Airport 1970,

Minute 104: Mayday Mayday

December 22, 2016

Guest Host: Rob Draper

With more than 35 years experience in Film and Television, Rob Draper has worked on everything from Regional TV News to Hollywood Feature Films.

Known as a technical innovator and creative risk taker in the industry he has pioneered many new techniques and worked on development of motion picture products for SONY, Panasonic, Fuji Film, Arri and Zeiss. Rob was also the first to run a full scale Hi Definition shoot in Hollywood on the then “new gen” camera’s.

Rob set the style for what has become known as Reality TV in a groundbreaking series he shot for Universal called “The Street”…after which the New York Times declared “the show practically creates a new visual language”. Rob also worked on some of the first Music Videos used to promote feature Films and developed a visual style for using promotional music videos for retailing in a 5 minute Hollywood extravaganza for Coca Cola.

Rob’s photography on the Sundance Audience award winner, The Spitfire Grill, drew accolades worldwide.

Rob’s website:


D.O. Guerrero has locked himself into the starboard lavatory. Gwen rushes to try and open the door.

Guerrero takes a final moment, looking at himself in the lavatory mirror. He hears the noise and clamor of people outside. While staring at his reflection, he reaches for the trigger on the briefcase handle.

Outside the lavatory, Gwen continues to tug on the door. There’s a sudden explosion.

Gwen, still holding onto the lavatory door, is thrown backwards toward the aft hatch.

A hole appears in the outer wall of the lavatory. Debris from the explosion and loose objects are sucked out of the aircraft. In the main cabin, jackets, blankets, pillows, papers, and other items fly aft. The noise of the escaping air is deafening. Passengers are screaming.

In the cockpit, the decompression alarm blares. Engineer Jordan dons an oxygen mask. Harris, already wearing his mask, scans the instrument panel.

Back in the main cabin, every loose object continues to be pulled aft. Vern, prone in the aisle, is being dragged toward the tail. Other passengers grab him to keep him from going further back.

Gwen, in the aft entryway, is hanging onto a jumpseat strap. Playing cards litter the floor.

The last remaining blankets and hats continue to fly through the air. As the pressure equalizes to the 20,000 ft altitude, the wind dies down.

Emergency oxygen masks deploy from the overhead compartments. Passengers struggle to put on oxygen. Vern stands in the aisle and yells, “Get on oxygen!”

Back in the cockpit, Harris and Jordan are working the controls and trying to determine the ship’s status.

“Mayday! Mayday!” calls Harris on the radio.

Back in the Tourist section, Vern takes two deep breaths out of an overhead oxygen mask, then lunges to the back of the plane. He grabs an oxygen bottle, and tends to Gwen, who is motionless and face-down in the aft entryway. Blood is streaked on the wall. He turns Gwen face up.

Stewardess Joan is tending to the Tourist passengers.

In this minute

Whit Bissell as Mr. Davidson
Jacqueline Bisset as Gwen Meighan
Helen Hayes as Ada Quonsett
Van Heflin as D.O. Guerrero
Pat Priest as Mrs. Copeland
Janis Hansen as Sister Katherine Grace
Dean Martin as Vernon Demerest
Peter Turgeon as Marcus Rathbone
Patti Poulsen as Stewardess Joan
Gary Collins as Cy Jordan
Barry Nelson as Anson Harris



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