AVweb Reviews NBC's Blackout Effect

MOVIE REVIEW. NBC's made-for TV movie (Sunday, January 4th at 9-11 pm) depicts a plausible scenario in which an ATC computer glitch results in the collision of a passenger jet and a cargo plane, destroying both aircraft and killing 185 people, and the NTSB investigation and attempted coverup by FAA management that follows. The involvement of two working air traffic controllers and NATCA members as technical advisors to this production is obvious in the spot-on pilot/controller phraseology and the accurate portrayal of ATC procedures and data blocks. But in the aftermath of the crash (which occurs about 15 minutes into the two-hour show), the plot quickly degenerates from the plausible to the absurd, and "Blackout Effect" becomes just another disaster movie designed to capture the attention of the public and prey on widespread fears of flying. What a missed opportunity.

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