"Little Orphan Airplane"

(Original air date 02/22/74)


Steve is sent to Africa to find a pilot whose plane crashed with
evidences of UN treaty violations


Writer: Elroy Schwartz

Director: Reza Badiyi

From his small aircraft, pilot Josh Perkins (Greg Morris) is snapping pictures of illegal trading of soldiers and weapons to the Kataras Army when his plane encounters mechanical problems.

Back at the OSI, General Magoffin (Paul Bryar) informs Oscar of the location of the plane crash. He explains that dispatching military forces to the area to retrieve the film would be considered an act of war, and therefore requests that Oscar sends his special operative on this mission.

Following a short briefing, Steve flies to Africa to meet with Captain Braco (Lincoln Patrick) who outlines the route they will be taking.


Steve notifies the military plane flying above of the approximate location where he’ll be parachuted in. He then goes to offer Captain Braco a hand in starting his plane. The proud man declines but when gunfire erupts around the base camp, wounding him in the arm, he has no choice but to take Steve up on his offer. Steve gives the rotor blade a bionic boost, then sits in the pilot seat and lifts off.


Once they’ve surveyed the area of the crash, Steve parachutes into an empty field, unaware that a young native, Jajamin, (Tierre Turner) has spotted him.

As Steve tries to locate the missing plane with a receiver tracking its signal, he encounters two nuns running after a goat. He does his best to explain to the two suspicious women that he’s here to find a small aircraft, using funny gestures complete with sound effects as a mean of communication. After verifying his ID, Sister Annette (Madge Redmond) and Sister Terese (Susan Gay Powell) drop their guard and adopt their native American tongue. They invite Steve to follow them to their mission.


Meanwhile, Jajamin hurries to the mercenaries’ base camp to report the parachutist to Major Chooka (Scoey Mitchell). Right away he orders his men to patrol the area.

At the mission, Sister Annette takes a few minutes to question Steve about Hollywood, saying she’s a huge fan of actor Dale Robertson. Steve does his best to humour her but as time is running out, he insists on finding that plane. She brings him down to the cellar to meet with the injured pilot.

Josh is surprised that the OSI should send famous astronaut Steve Austin to rescue him. The name sends Sister Annette into an euphoria and urges Sister Terese to fetch her 8mm camera.


They manage to capture Steve and Josh on film before they leave for the site of the crash. In order to gain time, Steve takes off at a bionic sprint, much to Josh’s bewilderment who is curious as to how a man could run this fast.


Steve has no other alternative but to divulge his special nature when he is seen lifting the heavy engine out of the plane with one arm to bring back for repair. Steve continues to mend the aircraft under Josh’s disbelief before returning for the mission.


Meanwhile, Braco and his men pay a visit to the nuns who remain tight-lipped about the two Americans. He leaves them with a warning of the consequences for harbouring the enemy.

Outside, Braco instructs his sergeant (Arnold Turner) to have his team continue their search for the lost plane. Then he orders his soldier, Bajad, (Stack Pierce) to stake out the nuns’ mission for any sign of strangers.


As the two men return to the mission, Steve spots Bajad in the bushes. He creeps up to the soldier and knocks him unconscious. They drag him back to the mission and bind him hands and feet to a chair. To avoid any unwanted visitors, Steve and Josh threaten their prisoner to report to his superior that everything is quiet at the mission. All the while they are watched by the young Jajamin who, once Steve and Josh are out the room, sneaks in to free the soldier.


Steve goes out to take the engine from an old truck sitting in the yard and spends all night adjusting the diameter of a crucial piston in order to fit in the aircraft’s engine.


In the morning, Steve and Josh convince the nuns to abandon their mission and join them on their flight to safer grounds, knowing that the soldier who escaped will be reporting to his army and that in all likelihood they will be back to kill them.

While the two women take Josh to the site of the plane, Steve runs ahead of them with the engine to get the aircraft ready before they arrive.

When Steve starts the engine, Chooka and his men follow the sound.


As he clears the runaway, Steve spots the army of men creeping up the hill. He asks Josh to get the plane ready for take off while he stalls the enemy by hurling rocks.

Minutes later, Steve hops in the plane and they lift off just as Chooka and his men swarm the area.


Back in Washington, Oscar gets a congratulatory call from the Minister who requests to speak with his operative personally in order to extend his gratitude. Problem is that Steve is nowhere to be found.

He’s in Hollywood on the movie set of a western to make due on a promise to Sister Annette to introduce her to her idol, actor Dale Robertson (himself).


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