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The film seems like it could easily have been based on a true story especially how detailed a lot of the story is.

Are any of the parts based on real-life happenings or is it all fiction?

I reckon I would've heard of a plane flying upside down if it happened in real-life but I suppose you never know.

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While the story in the movie is complete made up, parts of it were based on a real life accident: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  Jim Green Jan 30 '13 at 13:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Nope, it's purely fiction. Here's a link to an interview with the director.

Interview with Robert Zemeckis

Matt McDaniel: What was it about this project and the script in particular that grabbed you?

Robert Zemeckis: Well, whenever a really good screenplay comes across your desk, you have to do it, and that's what the situation was with "Flight." It was great, great screenplay.

MM: It's unique -- it's at least for Hollywood today -- that it's not based on a book or a comic book or TV show. Was the originality part of the appeal?

RZ: Yeah, of course. It's not, as we say, a pre-sold title. So the fact that it's very unique and original was very appealing.

MM: Was it inspired by true stories, or where there elements of truth that were worked into the movie?

RZ: No, it's completely fiction. The movie draws from different incidents that involved airplane malfunctions from the last couple of decades, but [there is] nothing that it's based on that's a true story.

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A very similiar Accident was Alaska Airline accident in January 31, 2000 on a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft (in the movie it was MD-88)

The CVR transcript reveals the pilots' continuous attempts for the duration of the dive to regain control of the aircraft.[9] At one point, unable to raise the nose, they attempted to fly the aircraft "upside-down".[9] However the aircraft was beyond recovery; it descended inverted and nose-down about 18,000 feet in 81 seconds, a descent rate exceeding 13,300 feet per minute (approx. 151.1 mph), before hitting the ocean at high speed.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines_Flight_261

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The film took elements from a true story, including the plane flying inverted, which did actually happen.

Source WIkipedia

Screenwriter John Gatins explained in a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times that the dramatic fictional crash depicted in Flight was "loosely inspired" by the 2000 crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which was caused by a broken jackscrew. That crash had no survivors. The airplane in Flight, a two-engine T-tailjet airliner, appears to be from the same model family as Alaska Airlines 261, a variant of the MD-80. Many elements are lifted from the accident into the film, such as the cause of the accident, segments of the radio communication and the decision to invert the airplane.

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