Mayday at 40,000 Feet is a regulation crisis-in-the-air TV movie distinguished by the accomplished direction of Robert (Hill Street Blues) Butler. David Janssen pilots a 747 chock full of guest stars, battling a snowstorm in order to find his way back to the airport. The plane develops engine trouble, threatening to dump its celebrity cargo in the icy drink. Adding to Janssen's growing list of problems is a maniac who goes on a shooting rampage in the first-class section. It's doubtful that anyone on November 12, 1976 stayed tuned to Mayday at 40,000 Feet upon discovering that its competition on another network was the John Travolta vehicle The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.