Factual error: Gene Hackman is the Adriatic Fleet Admiral. While onboard the aircraft carrier, he carries out duties as the captain of the carrier. The only people who can give orders on a carrier are the ship's captain or the airwing captain. Gene Hackman could only give orders to the captain, who in turn would give orders to the crew.
Factual error: In the opening carrier takeoff scene, someone says "OK for start" when the aircraft is already on the catapult, ready for launch. Then, there is a shot of the instrument panel showing the left engine coming up to speed. The engines have to be started to taxi the a/c into position, and they idle at about 70% RPM. (00:02:35)
Continuity mistake: Towards the beginning of the movie when the F-18 is taking off to go on the recon mission, it shows a lot of different shots of an F-18 taking off. One of these shots is actually of an F-14.
Deliberate mistake: The French NATO rescue team is flying an old, Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter which is not in service in France. It was probably rented in Slovakia where most of the film was shot. The Mi-17 is easily distinguished from the French multi-purpose helicopter Puma: the Mi-17's landing gear is supported by huge rods, its side windows are round, and it has a sleek boom with the tail rotor on the left side. The Puma has smaller gear support, rectangular side windows, and a thicker boom with the tail rotor on the right side. (01:15:42)
Factual error: When LT Burnett and his pilot are in the galley eating you see two people doing push ups. First, the officers mess is not that big, second, officers and enlisted don't eat in the same mess on a ship, third, no one would be in flight deck gear in the galley eating, and last, no one in their right mind would sit there and allow anyone to do that, let alone officers. (00:07:50)
Factual error: In the opening voiceover, the narration refers to the Cincinnati Accords, when in fact the Bosnian peace talks were held in neighbouring Ohio city Dayton, and commonly called the Dayton Peace Accords.
Deliberate mistake: The aft cockpit of the F/A-18F is not simply a 'Navigator' as they say several times in the movie. It is the Weapons Systems Operator, or WSO (Wizzo).
Factual error: During the Recon flight launch, one shot shows the Super Hornet taking off with a blue Sidewinder. These blue missiles are simulation Sidewinders, and as stated in the Top Gun mistakes (same missiles used), all they do when launched is drop from the aircraft. (00:14:50)
Continuity mistake: When Owen Wilson parachutes through the trees, his oxygen mask goes from being on, covering his face, to being off and dangling. This repeats when he drops from his tangled chute. When he initially cuts free, his mask is over his face, then when he gets up it is off. A pilot should keep his mask on and visor down after ejecting over land to prevent injuries to his face and eyes should he wind up in the trees like Wilson did. (00:24:40)