Continuity mistake: When Harrison Ford tries to enter the conference room when he comes upstairs from the lower level, he first struggles with the guard to the conference room door. While fumbling with the keys, the guard "wakes up" and shoots 2 shots toward Harrison Ford, where he turns around and shoots back. Those 2 shots from the guard leave bullet holes in the conference room door. When Harrison finally enters the room, the bullet holes disappear. When the bad guys return, the bullet holes are gone.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where the real pilots of AF1 are trying to land, you can see people and things flopping around in the plane. Later, the President enters a room that looks so neatly organized and clean that no one would ever know that they had such a roughly attempted landing.
Continuity mistake: At the beginning, when AF1 is landed, and the two pilots and navigator get shot, a Russian guy takes over. AF1 is then driven around the airport. The Russian guy controlling AF1 speeds up to take off again. When he does take off he barely misses a plane that was on the ground. The next shot is from the back of AF1 and the plane that was on the ground has disappeared.
Continuity mistake: When Harrison Ford is fighting one of the terrorist guys, they go into a room with two chairs. Ford spins a chair to knock down the guy, and they keep fighting. As they go at it we see a knocked over stool with a black seat. Instantly, in the next shot, the stool is standing up, and in a perfect position for Ford to knock the guy out with.
Visible crew/equipment: When Ford and a terrorist are fighting, just before Ford knocks him out with a stool, the shot changes to their tussle where the gun is knocked away into the aisle. Watch this in slow motion and you can see the hand throwing the gun into shot. (Visible only on fullscreen version)
Continuity mistake: In the scene when the Russian is shooting the 3 doors, on the second door, if you look in slow motion, you see 2 muzzle flashes before a hole is made in the door. The same on the 3rd door. Also, when he shoots the 3rd door, he puts 5 bullet holes in it, but when he opens it to check, there are 6 holes in the wall.
Factual error: In the scene where AF1 gets refueled by a KC-10 Extender tanker, it would be impossible to pull the whole refueling probe out of the tanker plane, not to mention causing a fire. AF1 would simply break the end of the probe, the tanker plane crew would close the internal fuel valves, and there would be no fire. The refueling hardware used on USAF tanker aircraft has predetermined breaking points, since it's likely that any other aircraft getting refueled suddenly loses height, gets off course or something.
Continuity mistake: Defense secretary Walter Dean makes such a big deal out of getting the cabinet to declare the president to be incapacitated, he gets Attorney General Ward to draw up the papers. They are then given to the Vice President to sign, and there are 16 signatures on it, presumably all the members of the cabinet. Funny thing is, the names are pretty easy to read using the zoom feature on the DVD player, and not one of the names is Dean or Ward.
Factual error: The scene where AF-1 is being refueled in the air is wrong. The common practice is that the tanker is flying in front of the other aircraft. They do not approach the plane from the back, and never that low. The flight path over the AF-1 by the KC-10 will create a turbulence which would be very dangerous if not fatal for the AF-1. The tanker will guide the plane towards the refueling boom. Also the guidelines to guide the refueling boom on the nose of the AF-1 are missing.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where the President is being escorted to the escape pod, there is an extra shot where the President is hiding on his own around the corner from a terrorist, who is sneaking around in the background looking for him. In both the preceding and following shots, the President is being physically escorted by two Secret Service men who are pulling him along and forcefully holding his head down. This shot is wrongly inserted into this portion of the scene and needs to be later in the film, when the President is trying to escape.
Factual error: The two famous Air Force Ones are Boeing 747-200B model aircraft (military name is VC-25). That model has an older style flight deck, with steam/mechanical gauges. The newer 747-400 model has a "glass cockpit" with computer style displays. In the shot where the pilots get their takeoff clearance (and throughout the movie) you can see that it was filmed in a -400 model flight deck (most likely a training simulator for airlines).
Audio problem: When Ford and a terrorist are fighting in a side room, he knocks him out with the stool. He clearly grabs the stool by the metal legs, hitting him with the black cushion part and yet a metallic 'clang' can be heard. Even a metal bar against your head wouldn't make that noise.
Factual error: In the beginning scenes where the President's limousines are moving to the Moscow airport both cars have the US and Presidential flags on them. When travelling outside of the US the President's state cars fly the US flag and the flag of the visiting country. The Presidential flag is only flown with the US flag when the President is travelling in the United States.
Continuity mistake: In the beginning when the hijackers are trying to take off at the airport there is a shot where the plane goes over some emergency vehicles (before it takes off). These vehicles disappear in the following shot when the plane hits the tree branches. Also, a taxiing jet would've blown the vehicles and people around. Nothing of the sort happens in that scene.
Continuity mistake: When Agent Gibbs goes into the closed room and hands out the advance team reports from the Miami field agent, when he executes the three agents, if you watch, just after he kills the third agent, the agent's entire arm falls down behind the arm rest below the seat. However, in the following shots, when Gibbs re-holsters and turns to enter the armory, the agent's arm and hand are now risen upward, leaning against the window with his elbow propped up on the arm rest.
Plot hole: At the end of the movie, the rescue plane changes its callsign to Air Force One because the protocol is "Air Force One" is the callsign for any U.S. military plane (or, more specifically, an Air Force Plane) with the President on board, not just the blue and white 747. Thus, it would not be used for a plane on which the president is not on board. This is an important detail considering that for most of the middle section of the film, the terrorists believe the president has escaped and that they are dealing with a random secret service agent resisting them. The vice president and other administration officials dealing with the terrorists don't want them to know the president is still on board, as it could motivate the terrorists to threaten his family further. So, when the fuel tanker shows up to refuel the plane and addresses it as "Air Force One" to give instructions on the procedure, they are inadvertently confirming that the president is on board. To maintain the ruse, they should use the callsign "SAM-28000" or "Air Force 28000" when talking to the terrorists, referring to the plane's tail number. Similarly, any time an official makes a statement about the incident in public, they could refer to the plane as "28000" to keep up the ruse to the press (though it's not uncommon to refer to the 747s as "Air Force One" for the sake of simplicity in casual or non-official capacities, an instance of one plane communicating with another would not be).
Continuity mistake: When the President is finally discovered, they bring him upstairs. William H. Macy's hands are "taped behind his back" but notice when Ford finally overtakes Oldman, Macy's hands magically appear in front of him and he overpowers one of the guards. Finally he tells Ford to run after Oldman to stop the release, and his hand is taped behind his back again.
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