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Volée Airlines Flight 180
Volée Airlines Flight 180
First seen
Final Destination (2000)
Last seen
Final Destination 5 (2011)
Name
Volée Airlines Flight 180
Located
JFK Airport, New York City, New York, USA
Purpose
Airliner
There they go, here we stay.

Billy Hitchcock watching Flight 180 take off, shortly before its midair destruction

Volée Airlines Flight 180 (also known as Flight 180) was an international flight on a Boeing 747-200 destined for Paris, France that exploded shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy Airport on May 13, 2000, killing all 287 passengers onboard and at least one person on the ground.

Theatrically, the Flight 180 crash is the first major disaster of the series, as seen in Final Destination, and the third major disaster chronologically[1], given the events of Final Destination 5.

Disaster

Final Destination

Premonition

Flight 180 leaving the jetway before the disaster.

Alex and his French class board the plane for their trip to Paris. Christa Marsh and Blake Dreyer ask Tod Waggner, Alex's friend, if he can move to Alex's row so they can sit together, but Tod lies and says that he has a medical condition. The girls then decide to ask Alex.

After Alex takes his seat, Blake and Christa ask him to move to Tod's row. Despite Tod's silent protests, Alex gets up and moves to his row. As he sits down, the tray table in front of Alex unfolds. Alex props the tray table back up and attempts to lock it, but accidentally pulls out the pin, allowing the tray table to unfold again.

Alex in panic.

Moments after taking off, the plane shakes slightly due to turbulence, alarming some of the passengers. A flight attendant assures some of the passengers that everything is okay, when the cabin begins to shake violently which causes things to topple onto a woman sitting next to Ms. Lewton, killing her. The oxygen masks drop down and the passengers struggle to put them on as the pilots attempt to redirect the plane back to the landing strip. A large explosion occurs in rows 17 and 18 on the left side of the cabin, showering passengers with sparks and fire, and killing all three passengers in row 17. The fuselage of row 18 rips away, initially sucking out two of the three students within the row. Ms. Lewton attempts to save the third student by reaching out and trying to grab her hand, but is unable to as the third student is sucked out of the cabin. A ball of fire erupts next to the exposed hole in the fuselage.

The plane begins to nosedive, throwing a passenger from his seat and down the aisle, and a stereo boombox falls and hits the back of Tod's head, killing him. The fuel pump at the front left of the plane explodes and a wall of fire roars throughout the cabin, incinerating Alex and the other passengers.

Real Life

Ms. Lewton screaming.

Alex suddenly snaps awake on the plane in his original seat, and realizes what he just experienced was a premonition. Blake and Christa are asking him to switch seats when he panics, running to the seat next to Tod and sees that the tray table is broken. He shouts that the plane is going to explode, prompting Carter Horton to get angry and attempts to assault Alex. This results in Alex and Carter getting kicked off the plane, Terry Chaney immediately follows her boyfriend Carter, Billy Hitchcock who was just entering into the plane is caught in the fight accidentally and he is escorted outside as well, Mr. Murnau and Ms. Lewton go to check their students. Tod later removes himself off the plane when his brother, George Waggner, suggests that he should keep an eye on Alex. Clear Rivers removes herself shortly after Tod.

After they are evacuated to the terminal, a co-pilot tells Ms. Lewton that only one high school faculty member can get back to the plane. Mr. Murnau offers to stay, but Ms. Lewton convinces him return to the plane while she stays behind. Before the plane departs, Carter lectures Alex, saying that they "blow a half a day in Paris all because [Alex] Browning had a bad fucking dream". Carter then begins to ridicule Alex, and prompts him to tackle Carter. The two attempt to fight as police officers restrain them.

The plane then explodes in mid-air, and the shockwave from the explosion is so powerful that the glass windows in the terminal shatter. As the officers call for help, the other survivors look at Alex in horror and watch as the burning wreckage fall from the sky.

Final Destination 5

Alex and Carter being escorted from the plane from Sam's viewpoint.

After Alex notices his vision, Sam Lawton and Molly Harper arrive on the plane to leave for Paris before they witness him and the other survivors being removed from the plane during a fight. Sam and Molly, unaware of his warning, take their seats before the plane departs.

While at cruising altitude, the fasten seat belt sign above them flickers. Sam begins suffering the recurring omens from his premonition, and soon overhears the flight attendant talking to a passenger about Alex and his vision.

Sam and Molly on Flight 180.

As he realizes that he and Molly were too late to get off, engine #1 erupts into flames. Sam and Molly hold on to each other as they stare at the burning engine in disbelief. Engine #1 suddenly explodes, sending out shrapnel that tears holes throughout the fuselage.

Inside the cabin, the oxygen masks drop due to partial loss of cabin pressure. The plane tilts downward to the right. As Sam and Molly attempt to grab a hold of their oxygen masks, the fuselage in rows 22 through 24 rips away, sucking two passengers out of the plane. Molly is sucked out, but is temporarily saved when Sam holds on to her. Unfortunately, Sam loses his grip and watches Molly get bisected by the horizontal stabilizer of the plane. The fuel pump at the front left of the plane explodes, separating the cockpit from the rest of the plane. A wall of fire roars into the plane's interior, incinerating Sam and everyone else. The burning plane finally explodes and sends a fiery piece of the landing gear toward the city where it ultimately crashes through the ceiling of a bar and crushes Nathan Sears.

Signs/Clues

Final Destination

Flight 180 blows up.

  • A skeleton figurine hanging in a noose is among the toys scattered about Alex's room.
  • The book Death of a Salesman is shown on Alex's bookshelf.
  • A fan running in Alex's room blows open a book about French history, which has pages covered in illustrations of executions and the supernatural.
  • The last page shown in the history book depicts Jim Morrison's grave, with red graffiti on it reading "This Is The End" in red.
  • Alex tells his mother not to rip off the tag from a previous flight because it's good luck. She rips it off anyway.
  • Alex's father tells him "Live it up, Alex. You got your whole life ahead of you."
  • While Alex is asleep, a strong gust of wind blows through his room.
  • Alex is briefly woken up by a voice whispering "... Alex... Alex..."
  • Alex's alarm clock read 1:00, but briefly flickers and reads 1:80.
  • In the airport, a Hare Krishna approaches Alex and tells him, "Death is not the end."
  • The flight board malfunctions briefly, causing one of the boards in the column listing departing times to stay blank.
  • The ticket a flight attendant attaches to Alex's bag has "Final Destination" printed on it.
  • The departure time was the same as Alex's birthday - 9:25. Additionally, Alex's original seat is the either the 2nd or 9th in row 25.
  • One of the signs within the flight schedule has a broken wire over the word "Terminal".
  • When Clear drops her book in the lobby, Alex picks it up and returns it to her. When Clear looks at the page, it was on an article about Princess Diana's accident.
  • In the terminal, Rocky Mountain High is playing, by John Denver, who died in a plane crash.
    • The lyric "I've seen it raining fire in the sky" is audible, alluding to the blazing debris of a crashing plane.
  • Flight 180 leaves from JFK Airport In New York, John F. Kennedy's son John F. Kennedy Jr. died with his wife and sister-in-law in a plane crash.
  • When Alex looks at the plane through a window in the terminal, the window has a large crack in it that aligns over the plane, foreshadowing the plane's destruction.
  • Alex's class board the plane through Gate 46. Half of 46 is 23, hinting the Route 23 pile-up in Final Destination 2. Additionally, the airport is JFK Airport, and John F. Kennedy was assassinated when he was 46.
  • Before Alex gets on the plane, he sees a van. It's number is 666, which invokes for the anti-Christ or Satan.
  • Noticing a crying baby onboard, George says "It'd be a fucked up God to take down this plane." And when he sees a man with cerebral palsy, traveling with his nother, or wife, or caretaker, he says ; "A really fucked-up God."
  • The flight attendants don't show how to use safety equipments for emergency situation, although this may be off screen but it didn't show properly.
  • When Alex watched the news after the plane crash, thunder crashes outside as the news reporter says "the plane explodes".

Final Destination 5

  • Alex is shown freaking out and him and his friends are kicked off the plane. When a passenger asks about what happened, the flight attendant stated that the kid claimed he had a "vision" the plane was going to explode.
  • Sam and Molly were assigned to sit in Seat 23, hinting the Route 23 pile-up from Final Destination 2.
  • An advertisement of the Lasik Center where Olivia dies is shown in Molly's magazine.
  • As he is listening to the music, Sam hears "Dust in the Wind" playing, just as he did on the bus on the bridge.
  • Sam cuts his thumb on the seat, just as he does on the bus on North Bay Bridge.

Survivors

Casualties

On-board

Crew

Passengers

Mt. Abraham High School
Others

Ground

Trivia

  • According to a newscast in Final Destination, it is believed that the deterioration of silicon insulation on an electrical connector to the scavenger pump, which may have leaked combustible fluids, and that a spark in the fuel switch in the fuselage may have ignited the fuel line and proceeded to the fuel pump which would have set off the explosion on Flight 180.
  • "Flight 180" was the original working title of the first film and the franchise, as it was originally written as an X-Files episode before being adapted into film.
  • The Flight 180 crash occurred on May 13, the same date as the Route 23 and Coral Clipper disasters.
  • "Volée" is French for "flight" or "stolen", which may reference the fact that Flight 180 is literally a flight or that the survivors are living on stolen time after escaping from the doomed flight.
  • Flight 180 is referenced in the opening credits of Final Destination 5 by having a plane explode during the opening credits, which hints at the fact that the film is actually a prequel.
  • The Flight 180 crash serves as the beginning and plot of the Final Destination and the ending to Final Destination 5, effectively bringing the movies full circle.
  • There are several notable discrepancies with the Flight 180 crash as shown in Final Destination and Final Destination 5.
    • In Final Destination, the Flight 180 crash was explicitly shown to have taken place in 1999. However, the year is changed to 2000 in later sequels. It is unclear why this occurred, though the most likely explanations are that it was either a retcon or a mistake on the writers' parts.
    • In Final Destination 5, Sam Lawton's ticket shows that the boarding gate is H6, which is different from the earlier film, where the gate number was 46.
    • In Final Destination, the seats occupied by Sam Lawton and Molly Harper are shown to be a brunette man and woman instead, and most of the other passengers in the seats around them differ in Final Destination 5 as well.
    • The seating layouts from the two movies differ in several instances. For example, the cabin seems to be a row shorter in Final Destination 5, with the last row number being 24 instead of 25, among other things.
  • This is the only disaster in which the death order of the survivors wasn't properly shown, though Tod Waggner is shown to have been knocked out and possibly killed first by a falling radio.
  • Over a month elapsed between the Flight 180 crash and Tod Waggner's death, making this the disaster in the film series where Death waited the longest to start claiming survivors, though it may be surpassed by the Coral Clipper disaster from Final Destination: Looks Could Kill.
  • With at least 287 casualties, the Flight 180 crash has the highest death toll in the entire film series and the second highest in the whole Final Destination franchise, being surpassed only by the Hotel Grand Tzolk'in explosion in Final Destination: Spring Break.
  • The Flight 180 crash ranked #9 on WatchMojo's "Top Ten Airplane Crashes in Movies".

References

  1. William Bludworth mentions in Final Destination 5 that he's "seen this before", meaning there is at least one unnamed disaster that occurred prior to the Flight 180 crash, making it third in line behind that disaster and the North Bay Bridge collapse.
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