Many elements of this film were heavily parodied in the movie Airplane!
A jumbo jet, on final approach to an airport in Salt Lake City, collides with a small plane, leaving a huge hole in the cockpit. The collision kills the co-pilot and engineer, and severely injures the pilot. Nancy (Karen Black), one of the stewardesses, takes the controls of the plane and calls the tower for help. They help her get control of the plane, and then call the airline's VP of Operations (George Kennedy) for instructions on what to do next.
The VP calls in Alan Murdock (Charlton Heston), a pilot and Nancy's boyfriend, to help. Together they suggest that the military fly over the jet and lower a pilot into the hole so he can land the plane. The military agrees and finds a volunteer for the mission. Because the small plane also damaged the wing of the jet, causing a fuel leak, they know that they won't have much time before it runs out of fuel and crashes.
Joe, Alan, and the volunteer pilot are now flying in a military plane, and the pilot is lowered down by a tether line to the jet. When he attempts to enter through the hole in the cockpit, a piece of fuselage disconnects the tether line and the pilot is sucked out of the plane and falls to his death. With no time to come up with another plan, Alan connects himself to the tether and is lowered to the jet. He makes it inside the cockpit, and is able to land the plane before it runs out of fuel.