Top Gun

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: After the dogfight, when CAG meets Maverick in the squadron locker room, Goose is written on the locker next to Maverick's. They would not have left this on there after his death.

Continuity mistake: During the second dogfight, Iceman shuts down one of his engines, but when they fly past the carrier while returning, there are two lines of smoke coming out of his plane.

Factual error: When Top Gun first came out, everybody in our squadron made a big joke of the "Deadly Blue Tubes." This refers to the sidewinder missiles that were supposedly launched from the Tomcats. Those who are familiar with aircraft weapons, would know that the blue tube is a sidewinder simulator. If you were to launch this from the aircraft, all it could do is drop like a rock.

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.

origamibob

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: If you notice Charlie's (Kelly McGillis) car, the DoD base's name sticker is blue (on her car, it is in the lower left corner). Blue is reserved for Officers. It should be green (for civilian employees).

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)

Character mistake: In the opening scene is a paragraph describing why the Top Gun school was started. The word "insure" is used when the word should have been "ensure". They wanted to guarantee the U.S. had superior pilots, not take out an insurance policy.

imshiffman

Other mistake: Charlie is chasing Maverick in her car to tell him how she feels. Maverick races down the road on his motorcycle, then two cars start to move out of an intersecting road and Charlie narrowly misses them. In the next shot, Maverick starts yelling at Charlie about her 'reckless' driving, but behind them, you see the highway, with no traffic lights or signals. Charlie actually had right of way.

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.

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

Suggested correction: While it's technically correct that they have to wear Nomex flight gloves for taking off and landing, I know many jet jockeys who choose to ignore this rule.

Continuity mistake: Maverick is shown wearing a black wristwatch, but on the closeup shots of his hand on the throttle, the watch is silver.

Other mistake: During the final dogfight, the same shots of missiles flying through the air are used several times.

David Mercier

Factual error: In his first flight at TOPGUN, Maverick and Jester are seen flying at low level, yet there is a 10,000 foot hard deck, so they must be flying over mountains that height above sea level, in which case the hard deck to be any use would have to be higher.

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: When Maverick is inverted on top of the MIG, they are flying (almost) level - not in a dive at -4 G.

Jacob La Cour

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.

Factual error: When Mav explains to Charlie his dogfight with the MiG-28, Charlie asks him: "You were in a 4G inverted dive with a MiG-28?", "Yes Ma'am" he replies. Imagine the two aircraft. The F-14 was inverted (the back of the F-14 was "looking" at the ground, and it was pulling 4 positive G's), and the MiG-28 was flying horizontally (belly of the MiG-28 was "looking" at the ground) so it should have been pulling 4 negative G's to keep their distance constant, or more to increase it (otherwise they'd have collided). For the MiG to pull 4 negative G's is almost impossible for two reasons: 1) the negative g-limits of the aircraft are somewhere in the area of 3.5, and 2) the Russian pilot's eyes would have popped out of his head at this g-force. Even the most modern and agile fighter aircraft of the world (like the F-16 and the Eurofighter) have a negative g-limit of 3.5 while their positive limit is at 9, mainly due to human body constraints.

Goose: It's the bottom of the 9th, the score is tied. It's time for the big one.
Iceman: You up for this one, Maverick?
Maverick: Just a walk in the park, Kazansky.

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.

More trivia for Top Gun

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