Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 12:53 am

In Airplane!, the plane that takes off in the beginning is a Trans World plane, not Trans American, which is the airline in the movie. What are other mistakes you have seen?

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 12:59 am

While I can't think of specific movies, I have seen scenes in movies before that show a 747 taking off, 727 in flight, and a DC-10 landing for a flight scene.

Are movie producers, or worse the general public, that naive? 
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 2:27 am

Some weeks ago I saw a movie, in which a B757, with the engines on the wing   could be seen thru the whole movie, but after landing it amazingly became a Caravelle (you know, one of them with the engines at the rear end of the fuselage  ) .

No comment about film makers

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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 2:48 am

This might be kinda stupid, But we should form a group, and try to make an Aviation Movie, or something.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 2:57 am

Since I live next door to a 15 screen movie theater, movies have become another hobby of mine. I average a little over 100 movies a year in the theater and write movie reviews for fun. I get annoyed when directors mess up a whole airline sequence. Almost every movie there is a mistake here and there on this topic. Most recently is the movie "Boys and Girls". In the very opening minutes of the movie the main characters are on a narrow bodied aircraft that is set almost 12 years ago. The plane they are on has the seats of American Airlines while in the background you can see many Northwest Airlines aircrft in the background in the new colors. Once the plane takes off its a TWA 747. At the end of the movie there is a fake airline all together. Its a 737-300 painted just like Southwest, but with a big logo on the tail and no red underside. I think they called it Southwestern but I am not really sure.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 3:16 am

a little more subtle, but I get a kick out of some movies where they show the cabin of a 737 (3x3 seats) and from the outside a 747 in flight (3x4x3 seats).
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 3:26 am

Back around 1980-1981 when the TV show "Dallas" was popular, an episode had JR flying to South America to try to find Jocks body. He was seated in first class, then the next scene was a plane taking off - a Southwest Airlines jet.


Sat Jul 08, 2000 3:53 am

I think that is a movie called "Tommy Boy" with Chris Farley and David Spade. But I think it shows a 747 at the gate, a DC-10 taking off, and a 727 in flight, I can't remember.

As for this topic, mistakes on aviation movies happens a lot when they make a 747-200 aircraft have the cockpit of the 744. Most of the time, the 744 cockpit doesn't look that real! On MI 2 (Mission Impossible 2), they got it right, it was a 744 and a very realistic 744 cockpit. These are some of the movies that have made the "742 aircraft/744 cockpit" mistake:

Executive Decision
Air Force One
Nowhere to Land (TV movie)

Can anyone name some more??


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Air Force One...

Sat Jul 08, 2000 4:26 am

This must have been one of the most rediculous movies ever, lost all respect for Harrison Ford. I have explained this one scene before in another post, but when the President successfully gets his aircraft in control again they supposedly fly back to Turkey (westward), but the scene shows the aircraft flying eastward...anyway, these producers should not be paid what they are getting for not doing their homework...just ask one of us for support for crying out loud!!!


RE: Liar Liar

Sat Jul 08, 2000 4:28 am

In the movie Liar Liar they got it right.

They used a Tower Air (no longer with us & thank god!!!) 747-200. When Jim Carey climbed the stairs while the plane was running to see his son the seating arrangement was that of a 747. It was the his son in the window, the mom in the middle seat and the mom's boyfried in the other seat. 3x4x3!!!

RE: Liar Liar

Sat Jul 08, 2000 4:33 am

They also got the cockpit right. I think the producers of the movie payed Tower Air to shoot some scenes of the interior and the cockpit of the plane. When Jim Carrey drove the stairs in front of one of the 747's engines, wouldn't the engine suck him into it??



RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 4:37 am

One of my favorites is in "The Peacemaker" starring George Clooney & Nicole Kidman, when the terrorist arrives in NY, you see a 2-3-2 767 interior, and he walks off of a 727!
Another one is in "The Brady Bunch Movie" when the Bradys are headed for Hawaii- the plane has the interior of a 747 (3-4-3), and the exterior of a DC-9. Argh!
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"Medusa's Child"

Sat Jul 08, 2000 4:45 am

Medusa's Child: Crappy little film about some nuclear bomb.
1) Anyway they used an ex-united 732 as the freight aircraft and named the airline something else.
2)They used a 727 cockpit for the 732. It was clearly visable with 3 engine fire handles and the absolute biggest cock-up, a flight engineers panel (which 732's don't have!)
3)Air Force One: No the cockpit for Air Force One was right they do have a 744 panel (looked more like a 777 panel)
4)Ever seen a plane skid off the runway like that ! Give me a brake

RE: "Medusa's Child"

Sat Jul 08, 2000 4:59 am

Did you know the 737-200 used in that film is flying for Royal Airlines. On "Flight In The Cockpit 22" the pilots talk about this movie, the flight is on the same plane used in the movie. Get FITC 22 and you'll see, it's pretty interesting.


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The Most Repeated - 747-400 Flight Deck - 747-200

Sat Jul 08, 2000 5:02 am

The most repeated is the flight deck orientation. They show you a 747-200 in the whole movie and the flight deck will consist of only 2 pilots and glass cockpit  . However, in Airforce 1, it was some what close to reality. Airforce 1 has glas cockpit as it is made especially for presidential trips.

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 5:32 am

Have a look at;

They go through a load of films, review them and point out the mistakes.

Typical move involving an aircraft:
B747 waithing at the gate.
Stars board an L1011 interior mock up, pilots sit at the controls of a 767
Pushback - shot of a 737 being pushed back from the gate
Back to the 747 - shot of a 747 on takeoff roll but cuts straight to B707 gear retracting after rotation

I suppose we just notice things more than most people!

RE: The Most Repeated - 747-400 Flight Deck - 747-200

Sat Jul 08, 2000 5:41 am

Air Force One does not have a glass cockpit. I watched tons of shows about it. 4 pilots work in the cockpit of AFO:


They built a navigator station for Air Force One behind the captain's seat, it's not on normal 747-200's. The Cockpit itself is just like a normal 747-200 (except for Navigator station). One show about AFO showed a picture taken of the cockpit in 1998. It was a 747-200 cockpit and nothing else.


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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 7:46 am

I watched Turbulence II this weekend, and I wished I didn't.

1. The seating configuration was 2x4x2 in coach, but they were supposedly on a 747-100.

2. The flight deck was apparently created for the film, since no 747 has a big, red, AUTOPILOT DISENGAGED button and as far as I know, there is no control for Airfones in the cockpit. Also, a 742 has 3 flight crew, not two

3. The upper deck was clearly that of a 747-200SUD/747-300/747-400, but outside shots showed it to be a 747 "Classic".

4. There is no large "communications bay" in the bottom of the airplane, and if there was, this belonged on Boeing Stratocruiser, not a 747. It was way too big to be modern.

5. There is no ILS system access panel in the the cockpit of the plane, but there was in this debacle.

6. In flight, when the hijacker was throwing the litigator out the door, the door he opened was that of a 707/727/737 series, and definitely not that of a 747. It was a single lane slide!

7. When they landed the plane, the airport was obviously LAX, but they were supposed to be landing at Seattle-Tacoma. At least they called it Sea-Tac like we do.

8. When they were leaving the aircraft, it was a narrowbody airplane sitting there, either a 737-400 or -800, in a totally different livery than was showed on the inflight shots.

9. As they were deplaning, the 727 door was there again.

If you want to see a good, almost mistake-free airplane movie, watch either Airport '75 or Miracle Landing. Those allow me and my wife to watch an airplane movie in peace.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 8:09 am

I remember an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man when Col. Steve Austin departed Andrews AFB in an F-4 and arrived back at Andrews a short time later in an F-104, however the arrival footage was actually of Edwards AFB, some 3000 miles away.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 8:22 am

I watched Turbulence 2 also I noticed the interior looked like the interior of a United airlines plane. I think they used scenes from the first Turbulence movie.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 8:47 am

Not necessarily an "aviation" mistake, but...
in "Dogma" (latest Kevin Smith movie) the two fallen angels are supposed to be in an airport in Minnesota but it is quite obvious to anyone who's been through Pittsburgh that the filming took place at PIT! (Moving sidewalks among shop-lined concourses, nothing but USAirways in the background)...

I'm going to watch "Ground Control" this weekend... For all you U.S. residents, it'll be on NBC but I'm not sure if it's tomorrow or Sunday night (7/8 or 7/9). Let's see what holes we can punch in Kiefer Sutherland's little save-the-day bit!  
Up, up and away!
Matt D
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 8:48 am

In the movie "Home Alone", when they are supposedly stuck in Paris trying to get back to Chicago, you can clearly see the tail of an Eastern 727 in the background....Eastern 727's in CDG or ORY? I don't think so.....

Also, in the movie "8 Heads In A Duffel Bag" Joe Pesci is shown to be flying out of Newark on TriStar airlines....on a widebody. Unfortunately TriStar only flew BAe 146's on short hops out of LAS.

Later in the same movie, when the Charlie is with his girlfriend meeting her parents in the parking lot of "San Diego", anyone who's been to SoCal can quite easily tell that that shot is in fact of SNA.

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 8:51 am

The AirForce One glass cockpit is indeed correct. Another mistake I have noticed a couple of times is that they have actually painted or computer generated the AF1 scheme on a standard 747-200 or 100. What usually gives it away is the JT9D Pratts instead of the PW4000s (or maybe they are CF6-80s) on AF1. I think this problem exists in "Air Force One" and I even saw it last night on a new NBC program staring Martin Sheen.

Being in the video business, I can tell you there ain't alot of useful stock footage around for use in movies. Film is very expensive to shoot and spending a bunch of money having your leased 747/L1011/DC10 do a bunch of takeoff and landings can get very expensive. So, why not just rely on stock footage. Unfortunately, they believe there money is better spent on having two more exposions or whatever than aviation accuracy! As graphics tools are becoming cheaper and better, I think things can look a little better and more accurate straight from the other words, instead of using a real aircraft, just create one in post production. To see what I mean, check out this awesome little 5 minute movie made by some computer graphics guys in LA with low-end computer equipment and virtually no money.

It is hard to believe the AA DC10 and the Jeep Cherokee are actually computer graphics. You may need a fast connection and a QuickTime or Real Player, but WELL worth the download.



Sat Jul 08, 2000 8:53 am

Actually, Dogma was supposed to be at Milwaukee and thats exactly where it was shot.
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RE: Dogma

Sat Jul 08, 2000 9:00 am

Really? Coulda fooled me... (I guess it did)... Still looked a lot like PIT. Why no MidEx?
Up, up and away!
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 10:18 am

Did anyone notice that in the movie Airplane that they were saying they were flying a 767....but when it showed it in the was a 707. The interior was also wrong for a 767. It was still a good movie though!  
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E-4(B747-200 Advanced)

Sat Jul 08, 2000 10:37 am

Sorry Kevin, the B747's that operate as AF One do have a form of glass... The ADI and HSI are presented on glass in these aircraft, different from full EFIS displays...
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:04 am

Can anyone tell me what airport was used in "Tommy Boy"? It looks like Cleveland, or Minneapolis

RE: Aviation Mistakes

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:09 am

In Airplane!, I remember them playing a prop sound while showing a 707 exterior. I don't know if the directors meant to do these mistakes or not. Either way its still a hillarious flick.
Also, in Tommy Boy, when Chris Farley's girlfriend is in the Sandusky, OH airport, there are British Airways planes at the gates. I didn't know they flew there!
I remember Passenger 57 to be pretty correct... and I can't think of anyother movies now.

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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:19 am

Air Force One has so many continuity mistakes it takes your breath away, but the most absurd is that the 747 is so badly damaged, it can't land. Oh yeah? But it can fly in tight formation with a Hercules, and a seatbelt around the yoke will keep it in position after the cockpit has been abandoned? Harrison Ford used to be really cool, and now he puts his name to this shit.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz

RE: Skyteam

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:34 am

SKYTEAM, the movie Tommy Boy was filmed in Canada. I do not know where exaclty in Canada, but if you were to watch the credits they would probably tell you.

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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:57 am

In lethal weapon, Mel is drivin along the road. You can see a delta plane fly over him, then all of a sudden it's and american airlines. hmmmmmmmm........

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 12:55 pm

In executive decision, the commandos were crawling above the cabin where the cables were. I really don't think the real aircraft has any open space a man can fit through up there.

ATL Traveller
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 1:47 pm

It's been a while since I've seen the movie, so I don't remember the exact aircraft, but not long into "The Usual Suspects" starring Kevin Spacey, there's a scene where a plane is lading towards the camera that obviously has four engines. The very next shot after the plane has flown over the camera and is now heading away from it, it only has two engines.

RE: Dogma Correction

Sat Jul 08, 2000 2:18 pm

Hey Wishihadalife,
Dogma was indeed filmed at PIT. Obviously.
Wishihadaclue, eh?

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sat Jul 08, 2000 3:17 pm

In Commando (1985), how in the hell did Arnold Schwartzenegger get off that plane (DC-10)! From the cabin, after killing his abductor, he went down to the cargo hold, then to the landing gear wheel-well, then jumped off while the plane was rotating...It's impossible, but his Arnold--he can do anything.  
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 2:28 am

In the movie "The Wedding Singer," the exterior of the plane was an A320 but the interior of the plane had a 2-4-2 seating arrangement. Also, if the film took place in the 80's how come the plane was an A320? As far as I know, that plane wasn't built until fairly recently!
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:16 am

Austin Powers had his private 747 during the sixties. The 747 did not enter service until 1970.
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RE: The Most Repeated - 747-400 Flight Deck - 747-200

Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:19 am

Thanks for the information B-747-400. I appreciate that.

Home Alone 2

Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:42 am

In Home Alone Two, when Kevin boards the wrong plane, its an American 747. You can tell this when the Gate Agent shuts the door, while the F/A makes an Announcement. But, when Kevin is seated, its a 767 Interior, and the exterior is a 767 "Luxary Jet". Also, his parents are shown in F/C on an AA 747, as the door reveals it. I would think the 767 has 3 seats in the middle, so Kevin was on a 767.

United 707

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 4:10 am

In The Out of Towners(1990's; Steve Martin), the plane they fly to NY has a 767 int., but it looks like a 757 on the outside shot of it taking off.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 4:41 am

In the movie 'North' when he flies to Alaska he lands in a 737 but when he goes up to the cockpit there is a three-man crew - looks like a 727 cockpit actually.

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 5:22 am

In "Beverly Hills Ninja" with Chris Farley, it show a KLM 747-400 taking off from a front view. When it shows the inside of the plane, it looks pretty much like a 747, but it definetly wasn't KLM. Also, has anybody noticed that most every movie that shows the interior of the plane during flight, you can't hear the engine at all. On Home Alone, man, that DC-10 sure is quiet. heheh



RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 6:21 am

One classic mistake that has so far not had a mention is when a 707 or DC8 takes off.

Later comes the underbelly shot of the gear for the landing.

Hey-Ho! 8 wheels have become 16 ala 747.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 7:05 am

What I always notice is when you see the pax boarding, the door and door frame never has any door stops to take the pressurisation loads.

I don't know what a/c was in Executive Decision, but there is plenty of room above the ceiling on a 747. I was up there only last Sunday.

On DC10 you can get from the avionics compartment into the nosegear bayl.

RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 3:25 pm

in six days seven nights

the island they go to is supposed to be tahiti, whose national airline is air tahiti nui, yet the only airline i saw at tahiti was aloha's B737-200, and they supposedly flew to NYC on one of those things from tahiti which is impossible!!!

has anyone else seen the movie???
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 4:15 pm

In Pandora's Clock (TV Movie), I have noticed two errors.
1. The CIA was going to make a 742 land in an abandoned soviet airbase with a runway length of only 1300 metres!
2. The captain says "Kill the position lights and the strobe". It shows the co-pilot doing it but when the plane goes down, the lights are on!

In "Pax 57", the stewardess says "This is a Jumbo Jet!". WRONG, it's a Lockheed L-1011, not a 747.

The engines on Air Force One are different. The real one does NOT have a cone at the end of the engine.
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 5:34 pm

"Montreal-marco" - the 737-200 in Six Days Seven Nights is announced in Tahiti as being for 'Honolulu, Oakland and New York.' (in French and English) While the Oakland-New York part is not served by Aloha, the rest of the route is.

"Pacific" - all widebody jets could be referred to as 'jumbos' - but the 747 is THE Jumbo.

"MD-11Nut" - there is a lot of space between the fuselage and the cabin ceiling in a Boeing 747. So much so infact, that on a smaller diameter aircraft, the 777, they are thinking of putting crew-rests up there, admittedly with lower-than-average ceilings.

In "Medusa's Child" the whole point of the film is that the guy whose airline it is has a best friend who is a Flight Engineer, so just for him he installs an unnecessary Flight Engineer panel. Admittedly it's pretty lame. And the livery on the aircraft looked remarkably similar to that of Canadian Airlines International. (it even had the > on the tail.)

In "Airplane" all the mistakes that are there are intentional - especially the Prop sound. Contrary to public perception, when you engage the autopilot, there is no inflatable man that suddely appears in the First Officer's seat.

And for what it's worth, "Ground Control" is one of the worst films out. If it were supposed to be a spoof, then indeed it would be OK. But it's supposed to be serious, taking away anything it ever had going for it.

In "Turbulence" - somehow I don't think any airline with any thought to safety (or to what the FAA might say, especially with four Federal Marshalls on the aircraft) would allow itself to put Christmas decorations all around the cabin of a 747-400. The interior of the plane is always a 747-400, with the SUD, but the exterior is the same plane in the same livery (ex JAL) that was used in Executive Decision.

Just a few. Many more that I can't think of right now...


N 8 6 3 D A
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RE: Aviation Mistakes In Movies.

Sun Jul 09, 2000 9:24 pm

Incorrect Cabin/Plane combination have happened on "Murder, She Wrote" - both the movies and the TV shows. My favorite is Jessica boarding a 747 in Maine (3x4x3 in coach, she was in first class) and landing in California in a Southwest 737-200 (which I don't believe has a first class at all).


Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:58 am

In Turbulence, the livery was a TCA (Transcon Airlines) ex-JAL 747-200. In Executive Decision, a completey different one was used, Oceanic. The same exact livery from Executive Decision was used in the TV movie, "Nowhere to Land". In fact, some scenes from Executive Decision were put on that movie! What a cheap show.



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