Golden Parachute
Golden Parachute
Season 1
Number 1
Writer Steven Maeda
Director Joe Chappelle
Original Airdate September 23, 2002
Next Episode: Losing Face

Golden Parachute is the first episode in Season One of CSI: Miami.


Megan Donner returns to the CSI unit in time to work on a jet crash in the Everglades. While searching for survivors, they inexplicably discover a female victim found five miles from the crash site. When the only survivor says the woman opened the plane's hatch in order to commit suicide, Horatio is suspicious. The team must now recreate what happened on that fatal flight, especially when the pieces don't quite fit together.


A small jet with eight people aboard crashes in the Florida Everglades. Horatio Caine and his team are the first on the scene, and Megan Donner, the woman who used to have Horatio's job, arrives soon after, reminding Horatio that the feds have jurisdiction over the scene. The CSIs quickly learn the crash wasn't an accident: Calleigh discovers a bullet in the plane's wreckage. Horatio presses on, making two shocking discoveries: a woman's body 5 miles away from the rest of the wreckage, and one survivor is discovered: Scott Sommer, the president of the insurance company to whom the plane belonged. The woman is identified as Christian Maria Colucci, Sommer's senior accountant; the team also discovers an empty briefcase with her name on it. Alexx notes that there are no friction burns on Christina's body, indicating she wasn't wearing a seat belt when she was thrown from the plane. Horatio notices odd marks on one of Christina's hands. At the scene, Calleigh examines the door of the plane and notices scoring around the bayonet pins. She suspects they have been tampered with but when they talk to the man who distributed the pins, he admits they were old and had to be shaved down to fit the plane. When Horatio realizes the plane only achieved a 4,000 ft. altitude, he surmises that someone on the plane opened the door.

The CSIs question Scott Sommer in the hospital after learning his company was under investigation by the SEC. Sommer at first claims to have been in his seat, but under pressure from Horatio admits he wasn't. He tells Horatio and Megan that Christina had been drinking and opened the door and jumped from the plane. He insists he tried to stop her, and appears genuinely baffled when asked about a gunshot. After learning Christina attempted suicide several months earlier, Horatio suspects she may have been a whistleblower, but Megan reminds him it's just a hunch, not fact. They turn to the prints on the plane door belonging to Christina and Sommer. Horatio thinks Christina was holding on. Speedle and Delko are charged with recovering the plane's black boxes, which Speedle correctly surmises were stolen by the fishermen who called in the plane crash. The team listens to the recordings on the black box, noting the lack of a gunshot. Horatio dispatches Speedle to Christina's apartment and Calleigh to solve the mystery of the gunshot. Speedle discovers a courier receipt from the morning Christina left, and Calleigh learns that the bullet isn't a bullet at all but a rivet that shot into the pilot's chair when the door opened. It was Christina's shoe that killed the engine—it flew from her foot as she fell out. Horatio and Megan recreate the accident and realize that the marks on Christina's hand were from the fire extinguisher which Sommer used to strike her hand in order to make her let go of the door. When the CSIs go to arrest Sommer, they find him hanging from his balcony, dead.

Horatio tells Christina's mother that she sent papers chronicling the company's wrongdoing to the SEC on the morning of her death.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Michael McGrady as Detective Eddie Delacroix
  • Sam Anderson as Scott Sommer
  • Anne Betancourt as Mrs. Colucci
  • Julie Dretzin as Christina Maria Colucci
  • David Labiosa as Senor Esparza
  • Michael Canavan as Pilot
  • Tim Sampson as Jim Tigerfish
  • Emil Lawrence as NTSB Technician
  • Elayn Taylor as Nurse
  • William Haze as Handsome Agent

Major Events[]

  • Megan Donner is introduced for the first time.
  • It's revealed that Calleigh's nickname is "Bullet Girl".


  • The episode is inspired by the explosion of National Airlines Flight 2511 over North Carolina, and the resulting suspicions placed on Julian Beck, who was also under investigation for embezzlement.

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 1
Golden ParachuteLosing FaceWet Foot/Dry FootJust One KissAshes to AshesBrokenBreathlessSlaughterhouseKill ZoneA Horrible MindCamp FearEntrance WoundBunkForced EntryDead Woman WalkingEvidence of Things UnseenSimple ManDispo DayDouble CapGrave Young MenSpring BreakTinder BoxFreaks and TweaksBody Count