Top Gun

Top Gun (1986)

71 corrected entries

(12 votes)

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.


Corrected entry: While the Goose is falling to the water after having broken his neck and died, he puts his arms up to direct his parachute.

Correction: I just finished watching this movie and i'm pretty sure that the person directing the parachute is supposed to be Maverick.


Corrected entry: At the end of the movie, when Maverick's aircraft is launched, there's a shot from an F-14 looking back from at the ship. Maverick was supposedly launched from one of the bow catapults, but the shot was clearly taken from an aircraft that had just come off one of the waist cats. Also, the pilot of the aircraft does a roll as he climbs away from the ship, a useless maneuver that the movie's director insisted on because it looked cool.

Correction: The shot was not take from an aircraft that had taken off from one of the waist cats, it was taken from an aircraft doing a fly by (look at the exhaust trail) on the carrier. An aircraft doesnt have the airspeed that short after take off to do a roll.


Corrected entry: On the last flight that Maverick takes a line of dialogue is heard - "He's on your left at three o'clock." Three o'clock tends to be on the right.

Correction: Actually, the time referenced (3 o'clock) doesn't refer to the right or left side on it's own. By saying "on your left, 3 o'clock" it means, turn to your left, imagine a clock on your right, then imagine 3 o'clock on that clock. It could be on your right, 12 o' clock, on your left, 6 o'clock, dead ahead, 3 o'clock. The time alone isn't the indication of location, as a rapid height reference is needed too.

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: You can be my wingman any time.
Maverick: Bullshit! You can be mine.

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: Why does the air traffic controller call Maverick "Ghostrider"? Surely that isn't his call sign?


Chosen answer: The term "Ghostrider" refers to the squadron name. There used to be a Tomcat squadron called the Ghostriders. Usually in a radio call, the squadron name is followed by a number. For instance, in the first fight where we see Cougar get into a spot of trouble with the Mig on his tail, he radios "This is Ghostrider 117 this bogey's all over me, he's got missile lock on me, do I have permission to fire?" That is normally the correct term as to who is on the radio.

More questions & answers from Top Gun

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