PAN AM “Unscheduled Departure” Review

PAN AM "Unscheduled Departure" Season 1 Episode 8 – As we get further into Pan Am, the stakes are only getting higher and higher. In "Unscheduled Departure," the crew are forced to make an emergency landing in hostile Haiti after an elderly passenger has a heart attack en route to Caracas. Once on the storm-torn island, they must make tough decisions if they want to get back into the air.

Thanks to Hurricane Ginny (a real Atlantic hurricane in October of 1963, by the way), Captain Dean is unable to land in Miami and must divert to Haiti, which was under the rule of a dictator named Papa Doc in the 60?s. I always love these mini international history lessons; they remind us that there was more going on in 1963 than just the assassination of JFK (which is about a month away in the show’s timeline).

While Kate takes care of the sick passenger, Colette and Ted head into the jungle to find a doctor. Dean doesn’t like this plan, but Colette, like all Haitians, speaks French. Meanwhile, Maggie and Laura try to keep the frightened passengers from noticing the black men with guns on the tarmac, and Dean realizes that the Haitian landing strip is about 500 feet too short for a loaded Pan Am aircraft to achieve lift-off.

Although it was sad that the old man died, I appreciated that realistic ending. It certainly makes an argument for having defibrillation kits on board airplanes, as well as stewardesses who are trained in emergency medicine. Read More...


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