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Air Force One

Air Force One (1997)

35 mistakes

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Starring: Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Harrison Ford

Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller

New this month Revealing mistake: When the fax machine is supposed to be printing out the incoming fax its LCD display shows that it is actually copying a document. The film crew must have pressed the copy button to achieve the effect of a piece of paper coming out.


Factual error: The plastic explosive used on the cockpit door was C-4. When shot (as shown), C-4 does not explode; it requires the use of a detonator.

Plot hole: At the start when the guys are infiltrating that building they parachute down to the roof. They are dressed in black so they can't be seen, but their parachutes are white.

Continuity mistake: When Harrison Ford tries to enter the conference room when he comes upstairs from the lower level, he first struggles with the guard to the conference room door. While fumbling with the keys, the guard "wakes up" and shoots 2 shots toward Harrison Ford, where he turns around and shoots back. Those 2 shots from the guard leave bullet holes in the conference room door. When Harrison finally enters the room, the bullet holes disappear. When the bad guys return, the bullet holes are gone.

Visible crew/equipment: In a scene midway through the film where Glenn Close etc receive the fax from the plane, the tracks for the camera can be seen on the floor.

Factual error: When taking off from Moscow and throughout the film the Air Force One pilots are in uniform. AF1 pilots do not wear military uniforms to foreign countries.

Factual error: Characters are able to move from the front of the airplane to the back through the lower cargo hold. Their progress would be blocked in the middle of the airplane by a massive area of structure called the wing center section.

Revealing mistake: The whole time during the president's escape from AF1 (the scene where he's fighting with his corrupt agent) you can see through the airplane door that there is a loop in the movement of the water. It moves for about a second, and then stops, etc., etc.

Air Force One mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Harrison Ford is fighting one of the terrorist guys, they go into a room with two chairs. Ford spins a chair to knock down the guy, and they keep fighting. As they go at it we see a knocked over stool with a black seat. Instantly, in the next shot, the stool is standing up, and in a perfect position for Ford to knock the guy out with.

Continuity mistake: At the beginning, when AF1 is landed, and the two pilots and navigator get shot, a Russian guy takes over. AF1 is then driven around the airport. The Russian guy controlling AF1 speeds up to take off again. When he does take off he barely misses a plane that was on the ground. The next shot is from the back of AF1 and the plane that was on the ground has disappeared.

Air Force One mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the Secretary of Defense receives the letter that the escape pod is empty, look to the character to the right of Glenn Close. There is another character behind him, and when the character by Glenn Close moves, the one behind him disappears.

Continuity mistake: In the beginning, it goes from 5 guys with white parachutes to 4 guys with black parachutes, back to 5 guys with white parachutes.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where the real pilots of AF1 are trying to land, you can see people and things flopping around in the plane. Later, the President enters a room that looks so neatly organized and clean that no one would ever know that they had such a roughly attempted landing.

Visible crew/equipment: When Ford and a terrorist are fighting, just before Ford knocks him out with a stool, the shot changes to their tussle where the gun is knocked away into the aisle. Watch this in slow motion and you can see the hand throwing the gun into shot. (Visible only on fullscreen version)

Continuity mistake: In the scene when the Russian is shooting the 3 doors, on the second door, if you look in slow motion, you see 2 muzzle flashes before a hole is made in the door. The same on the 3rd door. Also, when he shoots the 3rd door, he puts 5 bullet holes in it, but when he opens it to check, there are 6 holes in the wall.

Other mistake: General Ivan Radek (played by J├╝rgen Prochnow) is listed as General Alexander Radek in the closing credits.

Mister Ed

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Gary Oldman shoots the National Security Advisor, the tips of his shirt collar vary between being tucked under his bulletproof vest and lying on top of it. It is untucked for the rest of the movie.


Factual error: The in-flight refuelling hardware on the real Air Force One makes a bulge visible below the cockpit window. The Boeing 747 used in the film lacks this bulge.

Factual error: The scene where AF-1 is being refueled in the air is wrong. The common practice is that the tanker is flying in front of the other aircraft. They do not approach the plane from the back, and never that low. The flight path over the AF-1 by the KC-10 will create a turbulence which would be very dangerous if not fatal for the AF-1. The tanker will guide the plane towards the refueling boom. Also the guidelines to guide the refueling boom on the nose of the AF-1 are missing.

Plot hole: After the President sabotages the fuel pumps, two of the bad guys go down and manage to repair the damage. They then proceed to go back upstairs and (supposedly) lock the President downstairs... Where he would be free to simply sabotage the fuel pumps again.


Continuity mistake: In the scene where the President is being escorted to the escape pod, there is an extra shot where the President is hiding on his own around the corner from a terrorist, who is sneaking around in the background looking for him. In both the preceding and following shots, the President is being physically escorted by two Secret Service men who are pulling him along and forcefully holding his head down. This shot is wrongly inserted into this portion of the scene and needs to be later in the film, when the President is trying to escape.

Continuity mistake: When the traitor first begins to shoot the 3 people, we see a close up on one of the victims (the one who gets shot in the head). If you look behind him in slow mo, you'll notice that the furniture is already red (from the blood).

Continuity mistake: In the beginning when the hijackers are trying to take off at the airport there is a shot where the plane goes over some emergency vehicles (before it takes off). These vehicles disappear in the following shot when the plane hits the tree branches. Also, a taxiing jet would've blown the vehicles and people around. Nothing of the sort happens in that scene.


Continuity mistake: When Agent Gibbs goes into the closed room and hands out the advance team reports from the Miami field agent, when he executes the three agents, if you watch, just after he kills the third agent, the agent's entire arm falls down behind the arm rest below the seat. However, in the following shots, when Gibbs re-holsters and turns to enter the armory, the agent's arm and hand are now risen upward, leaning against the window with his elbow propped up on the arm rest.

Air Force One mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The blood that spatters on the bad guy's forehead after he shoots William H. Macy changes from gravitational drops on his forehead to smears on his cheek and chin.

Factual error: The two famous Air Force Ones are Boeing 747-200B model aircraft (military name is VC-25). That model has an older style flight deck, with steam/mechanical gauges. The newer 747-400 model has a "glass cockpit" with computer style displays. In the shot where the pilots get their takeoff clearance (and throughout the movie) you can see that it was filmed in a -400 model flight deck (most likely a training simulator for airlines).

Factual error: In the scene where AF1 gets refueled by a KC-10 Extender tanker, it would be impossible to pull the whole refueling probe out of the tanker plane, not to mention causing a fire. AF1 would simply break the end of the probe, the tanker plane crew would close the internal fuel valves, and there would be no fire. The refueling hardware used on USAF tanker aircraft has predetermined breaking points, since it's likely that any other aircraft getting refueled suddenly loses height, gets off course or something.

Continuity mistake: Defense secretary Walter Dean makes such a big deal out of getting the cabinet to declare the president to be incapacitated, he gets Attorney General Ward to draw up the papers. They are then given to the Vice President to sign, and there are 16 signatures on it, presumably all the members of the cabinet. Funny thing is, the names are pretty easy to read using the zoom feature on the DVD player, and not one of the names is Dean or Ward.

Continuity mistake: When the F-15s fire on the Kazakh MiGs you can see the rockets soar up in the sky, indicating that AF1 and the MiGs are flying higher than the F15s; however, when the first MiG gets hit, you can see the rocket approaching at a steep angle from above.

Continuity mistake: In at least one external shot with the plane on the ground, the wing tips have winglets (angled-up extensions of the wing) of a Boeing 747-400. In other shots, the winglets are missing.


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