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Roma Downey's On a Wing and a Prayer Tells True-Life 'Miraculous' Airplane Story

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated Mar 17, 2023
Roma Downey's <em>On a Wing and a Prayer</em>&nbsp;Tells True-Life 'Miraculous' Airplane Story

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Roma Downey made her name as an actress, receiving two Emmy nominations for Touched by an Angel after starring in multiple stage productions.

Lately, though, she’s been trying her hand at producing.

“I love it,” she told Christian Headlines.

Downey served as an executive producer of 2013’s The Bible, 2015’s A.D.: The Bible Continues and 2021’s Resurrection.

Her latest project as an executive producer, On a Wing and a Prayer, will debut on Prime Video April 7, telling the faith-centric true-life story of a man who must land a plane and save his entire family after the pilot dies mid-flight. Dennis Quaid (I Can Only Imagine) stars in the lead role. Sean McNamara (Moonrise, Soul Surfer) directed it.

“Over the last decade or so, I've been really focused on producing,” Downey told Christian Headlines. “... I love finding projects, I love bringing them together. And this is a fantastic story. It's a true story of a family from Louisiana who were getting on a small private plane in Fort Myers, Florida. And while they're taking off and hurtling through the air, unfortunately, and tragically, the pilot dies. And now the family are up there at 33,000 feet, and they don't know how to fly this plane. And it's an extraordinary story of courage, a story of faith, a story of people working together. Dennis Quaid is amazing.”

The real-life story took place on Easter Sunday. At the time, pilots and air traffic controllers called it an “Easter miracle.”

“Amazon graciously has granted us an Easter Week premiere for the movie,” Downey added. “... It's a dramatic story, but ultimately, a hugely uplifting story. And that's the kind of stories that I like to tell.”

On a Wing and a Prayer, rated PG, also stars Heather Graham and Jesse Metcalfe.

“I'm interested in stories that anchor in hope and the promises of God to us,” Downey said. “I understand that in a foxhole, there may be no atheists. ... If you were hurtling through the air in an airplane that you didn't know how to fly, and no one knew how to fly, you might be inclined to say a prayer yourself. But this was a faithful family and what happens after is nothing short of miraculous.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chad Hurst/Stringer

Video courtesy: ©Prime Video


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.