In the movie Runway 34 starring Ajay Devgn, a pilot blindly enters the runway, endangering the lives of his passengers. Captain Vikrant Khanna is a haughty individual with a haughty demeanour. His overconfidence was brought on by his photographic recall. On the occasion of her birthday, Vikrant’s daughter insisted that her father come home, and he agreed to do so. His friend called him when he was unwinding in his hotel room and invited him to a party. Vikrant was initially uninterested in it, but subsequently changed his mind and chose to participate. Vikrant and his pal had a late-night party. After a full day of rest, he had a flight to catch in the evening. Tanya Albuquerque was his first officer, whom he met. Despite her professional admiration for him, she also had to put up with his arrogant demeanour. They were on a Skyline Airways flight from Dubai to Cochin.
Runway 34 is agonisingly long, and Devgn’s performance makes it much more so. Even the death announcement is delivered without passion because the screenplay is written in a matter-of-fact manner. Arrogant males are no longer thought to be beautiful, yet the filmmakers of this movie still find them appealing. When the Captain starts a cigarette, a song introduces him as the dominant figure. This and other factors combine to make the Captain’s persona nearly intolerable to witness.
Runway 34 Summary: What Is The Film About?
After yesterday night’s celebrations, Captain Khanna was exhausted, so he put the plane on autopilot, took off, and fell asleep. Tanya was a little taken aback by his behaviour. When he first introduced her to the passengers, he made fun of her and then acted impolitely. A member of the cabin crew was asked to get the Captain a coffee. We could only see it from behind, but it appeared that he had added the necessary disprin to his drink. Tanya and he talked about how sometimes he loved his job and other times he despised it as he made his way back to his seat. The weather started acting up while they were 45 minutes from Cochin.
After recently losing his daughter, Mr. Tripathi, a worker at the air traffic control facility in Cochin, returned to his job. He was in charge of informing Skyline 777 of weather information. He warned them that due to heavy rains, visibility was poor in Cochin. The captain wanted to try landing as they were inside the Minima despite being advised to divert from Cochin. They gave up on landing after a few unsuccessful tries. The ATC informed them that another flight had safely landed in Trivandrum, and they could do the same. Clear and safe conditions existed for landing. Tanya did not agree with the plan; she knew that if the weather in Cochin was bad, then it could eventually be the same in Trivandrum. Instead, she felt that Bengaluru would be a safer option since the chances of weather issues would be way lower, and they had enough fuel to make that trip. The Captain did not pay heed to her advice; he asked her to learn about the weather in Trivandrum instead. Vikrant proposed that they attempt to land in Cochin once again since a trip to Trivandrum would leave them with enough fuel to give it another go. They attempted to approach the Cochin runway twice but ultimately gave up and diverted to Trivandrum.
In the meantime, all flights to Trivandrum were being stopped due to an approaching cyclone and low visibility. Mr. Tripathi was asked to relay the information, but he had a panic attack at the moment owing to his personal loss. He carried the paper that had the weather details with him as he was being carried out. As the change in route was announced to the passengers, an aviation journalist on the flight informed the other passengers that the alternative stop was Bengaluru and not Trivandrum. Passengers became agitated and demanded an answer from the pilot. The Captain made the public believe that he was aware of his decision and made a choice knowing the consequences. He promised to land everyone safely, particularly an elderly lady, Alma Asthana.
Major Spoilers Ahead
How Did The Captain Land The Flight? Who Was Narayan Vedant?
After winning over the trust of the passengers, Vikrant had to handle the bigger problem at hand. The ATC in Trivandrum was relaxed, thinking that after passing the weather information, no other flights would land in the area. But soon, they noticed that Skyline 777 had entered the radius. Tanya contacted the ATC; they were surprised to learn that the pilot was not informed about the weather conditions even after they had shared the information with Cochin ATC. They requested Skyline to reach Bengaluru, but they did not have enough fuel to do so. With the little fuel that they had, they could attempt to land one or two times. The ATC called for ambulances and fire engines since they believed a crash was inevitable.
The ATC asked them to land at runway 16. Captain Khanna tried to land, but he could not align the plane, and he could sense that the plane could crash. This Skyline 777 took off once again, but this time Vikrant demanded ATC to clear off runway 34. The ATC members were left confused and shocked since, according to them, the pilot was taking a major risk, and it was a terrible choice since the air pressure would hit the tail, pushing the flight further off the runway. The Captain announced May Day, and he asked the passengers to take their position for impact. Vikrant pulled a cigarette out and placed it between his lips. He closed his eyes and tried to land the plane. He landed the flight with closed eyes and was able to press the brake at the point beyond which the runway ended. He was upheld for saving the lives of 150 people. Even though the media celebrated him, the Directorate of Civil Aviation wanted to question Vikrant. They questioned him and Tanya and collected all things suspicious they found on the flight; a breath test was also set.
Narayan Vedant headed the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau. He was known for getting to the truth, no matter how difficult it was. Even if little details missed the eyes of detectives, they could never get past the eyes of Narayan Vedant. When the owner of Skyline Airways, Nishant Suri, learned that he was investigating the case, he knew it would be difficult to prove innocence. Nishant was worried about losing his stock value and asked Vikrant not to answer any questions during the interrogation. They had managed to keep his drug test report clean, but they did not want him to mess up any further.
Runway 34 Ending Explained: How Did Vikrant Get A Reduced Punishment? Is It Based On A Real Event?
When Vikrant and Tanya were summoned for interrogation by Narayan Vedant, they tried to provide as little detail as possible. But Narayan knew his ways; he wanted to conduct a lie detector test on Vikrant, and he agreed to cooperate. Even though Narayan asked him about the miniature gin bottle they found in the trash, he did not admit to being drunk, and the result showed that he was telling the truth. Unable to get much truth out of Vikrant, he started pressurizing Tanya to the point of breaking her down into tears. She admitted that Vikrant had landed with his eyes closed. This changed the case since it pointed toward how casually he did his job, risking the lives of 150 passengers. He further added that landing on runway 34 was a mistake due to the air pressure on the airplane s tail.
Vikrant had completely given up on himself and his career, but his wife encouraged him to fight for himself. He could take the first step by confronting the news that was killing him. After landing the flight, Alma Asthana was taken to the hospital, but she eventually died of a heart attack. Vikrant blamed himself for her death, and he finally got the courage to reach out to her daughter and convey how he had tried his best to make the best out of the situation, and he shared his condolences.
The next day at court, when he noticed that Delilah Asthana, her daughter, had come to support his cause, he felt confident enough to explain himself. He explained that he used to fly a private jet and would regularly land on runway 34. Therefore, he knew the runway to its core. He had a photographic memory, and that helped him to land on the 17th of August, 2015. He closed his eyes not because he had given up but to remember the runway with the help of his memory. He demonstrated his skills in a stimulating environment. Narayan was surprised to see the pilot take all the right measurements even with his eyes closed. In the end, Mr. Tripathi at ATC Cochin lost his job as a result of his mistake that led to the mess. Vikrant and Tanya s licenses were revoked for three months. They received a short suspension since it was not just their fault but also the ATC and the weather.
After three months, Vikrant is back at the airport, ready to fly. When a young pilot asked him what to remember while flying, Vikrant told him to keep the passengers in mind. We also get to know that the mini gin bottle was emptied by a cabin crew member out of fear of a plane crash, and Vikrant kept her secret safe from the rest of the world. She was a single mother, and she was scared of losing her job by admitting the truth. Vikrant was sympathetic to her situation and managed the consequences well.
He entered the washroom and held the cigarette between his lips, and admired himself. He was back to being the proud man that he always was. Runway 34 is claimed to be based on a true event. It is based on a similar incident that unfolded when a flight was coming from Doha to Cochin. The plane crash-landed due to terrible weather conditions and low visibility. An investigation was conducted that showed how the flight had fuel lower than the amount that was legally allowed. But recently, the Federation of Indian Pilots rejected its claim to be a real event. They expressed that the portrayal of pilots was unrealistic and demeaning. The film, they believe, in a way questions their professionalism. But what is evident is that the film took enough creative freedom to create the character of Captain Vikrant Khanna, while the event might have been inspired by the real incident.