Top Gun

Top Gun (1986)

73 corrected entries

(15 votes)

Corrected entry: In the opening dog fight scene (which took all of a couple minutes) they go from bright sun (Cougar loses his bogey in the sun) to being almost night time when Mav attempts to land on the carrier the first time.


Correction: Two things: When an aircraft is at altitude, it will be brighter longer than down on sea level. Second, we don't know how long it took to fly back after the dog fight. If it was late afternoon for the dog fight, it could very well be getting dark on the return trip.

Corrected entry: At Top Gun, Maverick does a fly by of the tower. He flies by, the camera cuts to the guy drinking coffee who spills it on himself. Then the camera cuts back to the sky and Maverick flies by again.

Correction: This is an artistic choice to heighten the impact of the moment, not a mistake of editing, just as "slow-motion" isn't an accidental drop of film speed that makes everything happen unrealistically slow.


Corrected entry: When Cougar lost the edge after, he wouldn't have given his wings to his Commanding Officer. Handing in your wings is merely a phrase, not something people do.

Correction: Character choice. It may not be required, but it's certainly his option to hand them in, throw them out or even swallow them.


Corrected entry: During the opening sequence of "cat shots" off the carrier deck, an F-14 is hooked into a catapult. As it's being launched, the camera switches to a deck member ducking as it goes by in the background. However, the plane going by is actually an A-6 Intruder.

Correction: This is a montage of shots randomly depicting the daily routine of carrier duty on the deck. The shots are not meant to be a continuous stream of real time. No mistake.


Corrected entry: The film makes several references to a 'MiG 28' when in fact all MiG aircraft are odd-numbered. No 'Mig 28" ever did or ever will exist.

Correction: And "Maverick", "Goose" and "Iceman" don't exist either. The jet was actually an American F5, not a MIG at all, and since it doesn't look like any real MIG, the makers created a ficticious MIG model for the ficticious pilots to ficticiously fight. It's a fantasy, not a documentary. The MIG-28 designation was intentional, not a "mistake".


Corrected entry: In the final dogfight, Hollywood is being pursued by a MiG that has radar lock on him. A few seconds later the camera shot changes to the cockpit of the MiG showing his radar locking in on Hollywood's plane (again), but didn't he already have radar lock on him?

Correction: That's the point. Hollywood supposedly broke radar lock, and the MiG had to reacquire him as the target.

Corrected entry: In the scene after Maverick goes to Viper's house to ask for "his options", he is shown sitting on his motorcycle at the end of a runway watching a plane coming in to land. The plane has its tailhook down, which should only be down while landing on the deck of a carrier. This obviously was footage of a carrier landing being reused. And in the very next shot it shows him watching the plane accelerating away with afterburners glowing, which contradicts the earlier shot of the plane landing. (01:25:00)

Correction: Where do you think they practice the tailhook manoeuvre? If the first time that a pilot learned to use the tailhook was on a carrier, many a pilot might die flying off the end of it into the ocean. Remember that this is a "training" program for pilots as well. Also, the afterburners are bringing him up to speed, possibly to circle back and repeat the manoeuvre.


Corrected entry: Just before Goose and Mav go down in a flat spin, they are flying over desert and mountains, yet somehow after the crash they have to be recovered by a rescue chopper out in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight.

Correction: You can hear Iceman on the radio saying that Maverick is in a flat spin and is headed out to sea. When they're rescued much of the horizon is obscured by spray thrown up by the helicopter.

William Bergquist

Corrected entry: In the scene in the bathroom, you see Maverick walking through the doors, they say 'ladies room'. When they are in the bathroom, though, the writing should be backwards, as it is the back of the door and reflected in the mirror but it is written exactly the same, the words are on the wrong side of the doors as well.

Correction: The writing on the back of the door would be backwards from the inside, but because it is reflected in the mirror it looks as if it is written properly.

Corrected entry: In the whole movie the pilots are controlling the throttle with their right hand. But in reality, the throttle is placed on the left hand side and the right hand is used to control the stick.

Correction: At no time do the pilots control the throttle & joystick with the opposite hands, it only looks like it when they shoot the scene from the front looking back.

Corrected entry: At Top Gun, when Ice confronts Mav wondering who was covering Cougar while Mav was "show boating" with the MiG, Mav should have pointed out that the first MiG had already "bugged out" and he was, in fact, covering Cougar by engaging the second MiG.

Correction: There is no training school in the world that tells the pilot to engage an enemy aircraft by flying inverted above it. Maverick should have flown behind the plane and illuminated it with his missile control radar and attempted to achieve a lockon in order to send a message to the Mig pilot. If the Mig pilot had fired at Cougar, Maverick would not have been able to engage the Mig from his position ( apart from kamikazeing into it). He would therefore not have been able to stop the Mig from shooting again or to get revenge if Cougar had been hit. Iceman is correct when he asks who was covering Cougar.

Corrected entry: In the bar scene at the beginning of the movie when Iceman is talking to Maverick the camera is behind Maverick and shows him drinking a beer. The scene switches views to where the camera is behind Iceman and Mav is not drinking, then the scene switches back behind Mav and he is drinking from the bottle again.

Correction: The bottle is merely being held out of frame. The bottle wouldn't have been held up to his face during the length of the conversation.

Corrected entry: Any pilot that disobeyed a direction by air traffic control and conducted a "fly by" would immediately lose their flying status, yet Maverick does it twice.

Correction: Viper made it clear that he was cutting Maverick a break the first time he did a fly by, by not losing his flying status. The second time was at the end of the movie, so we don't see if he lost his flying status or not, although it is doubtful that they would take it away from him since he was a hero.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Charlie is introduced, you would not have to tell a bunch of experienced officers (ie Lieutenants), that they don't have to salute civilians.

Correction: Jester is informing them that the woman is a civilian, and not military personnel. They already know you don't salute civilians. It was also contextual because Jester immediately follows up with "But you better listen to her because the Pentagon listens to her."

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: In the ejection scene where Goose buys the farm his helmet is clearly seen flying off during the sequence (it's even in slo-mo) yet when Maverick reaches him in the water he's wearing it.

Correction: Goose's helmet does not go flying off. In the slo-mo section of the ejection scene look closely and you will see Goose's head (which is still in the helmet) get forecd forward when it comes in contact with the canopy. At no time does the helmet ever come off his head.

Corrected entry: In the opening dog fight scene, the wings on his F-14 change continuously from "swept" to "unswept". "Swept" wings are a delta shape and "unswept" are more clearly open. The changes in shape are dependent upon speed and would not change so quickly between scenes.

Correction: The wing sweep feature of the F-14 can be either computer controlled or pilot controlled, allowing for greater manuverability during dogfights. Un-swept wings allow for tighter turns during a dogfight, especially when using the 20mm cannon.

Corrected entry: In the briefing just before the final dogfight the pilots are told that the "MiGs" carry the exocet anti ship missile. This is actually a French missile.

Correction: The French have sold this missile to countries that do not like us... for this reason the USS Stark, a Navy Frigate, was hit by an Exocet missile back some years ago.

Corrected entry: At the end Tom Cruise asks permission for a flyby. He is told "No, the pattern is full." There are only two planes and a helicopter in the air and the pattern is full? I think not.

Correction: Could it be that he was giving a convenient excuse (and plausible to anyone not within visiblity range to see for themselves)? It's obvious he isn't a fan of Maverick's fly-bys.


Corrected entry: In the opening dogfight, Cougar says "I'm gonna break high and right, see if he's really alone". During actual patrols, the two aircraft would never be on each others' wingtip. Normal operation calls for them to be about a mile apart and a thousand feet different in altitude - the better to see each others "six".

Correction: When jet fighters come into battles in pairs, as the MiGs did in the first fight, they will often fly in tight formation to appear as one aircraft on radar so that when the battle begins, the enemy thinks that they're dealing with a single bogey, but are really dealing with two. When Cougar breaks away to see if he's really alone, this advantage continues because the MiG gets Cougar out of position at the beginning of the dogfight.

Corrected entry: In the final celebration scene aboard the carrier, there is a crowd of flight deck crewmen cheering, and if you listen and watch carefully, you can hear and see one of them yell, 'All right, Tom'.

Correction: That could be due to the fact that Iceman's real name is Tom Kaczansky.

Top Gun mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When "Charlie" is first introduced to the class, she struts down the aisle in heels. When she follows Maverick into the building, you can briefly see that she is wearing flats to compensate for Maverick's short stature.

More mistakes in Top Gun

Iceman: The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies room.

More quotes from Top Gun

Trivia: The "MiG-28s" in the movie are actually all Northrop F-5E Tiger II's, an American plane used for training and sold to other countries. In reality, there is no MiG-28.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: It could be argued that in the alternate reality of Top Gun the fictional "MiG-28" was an improved reverse-engineered F-5 (VPAF gave the Soviets access to ex-VNAF F-5:s for evaluation after the fall of Saigon) explaining their similarity.

This isn't a valid correction for a trivia entry. There is no mistake being suggested, just letting viewers with limited plane experience know MiG-28 isn't a real plane.


More trivia for Top Gun

Question: I would like to know from a real Navy pilot if the scene is correct where Maverick's F-14 is right on Iceman's tail and he tells him to fly hard right to get out of his way. This leaves jet wash in his flight path and the jet goes down. Wouldn't a real pilot be trained to avoid this kind of danger from happening with the jet wash?


Answer: The original F-14A used the TF30 engine which was prone to compressor stall. This problem was fixed in later aircraft.

Chosen answer: Probably not a lot of Navy fighter jocks on this site. Of course he'd be trained to avoid it, but Maverick is hyper-aggressive and is following Iceman way too closely. Had he been farther back he'd have avoided it.

Grumpy Scot

More questions & answers from Top Gun

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