Last night I had a fit of insomnia, so I began watching the original Die Hard trilogy. I made it about halfway through Die Hard 2 before sleep finally took me. But I was awake long enough to be disturbed by one small thing.
At one point in the movie, the naked colonel who has taken over Dulles International Airport warns the control tower not to attempt to regain control. He told them the consequences would be dire. Well, of course the tower attempted to regain control. Their attempt was unsuccessful. Thus, they had to be punished. In order to exercise his power, the naked colonel decided to crash a plane. He disguised himself as an air traffic controller and brought a 747 in for a landing, but changed the computer readout to make them think they were 200 feet higher than they really were. This meant they would hit the ground before they were ready for it. This meant they would crash. Of course, this is what happened, the plane exploded in a fine display of pyrotechnic special effects, and there were no survivors.
What bothers me is that the pilot of that plane mentioned they had been circling Dulles and running on "petrol fumes." So, when the plane crashed, would it really have become a spectacular fireball on the runway? I could see this happening if it were fully fueled for another trip across the pond. But they were nearly out of fuel. I figure you should have some pretty serious wreckage and plenty of survivors, not a horrible fiery death for all aboard.
I think that plane's demise was preordained. I think that the black box would've confirmed that there was some sort of incindiary device aboard that airplane. I just they were able to recover that black box.