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Landing Gear Shot

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Any time the action of a show switches geographical location to the other side of the country or the globe, a quick shot of an airliner touching down on a runway can be spliced in.

Presumably this is so the geographically inept in the audience understand that Los Angeles isn't just down the road from New York, and that Berlin or Cairo are even farther than that. Lazy editors can make this even worse by using Stock Footage of a plane that's no longer in commercial service, or painted for an airline that's since gone defunct.



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  • In Snatch. when Cousin Avi travels from New York to London, and again when he returns to New York. Both times, the footage is part of a brief, frenetic montage of the whole trip, including a passport getting stamped and Avi downing a drink on the plane.
  • Parodied in Wayne's World 2, which goes even further by having the footage of a flying plane (obviously a toy hanging from a wire) simply mirrored to show that it was going back to America, with the the writing on the plane even being back to front. All entirely intentional, of course, as the characters lampshade the various ways the film has cut corners to save having to actually film in a foreign country.
  • Parodied in Freaked, where the plane explodes on touchdown. Luckily the main characters took an earlier flight.
  • Even the James Bond films have done this one.
  • Everett from Cars 2.
  • In Thirteen Days, the shot of the wheels of a taking off B-52 is used to indicate when DEFCON 2 has been ordered.
  • Fight Club has a few shots of planes landing and taking off in the scene where the Narrator is chasing after Tyler. It works in this instance, as the shots are overlaid with a monologue of what the Narrator is going through at the time.

     Live Action TV  

  • MacGyver (1985) did this one when a villain went to Paris.
  • Given that The Amazing Race is a race around the world, it uses this trope all the time when using planes.
  • Happens several times in Destinos: An Introduction To Spanish.
  • Pan Am can have this several times an episode. Understandable given the setting of the show.
  • Banacek: Used in "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" to establish that Banacek has travelled from Los Angeles to Los Vegas.


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