Airport 1970,

Minute 093: Like a Hunk of Hamburger

December 07, 2016

Guest Host: Nancy O’Kane

Nancy O’Kane, better known in Internet circles as “The Captain”, is much more comfortable watching movies than talking about them. Nevertheless, she has succumbed to the charms of her husband and agreed to take part in his podcast. When she’s not talking about George Kennedy and his cigars, she’s a full time student majoring in history and minoring in classics. She’s also busy being a caretaker to Rio, the most neurotic dog on the planet. Rio is afraid of thunder, lawnmowers, and plastic bags.


Joe Patroni continues to explain the potential damage to the 707 if Guerrero sets off his bomb in 23-A, and how it’s fortunate there’s nothing critical in the skin of the ship. He points at the cross-section model in Mel’s office.

“All the control cables run along here,” says Joe, running his hand along the underside of the ship. “So, if it’s not too big a hole, she might still fly.”

“But,” continues Joe, “the sudden decompression at thirty thousand feet is something you’ve got to see to believe.”

“He’ll get sucked out,” says Tanya. “Won’t he?”

“And so will anybody sitting next to him. Until that pressure equalizes, everything within twenty feet of him that’s not nailed down or strapped in is gonna get sucked right out that hole.”

“Is it that powerful?” asks Bert Weatherby. “Are you sure?” Patroni snorts.

“Yeah, I’m sure, ” says Joe. “When I was a mechanic in the Air Force, I was being transferred on a MATS plane. At twenty thousand feet, one of the windows shattered.  The guy sitting next to me was about one hundred and seventy pounds. He went through that little space like a hunk of hamburger going down a Dispose-All.  Right after him, coats, pillows, blankets, cups, saucers — yeah, I’m sure.”

“Takes about three seconds,” says Mel. “Doesn’t it?”

“Three, four, five – – it depends on the size of the hole. Everything fogs up just like that, “says Patroni, snapping his fingers. “And then: watch out! At that altitude, you can’t breathe, so unless they get on oxygen in forty five seconds, it’s good-”


In this minute

George Kennedy as Joe Patroni
Jean Seberg as Tanya Livingston
Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfeld
Lloyd Nolan as Harry Standish
Clark Howat as Bert Weatherby



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