Factual error: The final dogfight scene has a huge error when Hollywood's jet is hit with a missile and he ejects. The next scene shows him manually deploying a small pilot chute to open his main parachute. After seat/man seperation, the main chute automatically deploys depending on altitude and airspeed. He would still be connected to his ejection seat until his chute deploys. Having to manually throw a "pilot chute" to the wind would leave too much for human error.
Factual error: In nearly every cockpit scene, regardless of fighter airframe, you can see that half or more of the lights on the caution lights panel on the lower right-hand side of the cockpit are lit. These lights are the illuminated names of all the systems that are not currently operating, ergo if the "Engine 1" light is lit, then Engine 1 is not running. If over half of the lights are lit (as in the cockpit scenes) then the pilots must be flying without half of their systems running, including engines, hydraulics, and radar. None of these lights should be on in flight. This makes it obvious that the scenes were shot on the ground using external power.
Factual error: The beginning of the movie when Maverick inverts and gets cozy (canopy to canopy) with the MIG pilot and Goose is taking pictures could never have happened. The tails of the F-14 are nearly 9 feet tall and the canopies are a mere three feet apart, so this would have resulted in a collision.
Factual error: In every scene in which Maverick and Goose are in their flight suits, the squadron patch they wear is that of Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Two Zero (VAW-120). The same graphic is use on their flight helmets. Airborne Early Warning Squadrons in 1986 were flying the E-2C Hawkeye, a twin-turboprop aircraft with a rather large and obvious 24' diameter rotating dome mounted above the fuselage. Also worth noting, the squadron logo used on the aircraft in the movie was that of Strike Fighter Squadron 25, the "Fist of the Fleet." VFA-25 never flew F-14 Tomcats. In 1968, they flew the A-7B Corsair II, then in May 1983 they transitioned to the F/A -18A Hornet. Additionally, Hollywood and Wolfman are wearing patches/helmet graphics of VAW-124 Bear Aces (another VAW E-2 squadron).
Continuity mistake: The class at Top Gun was made up of the current best pilot/RIO air crews which had not previously attended the school, from various squadrons. At graduation, out of all the pilots in the Navy, including all the pilots from Maverick's squadron still on the carrier (some of which would have already graduated from Top Gun), Maverick, Iceman and Wolfman have to rush back to Maverick's aircraft carrier because they are the only pilots available that can go against the MiGs?
Continuity mistake: In the first dogfight, when Cougar freaks out he removes his face mask. When Maverick takes-off again to guide him down the shot shows Cougar and Merlin's plane from the side where Cougar is again wearing his mask. Then it cuts back to a face shot of Cougar and his mask is off again. (00:09:35 - 00:11:00)
Continuity mistake: Take notice of everyone's hands during the action sequences. No one is wearing gloves. As standard issue for military pilots, the gloves are made of Nomex and provide protection from fire and allow for a better grip when things get a little hot and heavy.
Factual error: When Goose takes the photo of the MIG's cockpit, the type of Polaroid camera he is using has an acoustic auto-focus system. It will not focus beyond clear glass or plastic because the ultrasonic pulse bounces off the glass and not off whatever is behind it. Therefore the photo would be focused on Goose's own canopy and the MIG's cockpit instruments (of interest to Charlie) would be very blurry. Perhaps that is why the photo is not shown. Also: Goose proclaims the photo great immediately after it comes out of the camera. In fact it takes a minute or so to develop and become visible.
Factual error: Every time one of the F-14 pilots fires a missile, he thumbs the selector switch on the stick to the SP/PH (Sparrow/Phoenix) position, then pulls the trigger. In every case, it's a Sidewinder that leaves the rail, even though it isn't selected, and would not have had time to "home" anyway.
Audio problem: Reference the dialogue in the hangar where Mav/Goose and Charlie are discussing what was happening when they met the MiG, and Goose says "You know, the finger." In the original 1985 cinema release, Charlie replies "Yes, I know the finger, Lieutenant," but in the video release this has been changed to "Yes, I know the finger, Goose." If you look closely you'll see that her lips don't move when she enunciates the word "Goose," and if you listen carefully you can hear the edit change in the soundtrack between "finger," and "Goose."
Continuity mistake: After the final dog fight where everybody is happily back on the aircraft carrier, Iceman exclaims: You can be my wingman anytime, and Maverick replies: Bullshit - you can be mine. Then they hug, and during that hug Iceman in someway manages to put his sunglasses on, from one cut to another
Continuity mistake: When the four pilots are playing volleyball, they have no sand sticking to them even though they are shirtless, sweating, and sometimes diving in the sand.