Airplane (1980)

Concept featured in clip: Food poisoning; Viral life cycle
Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The copilot played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gets sick and the plane begins to crash. As the main pilot resumes control, he asks the doctor what is going on. After a quick investigation, the crew begins to realize that food poisoning from fish is causing the problem. The doctor then begins to explain what the virus is doing as the main pilot starts to get his symptoms. The clip ends with the main pilot passing out.

Background information: Generally food poisoning arising from fish is caused by Norwalk-like viruses. The actual diagnosis of this illness is called: Viral gastroenteritis. The illness is caused by a group of viruses contracted when contaminated shellfish is eaten raw or partially cooked. Also, spread by infected people who prepare food when they are ill with these viruses. The onset of symptoms occurs 24-48 hours after eating the fish. Symptoms include: diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills, and body aches.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This could be a great way to begin a unit on food poisoning or food-born illnesses. This clip shows many people suffering and talks about some of the symptoms.
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What is causing the passengers and flight crew to get sick?

b. What does the sickness have to do with the fish? What organisms are actually causing the problem?

c. How does the doctor determine what is causing the sickness?

d. What are some other examples of food poisoning? What organisms are responsible for those forms of food poisoning?

e. How does this clip compare to what you have experienced?

2. For a possible assessment, you could show the clip and then have students describe in detail what happened to the fish to cause it to make everyone sick. The students could design a scenario where the virus would be present in addition to depicting the life cycle of a virus.

3. After studying kitchen hygiene, students can devise a plan to make sure that food is safe on all airplanes and in all restaurants.