Continuity mistake: Bruce Willis is emerging from an underground air-vent when the plane with General Esperanza is landing. Initially the plane is coming on a direct course for him and he struggles to get out. In fact the front wheel is on course with and knocks the vent cover. But in the very next scene, the tire marks clearly show the front wheel passed to the right of the vent and so completely missed it. (01:11:40)
Continuity mistake: In the beginning of the movie when John is sitting at a table in the airport smoking a cigarette, you see him notice the table with the 3 (2 white and 1 black) guys that are acting suspicious. When the black guy gets up to leave, he leans down and you see a hand grab a package. If you notice, the hand that grabs the package is white. Later when the two white guys leave, one of them leans down to grab the package and it's the same shot that was used when the black guy grabbed his package. (00:08:50)
Factual error: The terrorists are using Kenwood 46AT Handheld Radios that operate on 440Mhz. The Army moves in with a Kenwood TS-850 Radio that operates on 30Mhz-3Mhz. Nowhere near the frequency that the terrorists are using. (01:11:30 - 01:25:40)
Factual error: At the end of the movie, all of the planes come in to land by the fire. However, the planes are far, FAR closer than any large aircraft would land to each other. FAA regulations would have the aircraft about 5 miles away from each other. If they're landing this close due to "emergency", there would be wicked wake turbulence at such close distances.
Character mistake: When airport control makes the call to "change the boards" to delayed, Auckland (New Zealand) is spelled Aukland.
Revealing mistake: In the skywalk scene, when McClane pushes the paint stand on the terrorist, it is quite obvious that they use a dummy when the paint stand falls on the terrorist and crushes him. (00:45:05)
Audio problem: In the climactic scene where the 747 is taking off, the general applies full power on the throttles and the engines spool up to full power as they should. However, in the next shot from the cockpit, the general is pulling back on the yoke, nobody's hands are on the throttles at all, and yet we hear a second (apparently) identical increase in engine power. Pulling back on the yoke has nothing at all to do with the engines - the noise we hear should remain at a constant level. (01:50:15)
Continuity mistake: After McClane gets the car towed away, notice that it is night and snowstorming all over the place. When he enters the airport, you can see that outside it is daytime and sunny, yet McClane shakes off snow whereas other people in the airport don't have snow on them at all. The airport scenes were filmed at LAX's Bradley International Terminal during the month of February, so this explains the sunny day. (00:01:35)
Revealing mistake: Obvious stunt double for the black terrorist during the fight with McClane in the baggage area. He looks younger than him and has a different hairstyle. (00:14:10)
Continuity mistake: When Col. Stuart is talking to Gen. Esperanza on the walkie-talkie about what runway to land on, behind Stuart you can see one of his men walk up to the map of the runways. Stuart turns around and starts walking to the map and the guy isn't there anymore. When Stuart gets in front of the map, the guy comes up and tells him which runway Esperanza should land on. (01:09:05)
Plot hole: At the beginning of the film, it is still daylight, which at Christmas, would mean it's about 4:30pm at the latest. The whole incident of the film lasts around 4 hours (figured by the scene when Barnes was talking to the planes and said the trouble started around 2 hours ago coupled with the fact that not long before that, Trudeau confimed that Holly's plane had only 90 minutes worth of fuel left). So why at the very end are there shots where it appears the the sun is rising in the distance? (And no, it's not caused by the fire of the exploded plane. By that reckoning, the terroists would have had to have taken over the airport well after midnight, which is pretty much impossible since Esperanza's plane was already on route.) (00:00:35)
Continuity mistake: During the last fight scene on the wing of the plane, just after the guy is sucked into the engine, general Stuart comes rushing out and yells something like "it's time for the main event". At this, John rolls over onto his back. The shot then switches to much further away, and he is still on his stomach. The camera cuts in close again, and John is back on his back, and sliding towards the center of the wing. The camera cuts away again and shows John back on his stomach and just now rolling over. (01:43:40)
Factual error: The chase scene involving the snowmobiles is problematic in that McClane can actually see where he's going. In driving snow, it's often difficult to see, as snow blows in one's eyes. On a speeding snowmobile, in heavy snow and with no eye protection, it would be practically impossible to see anything. (01:31:15)
Continuity mistake: When McClane is desperately trying to get out of the manhole cover to avoid the plane, he props it open with a steel bar. Moments later, just before the plane runs over it, the bar is gone, so there should be nothing holding it open. The size of the gap between cover and runway also decreases between these shots. (01:14:50)
Revealing mistake: On one of the first shots of inside Holly's plane, you can see the blue screens through the windows. No, it's not blue sky, in all the following shots the sky outside is orange. (00:16:30)