Die Hard 2

Factual error: In circling over Washington Dulles, a plane would fly over several airports that they could land at with perfect communication, including Richmond, Baltimore, Andrews AFB, etc. Also, there is no communication from the airport to the plane but the plane would be in range of no fewer than 15 transmitting stations that could have relayed messages.

Plot hole: The only reason the terrorists' plot can work is that the airports around Dulles are all closed to landings because of the violent snowstorm. If there were no storm, the pilots of the airliners in the holding pattern would simply divert to nearby airports when they started running low on fuel. If they were able to do that, the whole plot would simply fall apart. How were the terrorists able to count on the storm happening on the very day General Esperanza's flight was due to land? They didn't have any influence over the date of his flight. How did they know the storm would be so bad that all airports would be closed - except Dulles? I don't think they had any way of predicting the weather quite that accurately, and If the storm hadn't hit or had been even slightly less severe the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternate landing sites, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down as soon as they knew Esperanza had killed the pilot and taken over the flight.

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Suggested correction: The terrorists in the film planned extensively for this operation, but the storm occurring may have just been a coincidence for them. They may also have had the plan waiting for a perfect opportunity, like a snowstorm. In the beginning of the movie, there's a news story on while the Colonel is exercising nude. The story says Esperanza's extradition has been long and drawn out, until a phone call from..." and he cuts the TV off. Given his connections, Colonel Stewart may well have been able to arrange a State Department call the week of a predicted snow storm. Esperanza's adherents may also have been able. Another scenario they may have had is to take the Air Traffic Controllers hostage (as they did) and have the other aircraft diverted for a supposed emergency, but the snowstorm worked out. Whatever the case, that element of the plot is an interesting discussion, not a mistake.

If the storm hadn't hit the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternates, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on the Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down.

Die Hard 2 mistake picture

Factual error: The payphone McClane uses in Dulles airport has the "Pacific Bell" logo. Pacific Bell is a West Coast phone company. (00:04:20)

More mistakes in Die Hard 2


Trivia: The film is based on a book called "58 Minutes" by Walter Wager. In the book, it is the hero's young daughter, not his wife, that is on one of the planes.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: Producers of the movie were concerned that actual terrorists could use the information in the film to disrupt airport/airplane communications in real life. Most of the "sensitive" information in the film is not only wrong, it is purposely misleading to prevent terrorists from attempting what we see in the movie.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: In March 1993, the Boeing 747-100 cargo aeroplane featured in this film (registration N473EV) was involved in an incident at Anchorage International Airport, Alaska, USA. Shortly after take-off the plane experienced troubles due to severe weather and the number two engine separated from the plane. Strangely enough, the number two engine is what "ingested" Major Grant after the encounter with McClane on the wing. The plane managed to land safely after this incident with no injuries.

Shaun Ewing

More trivia for Die Hard 2


Gen. Esperanza: Freedom.
[John McClane appears and punches him in the face.]
John McClane: Not yet.

John McClane: Hey Carmine, let me ask you a question. When you go through the airport metal detector, what sets it off first? The lead in your ass or the shit in your brains?


Question: Just watched "Die Hard 2" for the ten-thousandth time. Finally occurred to me, WHY would a pilot use a burning plane crash as a landing light? "Oh, there's a burning plane crash down there! Must be a good place to land!" As far as I know, all air traffic is diverted to other airports when an aircraft crashes.

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: The trail of fire from McClane lighting the jet fuel creates a visual marker that the pilots can aim for. Not the best situation, however, considering that they're low on fuel and that one other plane has crashed that evening already, the pilots decided to settle for the less-than-ideal method of guiding their planes in.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Question: Why was McClane introduced in the first Die Hard movie as a New York badge, and in the second Die Hard movie as a L.A. badge? Then in the third Die Hard movie, he's again a New York cop.

Chosen answer: In the first movie he's a New York cop visiting his wife. In the second Die Hard, he tells the airport officer that he's LAPD and moved there because of his wife's job. In the third Die Hard film, he most likely went back to New York because of marital problems and became a New York cop again.

Question: Why were the two bad guys in the luggage room in the beginning?

Chosen answer: They were placing devices that monitored the radio and phone chatter at the airport. That is why the "bad guys" always knew what the "good guys" were up to. I say devices becuase they placed two devices as the "decoy" one is found later by one of the soldiers.

XIII

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