Cranky on the Web: Airplane Movie Mistakes

Cranky on the Web

When movies make airplane fanatics cringeSFGate
This should probably be titled “stuff that 99 percent of people in the world don’t care about,” but I was more than happy to comment for the story about movie mistakes. For all of us that know what’s going on, it does get annoying to see simple mistakes. You have any favorites?

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15 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Airplane Movie Mistakes

  1. Mostly I let them slide. But it does make me cringe when they show an MD-80 taking off, cut to the inside scene and it has two isles inside. And then in-flight/landing shot is of an extinct DC-10.

    Or when a US aircraft reg is something like seven characters.

  2. Enjoyed your comments about airplane movie mistakes.  Having worked for a major airline for 35 years, I find it extremely annoying when TV “news” personalities discuss and criticize airlines when it is obvious to me they do not have a clue what they are talking about.

  3. On the other side, Airplane! Best. Movie. Ever. Arguing over the loading and unloading zones, checking under the hood, shifting gears on takeoff, piston engine sounds on a B707, crash position, Kareem, Otto, can’t top that movie.

  4. I used to watch the TV show “Dynasty”. They would often show the characters flying private biz-jetsl like Gulfstreams or Learjets that were as wide (inside) as a 727.

  5. I recently watched Up in the Air on a Swiss flight, and was shocked to see all these unmarked MDs and other aircraft, with blue and green (!) cheatlines. Somebody went through the entire movie and stripped away any sign of American Airlines (Hilton and Hertz remained fully promoted). This gives a new perspective on the meaning of “edited for viewing on airplanes”. Is there also a Hilton-less version for showing in Marriott hotels?

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place in 1969 and features Pan Am 747s, which only entered service in 1970. (It also shows an exit number on an L.A. freeway sign; California only started numbering freeway exits in the 2000s.)

  6. In “Goodfellas” there’s a scene that is supposed to depict Idlewild airport in 1963 (before it was renamed JFK Airport). It prominently features a Boeing 747 in flight… a couple years before the 747 was even conceived.

  7. Bridesmaids…..a wide body from MKE to LAS and diverts to CPR where there is a United 727 in the background with the orange, red, and blue paint scheme. My geek ass checked to see if UA had ever flown a 727 into CPR anyway.

    1. Wedding Singer, similar theme – interior twin aisle, staircase in business/first (ie shite old 747), exterior US Air A320. I’m sure Billy Idol doesn’t endorse love ballads in real life, either.

  8. Cringe-worthy scenes are not limited to aviation. Any enthusiast can tell you there interest was inaccurately portrayed on film/television. I could list a bunch from my hobbies, and my wife could cite a whole bunch from the medical field, but the one closest to aviation I can think of is “The Martian”. The NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory offices are portrayed way nicer than they actually are. The lobby shot was obviously a very nice office building somewhere, not in any of JPL’s building lobbies.

  9. For most of us #avgeeks, there are way too many movie errors for us to mention. I rarely go to airplane movies, because I spend most of my time being irritated by all the errors, and I miss the plot. What I found more annoying in this article is the question posed in the second paragraph “…employ airline experts, like pilots and flight attendants…” What makes a pilot or FA an airline expert? That’s like saying “I drive a car, therefore, I’m an automotive expert.”

    Just because one is a pilot or FA (and many of us who follow you are one or both), one is not an expert about “everything aviation.” To be an expert, one must have formal and hands-on education, training, and experience, and be in a position of authority where the area of expertise is honed.

  10. There’s a cheesy made-for-TV movie of the Gimli Glider, starring William Devane, and as they approach Gimli on the final approach, the camera zooms in on the altimeter counting down to zero, despite the fact that YGM is about 750′ ASL.

    Altimeters counting to zero is a pretty common mistake in movies/news/etc. I saw a news report last week of the flight path of Ukrainian 752, which had a chart showing the climb from 0 to 8000ft, despite IKA being at 3000′ to start with. Drives me crazy every time.

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