Filmmakers need to get it right

It’s evident from her article that Ms. Godlewski is all a ga-ga over “The Aviator” (Behind the scenes of “The Aviator,” Feb. 11 issue). I grant her there is much to recommend the film. But as a writer for an aviation publication, I would have expected she’d be at least a little critical of some of the film’s computer-generated flying sequences.

For instance, it’s true that Howard Hughes ran out of fuel and put his H-1 aircraft down in a bean field. However, the filmmakers, for dramatic effect I’m sure, have the plane in a straight-down dive with Hughes pulling out at the last second for a belly-landing in the field. Ohh pleazzze…The shot not only defies belief, but also the laws of physics. There wouldn’t have been a belly-landing. There would have been a crater.

Similar sins by non-pilot computer artists and their directors are seen in “Flight of the Phoenix” (the flight characteristics of a C-119 — not C-82 as Ms. Godlewski writes (“Flight of the Phoenix — 2004 vs. 1965) — in a sandstorm) and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (a P-51 just cannot fly like they show).

A movie works as long as the viewer suspends disbelief. Filmmakers depicting flight ought to get it right to keep us aviators involved with the story.

Christian Holtz

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