Final Approach

Episode:  027 (S2.E05)

Production No.: 40192-028

Airdate: 27 October 1986

Writer: Rob Hedden

Director: Alexander Singer

Nielsen Ratings: 10.3 rating / 15 share / 3rd (61st for the week)



When a small plane carrying MacGyver and four youths crashes in the mountains. MacGyver must try and resolve the conflicts between the youths and get them to work together to get out alive.



Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver
Dana ElcarPete Thornton
Ramón Franco… Ramon
Pamela Gidley… Gina
Ricky Paull Goldin… Tommy
David Harris… Luther
Gregory Itzin… Tom Cavanaugh
Buck Young… Jenkins
Chad Block… Search Coordinator
Gideon… Cougar



  • Used parachute to make a tent.
  • Used bark from a log as a water trough.
  • Used tube and earpiece from plane headset to make a stethoscope.
  • Made a theodolite (sighting tool) from branches & earrings.
  • Made a front ski for airplane from tree log.



  • The cougar was permanently transferred to the California Living Museum in Bakersfield, California after filming its episode. It was supplied by employees of Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife. Its trainers were employees of Thousand Oaks, California’s “Animal Actors of Hollywood“.
  • We learn in this episode that MacGyver knows how to fly a plane.
  • This is the second of 3 times we see MacGyver flying.
    1. To Be A Man
    2. Final Approach (this episode)
    3. The Odd Triple
  • This episode was originally called Fire Mountain and would have MacGyver lead a group of teenagers down from an erupting volcano.
    Read the original synopses here.
  • Though the plane’s registration number on the outside is N761C, the in-cockpit view shows a dymo label with the registration as 739GA indicating that they used 2 different planes to film the episode.



  • First impressions are very important. And with this group, I knew it’d be critical. So I decided to make a grand entrance . . . through their noses. ~MacGyver
  • Have you ever had fresh mountain trout with wild mushrooms and pine nuts? Outrageous.  ~MacGyver
  • MacGyver: Things started disappearing from lockers; everybody knew it was Andy but nobody could prove it. Then one day I open up mine, and my knife is gone. I knew who did it. So I waited until after school, and I busted his nose.
    Luther: Yeah? But you got your knife back, didn’t you?
    MacGyver: That’s right. When I got home, it was sittin’ on my desk, right where I left it. You sure you got your facts straight, Luther?



  • When Tommy is escaping into the mountains to try and help, a small bit of his jacket tears off onto a tree branch. MacGyver later sees it, but the branch that the torn piece is on looks entirely different.
  • When the plane crashed there was mention that the radio was on fire and it obviously didn’t work after the crash since they would have used it to call in a rescue chopper. When Mac is flying near the end of the show his voice is narrating the plan to land. He says something to the effect of “now all I have to do is radio the tower and have them put down some foam for the landing.
  • After the plane takes off we can see the wooden ski has been fitted around the planes front wheel


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