here and wait until you get him, ” says Benson, leaning back in his seat.

“No, we don’t,” says Mel. “We haven’t got time. You’re not in the air now, Captain – – you’re stuck on the ground, my ground, and you’re blocking my primary runway.”

“I’m not using full power! It’s too risky,” says Benson.

“Then I’ll make the decision,” says Mel. “I’ll take the responsibility for the aircraft.  Mr. Patroni is licensed to taxi, he’ll take over.”  Benson ponders this for a moment, then shuts down the engines.  The pilot, engineer, and copilot get up to leave.

Benson pauses by the cockpit door for some parting words with Mel. “If he tears this ship apart,” says Benson, “I hope you’ve got eight million to pay for it.” Benson leaves. Mel prevents Joe from lunging after Benson.

“Joe,” says Mel, “My neck’s out about fourteen feet. Are you sure it’ll work?” Joe looks at Mel.

“Let’s put it this way,” says Joe, “You promised me a box of cigars if I pulled this off, right? Well, what are you standing around for?”

In this minute

Robert Patten as Captain Benson
George Kennedy as Joe Patroni
Ed Deemer as Copilot Crowley
Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfeld



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