Flight of the Phoenix

Factual error: Townes taxis the C119 far too close to the buildings next to the oil platform. The nose of the plane is almost touching the wall. The only anchoring point on a C119 for a taxiing tractor is on the nose wheel, and he hasn't left enough space for the tractor to link up and turn the aircraft without the wing (and engine) hitting the building. There are no anchoring points on a C119 that allow it to be towed backwards, even if they could steer it that way.

Factual error: After calculating the amount of water they have available Townes and A.J. announce they will be living on "a pint of water per person per day". One problem - they'll be dead within three days, if they manage to last that long. A GALLON - eight pints - a day is the absolute minimum in conditions of dry, extreme heat such as they are experiencing, and that is for a resting male. Take their strenuous exercise into account and you can push that up to two gallons a day. One pint a day? Forget it.

Factual error: Interior shots of the cargo bay of the C-119 seem way too small. The real cargo bay is about 50 feet long and seats 62 troops, or 35 stretchers. In the movie it's almost full up with 12 passengers plus about 10 feet of cargo.

Factual error: In the scene where the plane is flying through the sandstorm there isn't any sand flying into the plane, even though during a sandstorm the sand can and will get into any crack it can find.

Disney-Freak

Factual error: You don't use a circular saw to cut the metal on a plane's wing. You use a torch. Metal on the wing of a plane is strong enough to damage a circular saw.

Factual error: Both the C-82 from the original and the C-119 from the remake used electric starters. Coffman shotgun starters were never used on these airplanes.

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More for Flight of the Phoenix

Quotes

Sammi: I thought you weren't religious, Rady?
Rady: Spirituality is not religion. Religion divides people. Belief in something unites them.

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Mistakes

This film is set in 2004. The thought that no search and rescue operations would be put in place after an aircraft disappeared from radar during a routine flight is absurd. The Chinese are paranoid about intrusion on their territory and the downed aircraft would have been located by a simple satellite search within hours of it crashing. Chinese military satellites crisscross the Gobi and they are equipped with optical cameras, microwave and infrared detectors and radar, so spotting a metal aircraft on the ground would be simple even if it was hundreds of kilometres off course. The crew would have been visited by Chinese military helicopters (and probably arrested!) as soon as the storm had died down.

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