Crash: The Mystery of Flight 1501, (also released as Aftermath, Aftermath: The Mystery of Flight 1501 and The Mysterious Crash of Flight 1501), is a 1990 American made-for-televisiondrama film directed by Philip Saville. The film stars Cheryl Ladd and Jeffrey DeMunn. Although fictional, Crash: The Mystery of Flight 1501 is usually advertised as being based on true events.
Diane (Cheryl Ladd) and Greg Halstead (Doug Sheehan) were once happily married, in later years, even deciding to try to have a baby, despite the fact that she had already suffered two miscarriages. She does not become pregnant becomes estranged from her husband. On his latest ConWest Airlines flight, Greg, a professional pilot, is alerted to a bomb threat. The person carrying the bomb supposedly wants to kill another passenger, Senator Charleston (John Rayburn) a politician with an outspoken opinion on abortion. Unknown to the killer, however, the politician has already left the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airliner because of an hour-and-a-half delay. Greg decides to make an emergency landing in Dayton, Ohio, but due to severe thunderstorms, the DC-9 crashes, killing almost everyone on board.
The Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Transportation Safety Board jointly investigate scene of the accident. Amid speculation about the cause of the crash, some suspect Greg of refusing to follow orders. The FBI notices that the CIA immediately collected cargo out of the wreckage and labeled it top secret. Diane is devastated when she hears the news, until she finds out that Greg is one of the few survivors. She is contacted by Scott Cody (Jeffrey DeMunn), who works for the Air Line Pilots Association, International union. He tells her that Greg is the prime suspect in the crash investigation and collects information from her, finding out that Greg was on medication.
Stirred up by news reporter Spense Zolman (Jim Metzler), who senses a good story, the investigators find there was no bomb on board, and all the evidence points to Greg. Cody finds out that the CIA was spying on the aircraft with on-board surveillance equipment, interfering with the aircraft’s radar. Diane asks if that was the reason why Greg crashed, but Cody explains that it is more complicated. Meanwhile, Greg dies from his injuries. Diane makes an official statement in which she claims her husband was not responsible, but she is not considered a reliable source, in view of the fact that she could lose pension and other benefits.
Diane refuses to accept that her husband will be blamed for the crash and does everything to get the entire truth revealed. With the help of a few experts, she is able to prove that there was a fire in the cargo hold of the aircraft, the fire starting by spontaneous combustion of a piece of cargo, this in turn caused the crash.
- Cheryl Ladd as Diane Halstead
- Jeffrey DeMunn as Scott Cody
- Frederick Coffin as Wes Goddard
- Peter Jurasik as Bob Stanton
- Jim Metzler as Spence Zolman
- Jeff McCarthy as Chet Harmon
- Moira Walley as Pamela Hayes
- Doug Sheehan as Gregory “Greg” Halstead
- Ray Blunk as Switzer
- Zachery Ty Bryan as Child (uncredited)
- Paula Preston as Dixie
- Gregory Feith as Co-Pilot Pasco (credited as Greg Feith)
- Jamie Horton as Agent Bryce
- Sheila Ivy Traister as Georgia Kimm
- Stephen West as Nickerson
- John Rayburn as Sen. Charleston
- Michael K. Osborn as Dr. Larwin
- Pat Mahoney as Chadwick
- Liz Jury as Emma
- Mike Leopard as Lt. Owens
- Linda Otto as Harriet
- Dutch Shindler as Keeler
- Joe Horváth as Booth (credited as Joe Horvath)