No Highway In The Sky

by J. Pinsent

The movie ‘No Highway In The Sky’ was based on a book written by Nevil Shute in which Gander airport plays a predominate role. The movie billed James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich among others, was filmed in 1951 during the heyday of Gander being a world famous airport.

The main character, Theodore Honey, played by Jimmy Stewart, is an aeronautical engineer being sent to Labrador from London to examine the wreckage of a new passenger plane designed by his company. His theory is that the plane is susceptible to breaking apart from metal fatigue after a number of hours in flight.

Honey is traveling on the same type of aircraft he suspects of being faulty. On their way to Canada, the flight is due to land in Gander for servicing. He determines the airplane is about to exceed the number of hours for the metal fatigue to set in just before it lands at Gander and alerts the crew. The airplane manages to land Gander without breaking apart but he is convinced it will soon happen and creates a confrontation with the airline company in the Gander terminal.

The Gander scene finally comes to a close when Honey goes about the aircraft and pulls the landing gear up making the airplane collapse on the ramp's surface, preventing it’s departure. Honey is arrested and is sent back to England. The movie continues there where he makes his arguments again to a successful conclusion justifying his actions in Gander.






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