Unexpected Turbulence
Unexpcted Turbulence
Mission guide
Berlin by Night
Care to Explain?
"Unexpected Turbulence" is the fifth level and third mission in the award-winning video game The Operative: No One Lives Forever It consists of two scenes and is the only level to be set on an airplane. It is followed by the briefing/training level Care to Explain?


During the flight to London, attempt to learn as much as possible from Dr. Schenker about his research. Schenker is a notoriously cautious man, so direct questions are not advised. He is also reported to have little tolerance for skeptics. Try to keep an open mind.


Scene 1Edit

"This is your captain speaking. We have reached a cruising altitude of 24,000 feet and will soon be leaving German airspace. I've turned off the seatbelt and "No Smoking" signs. Feel free to move about the cabin. We'll be arriving in London at approx. 6:15pm local time. The temperature is currently 25 degrees centigrade with clear skies. I think we can expect a lovely relaxing flight".

During the flight, Archer interviews Dr. Schenker about his research. The player is given the choice of whether to ease into the subject by asking him about his wife first, or "cut to the chase". Choosing the first option will result in a more pleasant and easygoing conversation, while the latter will result in the doctor becoming irritated and doesn't disclose any of his research (see below).

Meanwhile, a second aircraft approaches and a team of paratroopers led by Magnus Armstrong hijack the plane in an attempt to capture Dr. Schenker. Noticing that something is not right, Archer decides to take action against the hijackers and tells the doctor to keep the cabin door locked. Upon reaching the cockpit, she is knocked out by Armstrong who ambushes her from behind. When asked why he doesn't kill her, he retorts that he won't "butcher a fellow countryman without a specific grudge". He then tells his associate to "go get that Doctor fella".

At this point, the PlayStation 2 version cuts immediately to the bonus level Nine Years Ago. The PC version proceeds directly to Scene 2.

Scene 2Edit

Having taken serious damage during the hijacking, Archer's plane continues to lose altitude, prompting Armstrong to leave it and any of his remaining men behind. Archer wakes up just in time and jumps out of the plane before it explodes. To her great fortune, there is a paratrooper with a parachute just below her. Even though Armstrong sends out some more men to "make sure she doesn't land on her feet", she manages to obtain the parachute and lands safely somewhere in the German countryside (while the unfortunate paratrooper's fall is broken by a barn).

Dr. Schenker's ResearchEdit

Dr. Schenker was the head of a Biological Explosives Research Team. The main project involved a chemical reagent that, when injected into a living host, causes a chemical reaction inside the body resulting in a massive explosion. The strength of the explosion depends on the amount of catalyst in the reagent and human density below ground zero: e.g. in a city the explosion would be far more effective than in a small village. The higher the amount of catalyst a living creature is infected with, the sooner it explodes, thus creating what Cate fittingly describes as "human time bombs". Dr. Schenker's wife was killed during the experimentation of this research.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Scene 1Edit

"I feel it is my duty to reward open mindedness and imagination whenever the opportunity arises."

Dr. Otto Schenker

Paratrooper 1: "This food is terrible!"
Paratrooper 2: "The potato salad isn't bad..."
Paratrooper 1: "It's not potato salad; it's cottage cheese!" (retches)

(Entering the cockpit)
Archer: "So much for a lovely relaxing flight!"
Armstrong: (hits Archer on the back of the head) "Sleep tight lassie!"
Paratrooper: "You're not going to kill her? What if she wakes up?"
Armstrong: "Now look here you! I'm not gonna butcher a fellow countryman without a specific grudge. If she wakes up, she can fend for herself. If she dies, then she ain't really a Scot so I won't feel bad. Now, go get that Doctor fella and do a final sweep. Take anything that looks important: papers, files, whiskey, whatever."1
Paratrooper: Yes Sir!"

Scene 2Edit

Armstrong: "Something's not right... Alright, let's go."
Pilot: "But some of our men are still aboard..."
Armstrong: "Listen to yeh, cryin' like a wee girl! They'll have to make do, won't they?"

Paratrooper: "Those bastards left us here!"

(after falling out of the plane and catching up to the paratrooper below her)
Archer: "Excuse me, do you mind if I borrow that parachute?"
Paratrooper: "Get away from me!"
(after she snatches his parachute from him) "Please be full hay! Please be full hay!"


AirplaneBerlinBiological Weapons ProgramBody ArmorCairoCate ArcherCottage CheeseEnglandEnglishFuel BarrelHampton MPL 9mm SMGH.A.R.M.Harold JenkinsHayHelmetJulieLondonMagnus ArmstrongOtto SchenkerParachuteParatroopersPotato SaladScotlandShepherd Arms 9mmWest GermanyWhiskey


  • This is the first mission not to be preceded by a briefing or training level.
  • If you are polite to Dr. Schenker in your conversation at the plane, he will thank you for rescuing him later and apologizes for having initially doubted Cate's competence.
  • Magnus Armstrong becomes the second villain to be introduced in the game.
  • During the captain's speech, he mentions turning the "No Smoking" signs off. This re-visualizes the fact that smoking was allowed on planes until the late 1980's.
  • After knocking Archer out, the patriotic Armstrong says that he won't kill her because "she's a fellow countryman". This is the first of three times that he spares her life in this way.
  • It is unknown whether the Head Paratrooper is the same man that always accompanies Armstrong on his missions. Similar characters make frequent appearances, (e.g. A Tenuous Lead and The Indomitable Cate Archer) but they all remain nameless.
  • Although Archer and Dr. Schenker are the only passengers that can be seen by the player during the hijack, it is implied that there were more civilians on board, as there are two toilet doors which cannot be opened (they are marked as "OCCUPIED"), one before the first Economy class cabin (near where you start), the other before the Executive level (below the cockpit at the bottom of the ladder). They do not open even when the plane is about to explode.
  • When escaping the plane, the only toilet you could enter during the hijack is now closed, marked "OPEN". Despite what this may suggest, it cannot be opened.
  • This is the only mission in the game where a weapon is held sideways. Archer holds the Hampton MPL 9mm SMG sideways while in freefall at Scene 2. Hampton MPL becomes your standard weapon once you jump out of the plane.
  • Entire mission is a heavy test for player to seize environment around them to progress, timing their reload and a check their long range accuracy for depth perception.
  • Thanks to game engine not calculating the wind speed or bullet fall, trajectory of shots show very small amount of deviation.
  • Shooting your only objective at Scene 2; hurting the only paratrooper below you with an unopened parachute pack, will force him to open his parachute like other paratroopers while player fall to their death with no fall back options.
  • The parachute scene is a reference to the 1979 James Bond film: "Moonraker", which also features a scene in which Bond steals a parachute from Jaws after he falls out of a plane.
  • When paratroopers at Scene 2 incur enough damage, they will not die instantly or fall to their demise but open their parachute to float instead of zipping around Archer and try to gun her down. This can be an indication of them being more durable than their previous fellows.
  • While you're in freefall, a man can be witnessed strapped to his chair screaming out of the plane, plummeting helplessly. If you focus on the chair for long enough, you can see that the man is clearly a civilian (your crosshair will turn red if it's turned on). Going by the look of the chair, it is likely he was hiding in the first "OCCUPIED" toilet as it is nearer the start of the Economy class seats.
  • The planes in this Mission could be British De Havilland DH-106 Comet 4s, due to both of them having engines built into the wings and slightly lengthened fuselage. If this were the case however, the interior wouldn't match up to the exterior due to the plane in the mission having a second floor (which the Comet doesn't.). Also, there are more windows inside the plane than there are outside. Not to mention, the Comet doesn't have cabin Rooms, which the NOLF plane has.(Note that the cabin in the beginning where Archer and Dr. Schenker are talking doesn't even have Beds!)
The Operative: No One Lives Forever missions
Previous Mission: Berlin by Night - Next Mission: Care to Explain?
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