In the James Bond movie Moonraker (1979), the earliest plot development is the theft of a Moonraker shuttle from the back of a 747 SCA, which, according to Bond (approx. 9m 36s into the film), "crashed somewhere in the Yukon" (with no trace of the shuttle, of course!).
We know from the same scene that the shuttle was being loaned from the Americans to the British, and that the shuttle is manufactured in California. We also know that the loaned shuttle was almost definitely destined for Britain, as in an earlier scene a pilot (or navigator) says that the 747 will "pass over the English coast 15 minutes ahead of time."
My question is: why would the 747 have crashed in the Yukon? Assuming that the Moonraker was being flown from California to Britain—e.g., from San Francisco to London—the shortest great circle arc comes nowhere near overflying the Yukon (see SFO-LHR route). Even using relatively northerly locations in California and Britain, such as Crescent City, California, and Perth, Scotland, the 747 still wouldn't have overflown the Yukon. (In fact, it looks like the only air routes originating in the US that would overfly the Yukon using optimal great circle paths would be from Hawaii or from certain Alaskan airports.)
Possible explanations I have thought of that don't call the film's script into question:
- I realize that some airline routes take weather/air patterns into account, but I don't see anything that would suggest that an optimal California–Britain route would take such a northerly course.
- Or is it feasible that that the 747 could have flown long enough off-course to crash in the Yukon? (I know, this raises questions about the damage the 747 sustained during the Moonraker theft; the film's effects show that the plane is intact but engulfed in flames, pitching way down and rolling sharply right—see approx. the 1m 55s mark.)
I realize that there are plenty of other unrealistic things in the film (and the 747 destruction scene alone!), but unlike most of those, the plot doesn't seem to require or benefit from a Yukon crash site.