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Air Force One Movie: Hollywood vs Reality

the movie Air Force one came out in 1997
it’s a film where terrorists take over the US presidents Boeing 747 today I’m
going to do a Hollywood vs. reality on the film Air Force One get off my plane
coming up hey 74 crew welcome back if you
don’t know me my name is Kelsey I’m a 747 pilot my channel 74 gear is
all about aviation today I’m here in Anchorage Alaska as you can see the
backdrop of this video is actually really nice now I want to be clear I’ve
never been on Air Force One so there’s a few assumptions that I’m going to have
to make on a couple of topics one thing you should know is the Boeing 747 that
the president currently flies on is referred to as a classic it’s an older
generation an older model than what you see me flying that means it requires
three people on the flight deck you have a captain of copilot or first officer
and an engineer so the first scene you’re gonna see three people up there
and that third person is actually required to be there on the flight deck
to fly that aircraft the first thing I have the terrorists are actually already
on board Air Force One and are in the process of trying to take over the
aircraft let’s get into it bridges lock that door now flight control this is Air
Force One declaring emergency Ramstein Tower this is Air Force One
we are Air Force One landing runway 09 I repeat runway 09 one two who are you to land in this
first scene the main thing that is off is how the pilots and air traffic
control are communicating even in an emergency air traffic control is going
to be giving the pilots a heading and a direction and an altitude the pilots
generally aren’t going to be dictating I’m turning this heading and I’m going
to this altitude that’s generally not what’s gonna happen another thing the
pilot says is that it’s on a 10-mile dogleg a dogleg means you’re coming in
at a 45 degree angle to the angle of the runway in most cases we intercept on a
90 degree angle that’s called a base leg or were on a
very long final which means we’re just coming in straight to the runway so a
dogleg means you’re coming in at a 45 degree angle another thing that he says
is they’re coming in red hot I started laughing because no pilot would ever say
that and if someone said that all the other people would be making fun of him
all right let’s get back to the movie no matter what happens we land this
aircraft is that understood let me pause it here real quick because
he says he’s gonna land flaps 30 and there’s nothing wrong with that we land
either flaps 25 or 30 but you’re not gonna have someone select flaps 30 this
close to the runway usually you’re gonna land flaps 30 if you’re very heavy or
you’re on a short runway and you need to come on slower you would land flaps 25
probably in this scenario because you’re trying to land and get on the ground as
quickly as possible so selecting flaps 30 this close to the runway is not very
realistic also I mentioned earlier Air Force One is a Boeing 747 which is a
classic that classic addition means that the gauges the instruments that the
pilots looking at are round steam gauges they’re not the glass cockpit which is
the computer screens that you’re seeing here now it’s possible they’ve upgraded
the avionics or upgraded the instrumentation in the Boeing 747 but an
original classic that you generally hear people refer to doesn’t have this layout
of a cockpit and like I said I’ve never been on Air Force One but if there’s
someone out there that’s watching that can get me a tour…message me all right let’s get back to the movie now right before he shoots the first
officer the first officer reaches over and grabs a lever and pulls it down that
lever if it’s armed which it usually is be right before landing it automatically
deploys so there’s no reason that the first officer would need to pull that
usually that someone’s going to be armed and as soon as the wheels touch down
that speed brake is going to come back that’s gonna help push the aircraft on
the ground that’s gonna help reduce lift on the wings that’s gonna help the
brakes there’s a bunch of different things that it does if someone actually
forgot to do it which I guess is possible in this emergency situation
it’s natural that the pilots are gonna look for that to come back which means
in this case the captain would reach over and pull that speed lever back so
it wouldn’t be up also realize that the Boeing 747 has auto brakes that means as
soon as those wheels touch down and speed up the brakes start working and
slowing the aircraft down the pilots aren’t manually doing it so you see the
brakes skidding and things like that the brakes won’t do that they’ll actually
release and make sure that they have traction another thing that’s very
Hollywood in this scene is you see the pilot actually slump over and then the
plane veers to the right this isn’t a car it’s not like a normal steering
wheel that if something lets go it’s gonna shoot one way or the other the way
that aircraft is maneuvered is either using your feet on the rudder pedals and
using rudder steering like that or a tiller this is a picture of the tiller
and a 747 it takes a little bit of force to move this so a guy’s slumping over
and a seat isn’t gonna be close enough to reach that tiller and there’s not
going to be enough force to push it all so I hopefully don’t need to tell you
that a 747 can’t turn at this speed or generally turning around seven to ten
knots when we’re making a turn it’s not a fast and furious car which you can
drift around a corner sorry Vin all right let’s get back to
the movie first I’m not sure why everyone at
Hollywood likes to think that the leading edge of an aircraft wing is
sharp like razor sharp with hedge trimmers on the front every time you see
a plane wing go through a bush or a tree in a movie it just slices everything off
here’s a picture that I actually pulled from my Instagram that shows the leading
edge of a wing from a 747 as you can see it’s a rounded front there’s no hedges
or razor-sharp anything on the front of this wing so it would not work going
through there it would not just slice off a bunch of branches and when he
finally turns to actually take the aircraft off
there’s several really Hollywood things that are going on here first and I
couldn’t quite make it out but it doesn’t look like he has any flaps out
when you take off a 747 normally you’re taking off with flaps 10 or flaps 20 and
that allows the aircraft to take off at a slower speed that’s the reason we use
it for landing as well so we can land at a slower speed so it’s the same for
takeoff you’re gonna have those flaps out so you can get the aircraft up in
the air and he’s also taking off in a very short distance which means without
any flaps there’s no way he’s gonna get off the ground in a couple thousand feet like you’re seeing here and the last thing and I
can’t stress this enough is no matter what type of constipated face that you
make your aircraft isn’t gonna perform any better or do anything that it’s not
normally going to be able to do so if we’re ever flying together and I look
over and you’re making a face like this please don’t do that alright let’s get
back to the movie in this scene Harrison Ford is actually taking over the plane
and actually going to be flying the aircraft I’m supposed to not fly no sir
I’m alone major I’ll need your co-pilot yes sir
anybody there yes all right you got somebody that can help me fly this thing
sir this Colonel Jackson we need to get you out of hostile territory I need you
to look above the central video screen there’s a series of led numbers now one
of them should read 110 got it that’s your course heading now just
below there’s a knob surrounded by hash marks and want you to turn that knob
counterclockwise to 290 290 we’re turning Bob but this course take out of Kazakhstan were okay baby now sir we can’t land this plane on autopilot so we’re gonna need to go over a few things now
this in kind of surprised me because Harrison Ford in real life is actually a
pilot yet he’s talking without holding any buttons down now you can make a
phone call and talk to someone through the flight deck that can happen but
usually when you’re talking you’re transmitting you’re holding a button
down and his hands are moving around he’s not holding a button down so as a
pilot you would think that that’s something he would have done if
everything that we said on the flight deck was getting transmitted to other
aircraft or air traffic control or passengers in the back most pilots by
now would probably be fired and as a side note it’s kind of funny they said
they wanted to get out of Kazakhstan just a couple of weeks ago I actually
had a layover in Kazakhstan here you can see as a picture I took on the ramp with
a 747 right behind me and behind it are the mountains of Kazakhstan I just took
it off my Instagram anyway let’s get back to the movie the miss how far away are they that one coming that is countermeasures
are activated number four engine is on fire moving right left father you have to
compensate can I pull back at number 1 engine take it slow down have to trim it out how do I do that
no Jesus Christ got a red light here so we’ll just have to ignore the fact
that all these fighter jets are not able to shoot down a 747 despite the fact
that there are no other guns or weapons or missiles for the 747 to shoot back at
these other fighter jets which are significantly faster now one thing that
was very good is that when the engine was on fire the copilot in this scenario
reached up and pulled the lever and turned it that is what you would do in
the real event of an engine fire so that was correct Harrison also asked him if
he could pull back engine number one now we don’t know what altitude or what
speed they’re at but that would be another way to balance the aircraft out
but he tells him to use the trim anywhere he tells them the get the trim
rudder is actually in the right spot it’s on that a pedestal kind of to the
right of where he is and again I don’t know what altitude or what speed he’s at
but he could have pulled back lever one because obviously these fighter jets
can’t shoot and they’ll probably run out of bullets and have to go back and get
gas okay let’s get back to the movie Air Force one this is Liberty to 400 G
on your left side Yuri Air Force one loud and clear dibs here
get the door a Philly 10,000 beating 200 knots okay I just have to pause this real
quick obviously most of you know that aircraft are like a 747 are pressurized
and when it’s pressurized it’s not like you can just open the door latch and
then punch it and it will fly out the little door that you see him actually
open up it’s just the panel to arm the emergency slide it’s not like you can
lift that panel up and then just punch that yellow knob and the doors gonna go
flying off all that you would do is punch it and probably hurt your hand
besides that if they were able to punch and kick that door out that door which
is very big and heavy is either gonna fly into the wing and damage it or
possibly into the engine there’s a bunch of things that could go really wrong
with kicking that door open a better idea would have been using the hatch
that’s on the flight deck it’s a small hatch that opens inward
that inward hatch would then be inside the aircraft and not flying into the
wings or engines that would obviously make the flight deck very loud and very
windy but since these guys have already avoided a hostage takeover from
terrorists missiles fighter jets that couldn’t shoot them down you know a
little bit of noise from the flight deck isn’t gonna really ruin their day okay
let’s get back to the movie this lots of other Asian Liberty we just
lost another engine Liberty – for acknowledged
sir time to go who’s gonna fly the plane I’ll take care of that sir another engine when you see engine one flame out the
screen they show there is accurate that’s what it looks like on a 400 which
is what I fly but you see the engine for shutdown and then you see some
instrumentation around Engine 4 that is not actually how it looked like it would
look like this if the engine was shut down next when you see the military guy
arrive on the aircraft Harrison Ford is getting out and he’s squeezing around
the outside of the seat there’s not a lot of space over there this is a photo
of what it looks like from behind the captain’s seat on a 747 there’s not a
lot of space that someone’s going to be able to slide passer especially not a
full-grown man and again a 747 is not a car so you can’t just hook a seat belt
to it and hold it in place the more realistic option would be trim the
aircraft out and then try to run off the aircraft or hopefully you’ve opened that
hatch and went through the hatch door but like I talked about earlier but
you’re not going to be able to get a yoke to get held by a seat belt and hope
that’s gonna do it that is never gonna work if they done my hatch idea he
honestly could have been flying it until the last second and then you could get
out of that hat probably in five or 10 seconds so it wouldn’t really matter at
that point all right let’s go over the final scene of Air Force one where
they’ve gotten almost everyone off the aircraft now this movie was made now they could
have just lowered Sully in through that escape hatch that I was talking about and
then he could have smoothly landed on the water and everything would have been
saved speaking of Sully if you haven’t seen
the Hollywood vs reality that had been on his movie I’ll put it right up
here I talked about the great job that Sully his first officer Jeff and the
entire crew did to safely get everybody off the aircraft it was one of the
earlier Hollywood vs reality movies that I did but it was a great movie so
go check it out all right 74 crew i look forward
to hearing from you until then keep the blue side up


  1. TJ Collins Author

    It's the air force 1 it's been worked on obviously, it's not a regular "classic" aircraft. It carries the president and by definition it should be one of a kind.

  2. hellen ferguson Author

    OMG I love this SO MUCH! You are AMAZING and hilarious and SO plane geeky, and your enthusiasm and experience shows <3!!! I'm wondering how soon one of your co-pilots will be flying with you and make a constipated face, just for funzies 😀

  3. Artemka Pannat Author

    Sir, I am not a pilot or anything special but from your earlier film … if the flight crew had pulled the fire handle when they were getting shot, rather than that big lever, that would have stopped the terrorists and ruined the rest of the plot ?

  4. highspeedtubing Author

    I like how the F15's are in full burner to keep up with the 747 on short final. ha ha. Also, in real life, Harrison Ford crashes a real airplane AND a real helicopter……THEN lands over a real passenger jet with real paying passengers………. onto a TAXIWAY…….and then gets "pilot of the year" from AOPA or the FAA or something. He is insulting to real pilots. Great actor. Shitty pilot.

  5. Johnathon Snyder Author

    So I served 13 years in the army I try not critique army movies because they drive me crazy. It’s a movie. Also I notice you’re not wearing captain stripes so relax and enjoy the movie

  6. Gerald W Author

    At 8:56 the pilot (Harrison) turns the Heading knob to 290. Yet on the LED readout on the screen the Vert SP is 000 and the Alt is 15000. If he can direct the plane to 290 with what I assume Auto Pilot is on, would that mean the aircraft is maintaining an elevation of 15000 as directed by the AP? So 15000 would be the true altitude. Just an observation and question. I enjoy your videos.

  7. Lexacocca Author

    Executive Decision would make a great Hollywood vs. Reality vid. Released in 1996 Oceanic flight 343 from ATH to IAD is hijacked and being held ransom for gold bullion and release of their leader from US custody. In reality there's a nerve gas bomb on board that could wipe out the eastern coast. A military plan is hatched to board the 747 mid-flight by linking it to a retrofitted F-117 Nighthawk. Thus attempting to deactivate the bomb and regaining control of the plane. It's not a great movie, but it's not terrible either.

  8. Robert Benton Author

    I was wondering if you could discuss the classic movie "Stragtic Air Command". The film has a crash scene and some other interesting moments. I wonder if any Amelia Earhart movies would a good topic? I like your channel, keep up the great work. Thanks

  9. Jay Sonnenfeld Author

    2 things…(1) according to all research ive done airforce one is kept up to date with all it avionics…(2) lol theres no way in hell they would allow hollywood to put a genuine likeness of its flight deck on the flat screen…no way…id be surprised if hollywood itself knows what it looks like.

  10. Grim reaper Osiris Author

    Its a movie and its hollywood movie. Never compare the directors script on real life. Harrison ford can land that plane anywhere the director wants without wings.

  11. Malcolm Chilton Author

    I really don't see the point of this. You pick out things that are impossible? Hello? It's a drama for people to enjoy, It's not for you guys who know all about this to pull it apart. (Unsubscribing now)

  12. hazelwood55 Author

    On 9/11, I was outside the store where I worked in Columbus, Ohio at about 5 pm, I looked up and AF1 was flying due east with a fighter escort off of each wing. That is a sight I will remember for the rest of my life. I saw on the news that night that Bush was returning to Andrews AFB from Offutt AFB in Nebraska.

  13. Normal Head Joe Author

    This is why I hate Hollywood. So much bullshit that people think is fact. I know why the do it (because reality just isn't that exciting or look that great) but it's still bullshit.

  14. Madam_Meow99 Author

    At 3:15, at least I know that Charlton Heston could have air assaulted onto a 747 and entered through the hatch to save his, gf, Nancy in "Airport 75".

  15. Direktörn Author

    The title should be "a real Boeing 747 vs a fake one" – As the video as nothing to do with the custom Boeing planes that sometimes goes under the name airforce 1 and airforce 2

  16. Lin Phillips Author

    Off topic, but wondering if you've seen episode 14, season 5 of "30 Rock" and if you'd care to review it? It's entitled "Double Edged Sword."

  17. MrOramato Author

    In the movie Harrison Ford is a competent pilot. In reality Harrison Ford lands his plane on a taxi way and over flies a passenger jet waiting to depart.

  18. thomasafb Author

    if they had just pulled the fire handles on approach, instead of worrying about the flap settings, it would have been over quickly…..and much less painful to watch

  19. Masoni Chisenga Author

    Hi. Thanks for the video. I have always figured that in the Superman Returns movie, the scene where Superman slows down the plane or stops it from crashing into the football stadium, a plane isn't like a car and doesn't have a chassis in the nose of the plane that would support the massive braking force exerted by Superman. I thought that if he wanted to stop it, he should have gone for the landing gear perhaps…

  20. Dr.Mohammad Niqab Khan Author

    I think landing 747 on water will not be possible as the engines will dig in the water and break the structure..only planes with engine above wings level could do it

  21. Gary Cormack Author

    No disrespect intended, but your hatch idea… opening a hatch that hinges inwards in a pressurised vessel would be impossible unless you equalised the pressure between in and out first no?

  22. Timbrock1000 Author

    HEY KELSEY, HOW ABOUT A "HOLLYWOOD VS. REALITY" VIDEO ON THR MOVIE "AIRPLANE"? Sure, the movie is ridiculous and so stupid it's funny, but it could be amusing and show you have a good sense of humor while pointing out the flaws.

  23. Golin73 Author

    Couple of comments (and I'm only an armchair pilot of 40 or so years as well as an Army veteran of 9 years): 1) The dogleg comment for 90 degrees vs 45 degrees might be because in the Army, we would dogleg into an assault position to try and misinform the enemy where we came from…which was a generally a 90 degree turn. I would imagine that the other ground services do the same so they might have had an Army/Marine as their military advisor for the movie…of course, just speculation. 2) I hadn't noticed the lack of flaps on take off, but I religiously watch the series "Air Disasters", and it seems 40% of the take offs resulting in crashes is because they didn't set the flaps properly (another 40% from days gone by were due to icing). 3) I have made two parachute jumps from a C-141 jet aircraft back in '93…the way they have to open the door is that a wind baffle opens on the outside of the aircraft to protect the parachutists from the slipstream,. I honestly don't remember how the door was opened since I was terrified, but even with the baffle you are basically sucked out of the door by the change in pressure (and we were only jumping at 1250 feet, not the 12000 feet they seemed to be at…have to wonder how they were still conscious once the door opened). That being said, it would be incredibly hard to stand in the door and not be sucked out even after depressurization (think of how much wind you have when you roll down your windows just doing 60 MPH down the highway and increase it by 8x or more).

  24. SHAUN CAMPBELL9 Author

    Yes Harrison Ford is a pilot, but he also has crashed two planes. Oh and the Millennium Falon (The Force Awakens).
    All the best Shaun
    of NYC

  25. MagnumMike44 Author

    A lot of inaccuracies, that's typical of Hollywood. They also add a lot of extra drama in many scenes, which may not really happen in real life under some situations, I don't know what the term Hollywood producers or directors use to to add the extra drama, but I'm sure there is reason for it. In most situations in real life, everyone would not be doing that, I understand this is a terrorist situation on Air Force One, which would never happen in the first place, even prior to September 11th, 2001. But, that's Hollywood for ya. 🙂

  26. Kevin Mencer Author

    Even a car shouldn't veer off like that. If it does that when you let go of the wheel, you have a SERIOUS alignment issue. As in, park the darn car and call a tow truck.

  27. HiredGun 05 Author

    Any chance of reviewing a classic??
    Airport 1975!!!
    Light twin into the top right of a 747 flight deck…..
    This would be a great review for us old farts.

  28. Gary Vale Author

    @74…really enjoy your professional review of Hollywood movie scenes involving aircraft…I live approx 2 miles north of ORD and from my yard often enjoy watching various aircraft flying fairly low after taking off ..I am learning to identify them visually and from their engine sound and have gotten pretty good…….I have a question…on the longer flights with the larger planes such as the 747's and A380's , what is typically a safe margin of extra fuel and flight time normally calculated to have in reserve when landing , in case of having to devert, because of an emergency or severe weather at your original destination …..thanks much and keep up the great videos.

  29. superHAPPYrocks Author

    Hey there Cap, I have to imagine the presidents pilots have to be some VERY special "top gun" type of dudes. I also imagine as the highest ranking member of the United states government he gets special treatment from ATC or maybe even his own dedicated ATC squadron perhaps? is it possible the AF1 pilots have some pre-planned emergency operations planned for stuff like this where pilots CAN actually dictate their own headings and altitudes based on a pre planned protocol, air force cooperation, or like a super specialized "flying the potus QRH? what do you think?

  30. Black Knights Gaming Community Author

    After watching all these vids I have to say you have a fan here. And thank you for getting us where we need to go safe. I would like to see you do some movies to see what your views would be
    Con Air
    Iron Eagle
    Air America
    If you do not it's cool. And thanks again for what you do.

  31. Igbon5 Author

    That face is a Hollywood staple for extracting that magical extra bit of performance.
    Whether it's cars or bikes or planes. In cars there is often the extra gear that can be selected with added emphasis that makes it go faster.

  32. josh jacobs Author

    Sir if you ever lose that medical, or for whatever reason cant fly, you should teach… have a way of turning something i wasnt interested in to something interesting, and your explanations are easy to understand… your vids

  33. Kevin Kirk Author

    1:44 F-15 escort jets have Eglin AFB, FL tail markings. Guess they must have been TDY to Germany… otherwise Bitburg and Spangdahlem are not far away, tail markings BT and SP, respectively. Bitburg had already been deactivated when this movie was released… As an Eagle Keeper, I love poking holes in Hollywood's errors when an Eagle shows up on film…

  34. Kasper Author

    Fighter pilot says "fox one!" and then begins shooting his cannon. That code refers to the release of a semi-active radar-guided missile, not a cannon. Although it's no longer used, the fox code for releasing cannon fire would have been "fox four". As a 747 pilot, there's no reason you should have known this…just thought I'd offer some bonus info the viewers.
    Another great Hollywood vs. Reality video! 🙂


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