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Air Force One (1997) Poster

(1997)

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Col. Carlton is telling Marshal how bad the damage is, his mouth under the mask is still moving after he has finished speaking.

Character error 

Both the Russian and the American presidents speak Polish instead of Russian as do some of the Russian kidnappers.
President Marshall says in Russian: "He's dead, help," to fool one of Russian hijackers. His accent is terrible and would never fool a Russian speaker.
The Air Force One pilot on the ground says that there is no automatic landing capability on the aircraft. All 747s have the capability to land on auto pilot. Later model 747s and every 757, 767 and 777 also has semi-auto takeoff.
One of the MIG pilots makes a sound of surprise just before a missile hits the plane yet they would have been warned by their instrument systems that a lock-on had occurred and that missiles were on their way.
Asking a person with no parachute experience to jump in these conditions might be more dangerous than staying on the plane. If the canopy does not rip apart (as someone already noted), they are jumping at night with only moonlight into unfamiliar terrain that might have wires, rocks, trees, water, fences, as well as the ground itself that they do not know how to land on even in bright sunshine.
At one point Glenn Close's character tells Air Force one that there are 6 MIGs on its tail. All this from a moving red dot on a screen. How did she know the number?

Continuity 

The President's daughter's hair changes color between the opening and subsequent scenes.
When the pilot being threatened reaches across and pulls the lever down, he is engaging the spoilers on the wing. In the following external shot, the spoilers aren't deployed.
Disappearing/reappearing bullet holes in the hostage room.
When President Marshall fights with the terrorist in the room with the football game on TV, the stool is lying down, then it is standing up, then it is lying down again.
Jürgen Prochnow plays General Ivan Radek, yet he is credited as "General Alexander Radek".
When the terrorist fires at the toilets, the bullet spray on the back wall of the second toilet (that he opens) is different from the spray on the door.
When President Marshall tries to enter the conference room with the keys he got from one of the terrorists, he gets shot and there are bullet holes on the door. But somehow these bullet holes are missing in the next conference room scene when Ivan comes to threaten and shoot the National Security Adviser.
During the attempted landing at Ramstein, the wing flaps are either deployed or retracted between scenes.
When Korshunov kills the National Security Adviser and takes the first lady and the daughter from the conference room, the daughter is wearing a dark gray long sleeved shirt. In the next scene when he is tying her up, she is wearing a white button up collared shirt.
During the emergency landing the plane descends rapidly, however nearly every shot of the interior of the the plane shows everything level.
The handguard of the H&K MP5A3 that the president has, changes from the old slim type to the new wide type after the scene when the terrorists are shooting through the toilet doors.
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In the scene where Ivan and Horace are in the cockpit yelling at the pilots to take the plane back up, Ivan shoots one of them in the back of the neck. Then he puts the gun to the other pilot's head and says that if he doesn't get the plane back in the air, he will die. In the next shot, when Ivan shoots him, the gun is pointed at his middle back.
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When the president is flying the plane he locks a heading of 290 into the autopilot. Shortly afterward the Mig following directly has a head up display showing a heading of 270.
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Throughout the film, the dead bodies of some of the executed hostages disappear.
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Papers in President Marshall's hand in the conference room.
When they are in the war room talking waiting on the news that the President wasn't in the war room, the camera is panning to the left. Before the camera passed by the Defense Secretary there is a general talking to someone in the background as the camera passed to the left of the Defense Secretary the stand in that was talking to the general mysteriously disappears. They apparently stopped filming during that time and forgot to put the stand in back in place.

Errors in geography 

The F-15s launched from Ramstein, Germany have "EG" tail markings, which means they are from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Aircraft assigned to Ramstein have tail markings "RS." Also, Ramstein does not have fighter aircraft. The nearest US fighter bases in Europe are in Spangdahlem, Germany; Aviano, Italy; or Incirlik, Turkey.
The base at which the pilots attempt to land after the hijacking is identified as "Ramstein Air Force Base". The actual name is "Ramstein Air Base"; "Air Force Base" is only used for installations in the United States.

Factual errors 

On International flights, the pilots of Air Force One wear civilian clothing, NOT military or pilot uniforms.
When the President opens the panel to short the wires to dump fuel, the wires are all different colors. All aircraft use white wires with printed numbers and letters to identify the circuit.
Major Caldwell remarks that he cannot fly a plane, yet he clearly wears Command Pilot wings on his shirt. To be able to rate the wings, Caldwell would have had to be a military pilot for at least 15 years, with at least 3000 flight hours. Even if he was not rated for multi-engine aircraft like AF1, he would have definitely been more qualified to fly the aircraft than Marshall, whose experience is limited to helicopters and small single-engine aircraft from a period dating to the Vietnam War.
Members of the Soviet/Russian Army are prohibited to have a beard by military regulations.
Members of the Russian Army only salute with a hand when wearing hats.
During the refueling scene when AF1 breaks away fuel is seen spraying out of the boom of the KC-10. The fuel ignites and the flame travels up the boom and blows up the KC-10. Onboard the KC-10 there is a Boom Operator who monitors and has full control of the fuel that the tanker is receiving or giving at all times and also flies the boom. The Boom Operator would have raised the boom as soon as AF1 broke away and cut off the fuel supply long before the fuel could ignite.
C4 cannot be detonated by shooting it, as it is a relatively stable explosive. The terrorists would have had to use detonating cords or a blasting cap in order to blow open the cockpit door.
On the large wall map, Volgograd is misspelled as Volograd.
The in-flight refueling hardware on the real Air Force One makes a bulge visible below the cockpit window. The Boeing 747 used in the film lacks this bulge. There are numerous other differences between the plane depicted in the movie and the real Air Force One. See also the trivia entry.
Jumping out of a plane at 200 knots and immediately opening a parachute of the kind in the movie is probably going to break the sail, yet only clean openings are shown.
As the aircraft swerves about the aerodrome and goes to take-off again the terrorists do nothing about the flaps (set at 30 degrees for landing). The increased drag caused by the flaps at this setting wouldn't allow the aircraft to take off at all, let alone take off in such a short distance.
When Air Force One is told to change the heading to take it out of Kazakhstan, they are told to turn the dial counterclockwise from 110 to 290, through 360. This would turn the aircraft left (as in the film), but the display takes it through 200, which would turn the aircraft right.
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Air Force One is instructed to change heading to 290. That is north of west and would take Air Force One away from the Caspian Sea. The aeroplane is clearly flying south of west towards the Caspian on a course close to 250.
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When Air Force One is on the ground at Ramstein, there is a cargo plane in its path but takes off narrowly missing it.The minimum take off distance is over 10,000 feet long, but the scale of the plane looks like only several hundred feet away. Also when AF-1 does take off there is a view from the plane looking down at the tarmac and the vehicles that were in pursuit the cargo plane is gone.
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The document in the folder to invoke the 25th amendment is actually just the text of the 25th amendment. Section 1 is listed accurately; however, Section 2 of the document is actually Section 4 of the amendment. Also, if this was an actual document invoking the 25th amendment, it would need to be signed by a majority of the cabinet. However, the names and signatures of Defense Secretary Walter Dean and Attorney General Andrew Ward would have been listed as they had indicated in the movie that they would both sign the document.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

None of the planes used as the real Air Force One have an escape pod. President Bill Clinton is said to have remarked on this detail half-jokingly after seeing the film at a White House screening. However, this obviously was a case of artistic license since the pod was used by the filmmakers to make a key plot twist.
Bullets fired by the President rip through the Kevlar vests with ease, because they are firing armor-piercing rounds.

Revealing mistakes 

When the President is hanging on the rope behind the MC-130, the aircraft's wing is visible through the President.
When Marshall and Korshunov are fighting, Korshunov presses Marshall's face against a panel of buttons which are obviously fake.
The same sound effect is used twice within about 10 seconds of each other. As the plane is first landing at Ramstein, there is a quick shot of the passengers falling all over the conference room, and you can hear a mans voice saying "Ahhh... Geez!" A few seconds later, as the plane is heading at the control tower and before the wing slices the tree, the exact same voice is heard saying the exact same thing, but this time it is supposed to be coming from the control tower.
At the end of the movie, when the Vice President picks up the signatures of the cabinet, her name is typed as "Katherine Bennett", but in the cast list, it is "Kathryn Bennett".
When one of the terrorists is using the portable keyboard aboard AF1, he just hits random keys and accidentally hits two keys at the same time, the actions of which on any computer produce conflicting commands and thus either no action or an error message, followed by an error tone.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

While the hostages are parachuting out of Air Force One and one of the terrorists tries to stop them as he looks through the door to the ramp, he inserts a can of compressed gas and shoots it to explode the door open, failing to see the "open" button nearby.

Continuity 

When Agent Gibbs shoots Major Caldwell, blood splashes on Gibbs's face and forehead. In the next shot when he struggles with the President, there is blood only on his right cheek and his forehead is clean.

Continuity 

After President Marshall retakes Air Force One, he is on a course of 180 degrees, or due south. He is then ordered by radio to turn to course 290 degrees, or west by northwest. The plane should have therefore banked right to course 290, and not left as it did, which would have taken it east towards a heading below 180 degrees.

Factual errors 

During the first "parajumper" transfer, someone can be heard giving directions to AF1. But as the disabled aircraft, it would have been struggling just to maintain course, altitude, and speed. Any corrections would have been made by the C-130.
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Factual errors 

By design, the external doors on modern jet aircraft cannot be opened during flight. Though the low altitude of the film's dramatic final rescue scene might permit opening the door (as the pressure differential holds it shut during flight), it still would not open outward as portrayed in the film and would instead need to be opened inward and swung out through the doorframe.

Factual errors 

Under the canopy of the F-15 pilot that informs the President of the damage to AF1's tail is the rank and name of the pilot. The pilot's rank is shown as "LTC" which is an Army abbreviation, not Air Force. The equivalent USAF rank is "LtCol".

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The name "parajumper" suggests that there is a parachute involved. Apparently, if this is the case, then why couldn't they bring parachutes over to Air Force One? Parajumpers, or PJs, are USAF Special Ops. Their primary mission is to rescue downed air crew behind enemy lines and in dangerous situations (the swimmers in the helicopter in A Perfect Storm were ANG PJs, for example). They are also the medics of choice for Spec ops missions, which is what they were doing with the strike force going to the Kazakh Air Base. I assume they didn't wear parachutes because they would interfere with the zip line harness.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The voice saying "Liberty 24 is changing call signs, Liberty 24 is now Air Force One." is not that of the Air Force para jumper at the back of the plane, but the C-130 pilot hence the appearance that the lip sync does not match.
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Plot holes 

The President of the United States has no authority over the President of Russia on a matter involving the conditions of a Russian prisoner in a Russian jail. The Russian President was doing the American President a personal favor by releasing Radek. Even if the 25th Amendment had been enacted and the Vice President became the Acting President, she would be in no position to overrule the President and order the Russian President not to release Radek, as he has no reason to obey her. While the Russian President could of course respect the new President's wishes, this would have nothing to do with her status under the 25th Amendment, which is what the film wrongly implies.

Revealing mistakes 

The Air Force One's crash into the Caspian Sea was created using CGI. The CGI splashes seem to have the horizon visible through them.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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