Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man is forced to find the truth behind a tragic accident that has effected him personally in this made-for-TV drama. Henry Drake (Charles Martin Smith) is a high-strung and somewhat eccentric air traffic controller who is trying to clear airliners for landing stacked up in a pattern over Chicago. Something goes awry, and an airliner and a cargo plane crash in mid-air, causing the death of 185 people. John Dantley (Eric Stoltz) is a National Transportation Safety Board officer who is assigned to investigate the incident, despite the fact he has a personal interest in the matter -- his former girlfriend was aboard the ill-fated airliner. Drake insists that the accident was caused by a technical failure, claiming his radar monitor went blank while he was trying to clean the planes for landing, but his co-workers don't believe his story, with some going so far as to tell Dantley they believe Drake caused the crash on purpose. It's up to Dantley to determine who is right -- and if Drake is telling the truth, he must find the glitch in the system before it can cause another accident. Blackout Effect also features Leslie Hope and Lorraine Toussaint.