Northeast 140 was heading from Los Angeles to Washington DC at Dulles International Airport. The plane was carrying John McClane's wife Holly McClane and arrogant reporter Richard Thornburg They were late for landing due the winter storm front passing over Dulles. Suddenly, Trudeau, chief of Dulles air operations, informed the flight and the other flights in Dulles airspace that they were experiencing problems with landing lights as well as the instrument landing systems and tells them to proceed at the outer marker, not revealing to them that a group of terrorists, led by Colonel Stuart, had taken over the airport's systems.
Northeast 140 was circling around airport traffic jam for a good while. The pilot still tried to broadcast with Dulles Tower, but received no answer from them. As they we're getting low on fuel, the outer marker, which was normally used as a radio beacon that beeps so that they know they are over them, was switched and Dulles chief engineer Leslie Barnes spoke to them on the channel. He informed all flights in their landing pattern about the terrorists that had taken over their landing systems and warned them not to reply in their own frequency since they caused one crash by impersonating their tower frequency.
As the blizzard conditions got worse, the pilots got more and more desperate as they began running out of fuel while awaiting permission to land. Then Thornburg called the news station and broadcasted the emergency special news update, which caused everyone on the plane and the airport below them to panic. Overhearing this, Holly tasered him in the airport lavatory to stop the broadcast. Aware that all communications had been severed, Northeast 140 informed Dulles Tower that they were running on fumes and had no choice but to land immediately, despite great chances that they might crash. The crew prepared themselves and the passengers for emergency landing, aware that they'd have no landing lights to aid their descent. Then they see the burning wreckage of the destroyed 747 jet that carried the terrorists, which was destroyed by John McClane. The fiery wreckage leaves a fire trail that lined the runway, much to the relief of the pilots onboard. Then Northeast 140 landed safely on the ground, along with many other aircraft above them and got all the passengers out by sliding down on the inflatable slides. Most of the passengers escaped serious injury, though some were tended to for shock after the harrowing ordeal.
McClane reunited with Holly, desperately calling her name before she came out through the emergency slide.