It's likely that he drew inspiration from the discovery of the crashed WWII US bomber 'Lady Be Good' in the Libyan desert during the late '50's. It does star Richard Basehart, Lou Antonio, Alan Caillou, Larry Casey, Brad David, Vince Edwards, and directed by Paul Stanley.As I understand, it is almost impossible to retrieve a copy of this movie, unless you can find an underground dealer that has it recorded. Sorry, Dino, but the t.you quote is the one made in 1970 starring the same cast.(See "On at least two occasions when talking about films in the pub, someone has asked "anyone remember that film where there's a crashed bomber and a crew that don't know there dead?" The film in question ISN'T "The Survivor" (the film of the James Herbert book).I must have asked a hundred people if they remember the film, but no luck. My father was watching it and I watched it with him. It is the story of a WWII Bomber and all the men were killed and one was under the plane, when the movie ended you found out they were all dead.This has been the only place where people have described the story the way I remember it. Sole Survivor is indeed the film in question, although you might not recognise it from its description in most databases.) One person did suggest that it may have been a "Twilight Zone" episode, but I remember it as a feature length film.I think, although it was set in WWII, it was made in the late 60s or early 70s.
I think the film you're thinking of is "Sole Survivor".In the end there is one sole 'ghost' until the searchers return and find his body under the tail plane.Have I imagined this as no one seems to know what i'm talking about? I'm pretty sure it was an episode of The Twilight Zone, though, not a film as such.The plane was an American bomber which crashed in the desert.The crew spend their days playing baseball, not realising they're dead, until many years later a recovery crew locates their bodies.