Continuity mistake: When Doug Masters and all his friends are at the burger joint and Masters has just received a letter saying he has been denied enrolment into the US air force academy, his enemy Knotcher tries to humiliate him by announcing it over the loudspeaker. Masters then runs up to the window and threatens to assault him. Knotcher suggests that a race would be more appropriate to which they both agree. During this whole conversation, Knotcher's right arm is up, next shot it's down, then up, then down again.Gavin Jackson
Plot hole: Doug begins to land on the air strip after his father has been moved. But note, the Hades bomb had not yet been dropped. If his dad had not been shot at that moment, one can assume that he would have finished his landing and been a complete sitting duck when he has to get out of the plane. What was he saving the Hades for at that point? It is only later when he actually drops the Hades that he barely has enough time to rescue his wounded dad.
Character mistake: When Doug Masters approaches his aircraft at the airfield before racing 'The Snake', Col Sinclair has a right hand access panel open on Doug's Cessna 150 upper engine cowling and is allegedly working on the fuel system saying "As lean as you were runnin', if it went into a stall, you woulda lost your engine, and would never been able to pull it out." The carburetor, gascolator, throttle linkage and carburetor control lines are on the bottom of the engine (Continental O-200). The panel he closes after sticking bubble gum on accesses the battery, the right hand magneto and the oil dipstick. Not only did Col Sinclair not do what he said he said he did without a sign-off in the aircraft's logbook, it would be totally unnecessary, as aviation updraft carburetors use a cockpit or engine controlled fuel mixture control that would have simply been left in 'full rich' position after engine start for the altitudes the aircraft would have been flying. And stalling is an aerodynamic condition of angle of attack being exceeded or insufficient airflow over flight surfaces, not fuel starvation, which is the condition being addressed. (00:11:30 - 00:12:30)
Factual error: The training scene where Cappy and Doug are doing target practice is all wrong. First of all, an F-16 would never be able to launch missiles at a cloth target on the ground. Those targets are for gun practice. Secondly, the MK-82 is a BOMB, not a missile as the movie shows. Also in order to drop a bomb, the pilot must use a computerized inertial pipper which calculates the precise drop zone. There is no way the absence of Doug's music could "mess up his rhythm" on the practice drop.
Revealing mistake: If you pay close attention to the close up shots of Doug's F-16 dropping bombs or launching mavericks, you will notice that the fighter is a poorly detailed scale model of the real thing. In the scene where Doug drops the Hades, you will notice that he is actually a barely painted figurine and that he suddenly has no headrest/ejection chair.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Doug first approaches Chappy on the tarmac about helping to get his dad back, Chappy says he doesn't know Doug's Dad, but he knows the type. Later, after Chappy has agreed to help Doug rescue his dad in the restaurant, he relates a story about meeting Doug's dad in the simulator room at the Air Force Base and how Doug's dad took up for him during a misunderstanding with 2 other pilots.