Synopsis by Mark Deming
The ghosts of two daring pilots help a troubled young girl in this fantasy for the family. In 1927, a pair of French air aces, Charles Nungesser (Lothaire Bluteau) and Francois Coli (Michel Monty) hop into a single-engine biplane and take off for New York City with the intention of becoming the first pilots to cross the Atlantic non-stop. However, they fail to arrive in New York and are never heard from again. 70 years later, 12-year-old Katie Penhallow (Juliana Wimbles) and her brother are sent to Newfoundland to visit their grandmother, Lydia (Marsha Mason). Both Katie and her brother have had a difficult time dealing with the death of their father, a pilot who lost his life while testing a plane several years before. One night, while exploring at a pond near Grandmother's house, Katie encounters Nungesser and Coli, who look remarkably alive and healthy for two men who have been dead for seven decades. The flyboys tell Katie they are actually the spirits of the lost aviators, and they will not be able to rest until they can rescue their wrecked aircraft from the pond. While Katie has a hard time convincing anyone of what she saw, for the first time since her father's death she has a focus and purpose in life that takes her mind off her feelings about her dad. Shown on premium cable in the United States under the title Restless Spirits, Dead Aviators was shown under its original title in 1999 at Sprockets, the Toronto Film Festival for Children, and on CBC television in Canada.
aviation, crash, grandmother, pilot, pond, transatlantic