Executive Decision

Factual error: The crew sent to board the ill fated jumbo jet is in the "Remora", which is clearly a modified F-117A Stealth Fighter, but retaining the same dimensions. It would be physcially impossible to fit that many people and such a spacious cargo hold into a plane that size with the engines. In fact, with the additional weight, the engines would have to be even bigger for it to operate.

Revealing mistake: When the Oceanic 747 attempts to make its first landing, you can tell that the 'hole' on the side of the aircraft is simply painted on.

Factual error: A flight manifest would never state on its seating chart that an armed U.S. marshal was on board as it gives away that person's identity and puts everyone on board in danger.

Continuity mistake: When Grant goes down to the main cabin and is looking around for the sleeper, the fringe of his hair goes from up and pushed back to all hanging down without him touching it.

Factual error: Computerized maps throughout the movie show the plane heading due west past Spain and Portugal from Athens to Washington, D.C. Aircraft follow great circle route; although Athens and DC are similar in latitude, the shortest flight path is north over Scandinavia. No commercial air route between Athens and the East Coast fly over Spain.

Continuity mistake: Near the end of the movie, when Grant takes control of the airplane and lands on his second try, you can see the inner engine on the left wing (right to us) fall off and catch fire after impacting with the smaller parked planes. In the next shot, which happens quickly, you can see the engine is still in place and not damaged at all. In the next shot, it's gone again and the wing is on fire where the engine was.

Continuity mistake: When you see Rat pull himself vigorously along the wire upside down, there is no equipment on his head whatsoever, although in the very next shot when he lets himself down from the wire, he has his infrared goggles attached to his forehead. (01:12:35)

Factual error: The film was shot in 1996. In that year, Athens' airport was Ellinikon Internation Airport which had no terminal bridges. In the movie there is a bridge connecting the terminal and the Oceanic Airlines plane.


Factual error: When the bullet is fired through the aircraft window there would be no possible way that Grant would be able to hold on for that whole time as the plane is travelling up to 600mph and also his temperature will lower immediately, which would cause weakness.

Continuity mistake: When the girl goes down in the plane's elevator, you can clearly see the phone to her left (our right) has no light. In the later parts of the movie the phone becomes a very significant tool and now has a light on it. (00:12:03)

Continuity mistake: John Leguizamo's character is protected by his bullet-proof vest when David Suchet shoots him. Despite this the vest would still be damaged, yet when Leguizamo is seen lying face down the back of his vest is unmarked.

Factual error: When John Leguizamo is surveying the cabin for terrorists and reporting back to Kurt Russell, he says the terrorists are carrying 9mm Skorpions. The Skorpion IS produced in 9mm Makarov and .380 Auto versions, but those weapons have straight magazines, not curved ones. The terrorists' Skorpions have curved magazines, which denotes the weapon being chambered for 7.65 Browning.

Revealing mistake: Because the hijacked plane is carrying deadly chemicals, the military officers at the Pentagon plan to takeoff urgently within 1 hour. Yet when they reach the airfield you can see palm trees and mountains in the background. If the meeting was in Washington DC, they'd need to takeoff from a nearby airfield. 1 hour is not enough time to get from Washington DC to any airfield with palm trees and mountains. This scene was probably filmed in California.

Factual error: 747's do not have overhead crawl spaces.

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Suggested correction: I was just looking at the overhead crawl space in a Lufthansa 747 at Am Technik Museum in Speyer, Germany. There is space.

There is a very small space above the ceiling panels that does 1 not match the move, 2 would never hold the weight of a person.

Factual error: After the briefing at the Pentagon, a Blackhawk is shown flying over forests and mountains to Andrews Air Force Base. Andrews AFB is directly outside of Washington, DC and an air route from the Pentagon does not pass over any mountains of any kind. (00:25:40)


Continuity mistake: The second time David Grant (Kurt Russell) is calling the stewardess on the phone he keeps pressing the button. The movie makes it seem like every time he presses the button, the light blinks. You can clearly see him stop pressing the button but the light still blinks.

Factual error: Kurt Russell lands the 747 at Frederick field and during the rollout the plane's left engines collide with parked aircraft and it finally runs off the departure end of the runway into a sand drag. While it is true that the 5000 ft runway at Frederick field is too short for a Boeing 747 in reality there would not be aircraft parked so close to a runway at any airport, and we know that the 747 did not veer off the runway since it struck approach lights at both ends of the runway.

Factual error: Throughout the movie the Carrier mentioned that will send fighters to attack the Highjacked airliner is the CVN-69 Uss Dwight D. Eisenhower. You can see CVN-69 on the briefing screen at the NMCC. However after the SECDEF gets the pic of the bombmaker they cut to a scene of the carrier getting her fighters ready and the carrier is now the CVN-74 Uss John C. Stennis. You can see the 74 on the tower of the carrier.


Factual error: As they are disarming the bomb, the hard drive on the bomb has no cover. A speck of dust would destroy an exposed hard drive and it would never be used exposed like that. As Cahill is a design engineer and quoted as being able to build computers, he should know that this hard drive is wrong.

Other mistake: How come when they are on the Remora F-117x the pilot is the only one wearing an oxygen mask? The team only has headsets on but they're all in the same space - just before they dock, Kurt and Steven stand up and move forward straight into the cockpit area next to the pilot.

Factual error: When the fighter jets get ready to shoot down the jumbo jet from behind, Baker sends an SOS message via the plane's rear lights to the fighter pilots. From such a short time of the fighter pilots viewing the message, they were able to immediately decode it as "Hail Mary, Alpha 1, 10 minutes. "Message repeats" says fighter jet pilot. Wouldn't it be impossible to send such an elaborate message via SOS, let alone be decoded so quickly and repeated in such a short time?

Plot hole: After Jaffa is captured the news gives a full report of Jaffa being held captive on an American warship in the Mediterranean. Why would the media know who was captured, who captured him, and where he was being held? This was a covert operation to capture the worlds most wanted man, the media shouldn't know any of this.

Continuity mistake: When Louie sees Grant walking Jean down the main cabin they are already at the set of seats they think the sleeper is sitting in but after about 10 seconds of walking they reach the same seats again.

Continuity mistake: Mr Grant is at a dinner party wearing a tux. Then he is in a meeting, and told they must fly within an hour, but it is during the day.

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Suggested correction: Everything you mentioned happens during daytime hours. When we see the establishing shot of Washington DC, the sun is up. Although Grant is in a tuxedo, it is not a dinner party. In fact, while he is talking to the woman, it is daylight outside. He then rushes off to the Pentagon, and then to the airfield, all which happens during the day.


Plot hole: Not counting Altar or the Sleeper we know there at least 8 other terrorists on the plane. One of them is killed by Altar himself and five of them are killed by the strike team. What happened to the other 2 terrorists?

Plot hole: When Grant lunges at Damou, Louie tells Rat that Grant has him. How can Louie see what is going on when the probe he is looking into was pointed at the seat they thought the sleeper was sitting in? Also if he can move the probe to look around the cabin then why bother with the time wasting idea of using Jean to point out the seat number?

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Suggested correction: To answer the first part of your question, it is made clear in the movie that the cameras can be rotated. They are using very small probe cameras that the operator can simply rotate by hand. However, some of the cameras have obstructed views, depending on where they were trying to look. The camera that Rat was on could not see the sleeper's face, because the overhead baggage compartment was in the way. Louie's camera was overhead just a few seats behind the guy who was mistaken for Demou, but still several rows ahead of where Demou actually was. When Grant made his move for Demou, Louie simply rotated the camera and was able to see. To address your second point, they had many cameras throughout the plane. However, they did not have a clear view of all 400 passengers faces. Not to mention, they were running short on time. Furthermore, Grant told Jean that she should be looking for someone with an electronic device, which is something that the team would likely not be able to see from the probe cameras. Jean would be able to see an electronic device a lot easier as she made her way through the cabin, which she did. (it turned out to be the wrong device, but that's beside the point).


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