Airline pilot captain Whip Whitaker (Washington) uses cocaine to wake up after a night of very little sleep in his Orlando hotel room. He pilots SouthJet Flight 227 to Atlanta which experiences severe turbulence at takeoff. Copilot Ken Evans (Geraghty) takes over while Whip discreetly mixes vodka in his orange juice and takes a nap. He is jolted awake as the plane goes into a steep dive. Unable to regain control, Whip is forced to make a controlled crash landing in an open field and loses consciousness on impact.