The Captain is hailed as an extraordinary pilot who manages to save an aircraft that "not many pilots could save". However, at the time of the initial engine failure, he takes absolutely no action to shut down the engine or to feather the propeller.
When speaking to Elliot, Captain Towns refers to the engine as having "more than 2,000 pounds of thrust". The C-119 has reciprocating radial engines, which are not rated in pounds of thrust as jet engines are. The C-119 had either the Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20 engine producing 3,500 Horsepower, or the Wright Cyclone 3350-85 engine producing 2,500 horsepower. No professional pilot would confuse the two.
As they are taxiing for take off they go through the checklist and go through the windows, hatches and doors and announce that they are all closed and secured. In the next shot from outside the airplane all the windows in the cockpit are wide open.
About halfway through the film, when Rady is telling the cook, Sammi, a joke about a Rabbi and a Priest, a crew member is clearly visible walking up and standing behind some webbing to the left of the screen (inside the plane).
The sands and the mountains shown around the crash site setting of the film clearly indicate that it is not being filmed in the Gobi Desert. Additionally, the nighttime weather and temperatures are not as they would in the northerly Gobi, which is located between the 43th and 45th parallels, placing it north of Vancouver, BC.
The Gobi is a mostly an exposed rock, and not a sandy, desert. And, with a few exceptions, it is also relatively flat.
If the "nomads" / arms dealers had been using the crash victim's body for target practice (as suggested by the captain), the spent shells would have been found near where the shooters had been standing - not near the body as depicted in the film.
When the rear cargo doors come off after hitting the terrain, the contents of the cabin, as well as a passenger, are shown to be violently 'sucked out'. The aircraft is not pressurized, so this could not be due to a great pressure differential between the cabin and the outside atmosphere. The mere fact that the door is open does not create a massive suction or draft, as is evident by military cargo and paratroop drops made from rear exit aircraft. Thus, while it might get noisy, and things might get shaken out, they would not get sucked out in this manner.
Though the C-119 used in this film is a direct descendant of the C-82 used in the original, the engines of the C-119 were started by power from an APU, not using the Coffman cartridge start system of the original.
The pistol used to shoot Rodney is a Webley Mk IV chambered in .38 S&W, one of the most anemic service rounds ever foisted on an unwilling army (by the British). There is absolutely no way it would cause a full-grown man to fly back fifteen feet as is depicted in this film. (There are documented cases of it failing to penetrate military greatcoats at even closer ranges.)
Elliott clearly murders the nomads in the film. While the crew was seriously troubled this at the time, they would also be very troubled later when the remains of the nomads were discovered and they would be subject to prosecution under Mongolian or Chinese law.
He certainly wouldn't have become famous after the rescue as the film indicates.
If the outside surface wind were indeed between seventy and one-hundred miles per hour as stated, the C-119 would almost be at a standstill at touchdown. Even with a relatively greater than normal airspeed speed, the wind the aircraft is facing into would reduce the planes groundspeed by that amount. In spite of this massive wind, the aircraft touches down at a high rate of speed and slides along for a considerable distance.
When the left engine fails, the torque gauge falls well below zero instead of stopping on it. A short time later, the hydraulic gauge is shown also to drop below zero, and actually spins down below the 4000 and 3000 PSI marks.
After the storm caused the aircraft to go inverted. Frank brought it to upright. As he did this a quick view of the artificial horizon showed it nearly wings level. The instrument in a C-119 would not do this. On older aircraft the gyro in the artificial horizon "tumbles" with the degree of roll exceeding 70 degrees of roll and the line in the horizon would end up in either the upper right or left corners of the instrument face. It would not in any case show a near wings-level attitude.
When I leave my car out on a fairly sunny day, the metal parts of the seatbelt and the outside of the car become very hot. The temperatures and sunlight in this condition is nowhere near that of the Gobi Desert. There is no way they would be touching and sitting on the metal plane that had been sitting in the desert exposed to the blazing sun for weeks.
During Towns' conversation with A.J. he talks about finding Liddell in the desert and how there were shell casings around the body giving it the appearance as though someone were using it as "target practice". If this were true the casings would be elsewhere: if they were having target practice the casings would fall near the shooter, not near the target.
Early in the crash sequence, the plane is doing barrel-rolls. A.J.'s unconscious body, which is unsecured, should have been rolling around. His body can been seen unmoving lying in the same spot even after other loose items have been thrown around.
After the crash when Kelly is resting on the side of a sand dune and hears two shots behind her, it is still daytime. When the others take a look, it is nighttime as you can see some stars behind them in the sky and of course the darkness about them. They seemed to be eager to go, yet it couldn't have taken them that long to get up there. They had to wait until dark to watch with their binoculars. In sunlight, the glare off the lens of the binoculars would give their position away.
When Rodney gets shot it's still nighttime, yet when they bring him back to the plane afterward it's like midday.
The plane not arriving would have provoked a search. While it would have been difficult and treacherous, the Gobi Desert is the location of several highly classified Chinese military installations, meaning that discovering the location and disposition of any aircraft that disappeared from radar would have been paramount.
Simply sitting and waiting would have been enough to get the group rescued.