‘Top Gun’ Tactics: Fighter Pilot talks about flying jets in real life, just like in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The long-awaited sequel to the hit movie, “Top Gun,” is coming to theaters soon, and a local U.S. Navy fighter pilot weighs in on the “Top Gun” tactics you’ll see on the big screen in “Top Gun: Maverick”.

The flight tactics fighter pilots use in real life and in the movie can be both thrilling and dangerous.

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez caught up with a fighter pilot stationed here in Louisiana at Belle Chasse – Mike “Hansel” Scott. He tells us what it takes to be a true “Top Gun” pilot.

“I was born in 1986, the year the first movie came out. My parents took me to see it at the cinema,” he said.

Since he was a baby, fighter pilot Mike Scott, aka “Hansel,” has had a close bond with “Top Gun.”

“I grew up watching the movie. A lot of fighter pilots did it, it was inspirational,” he said.

For 11 years he flew an F-18 Super Hornet for the US Navy.

“Capable of shooting down enemy aircraft, but also dropping bombs on targets in a ground attack,” he said.

He’s now in the Air National Guard flying F-15Cs in the Bayou Militia and says what you’ll see in the “Top Gun: Maverick” sequel is mostly…

“Air-to-air combat beyond visual range using radar or within visual range, which is most of what you’ll see for the Hollywood effect and low-level navigation through the mountains,” he said.

He went on to say, “There will be times when there will be things that are obviously obvious that we wouldn’t do. There are some things we wouldn’t do for safety.

He said one of the most unique aspects you’ll see in the film is the carrier’s flight operations. Flying from aircraft carriers is unique to the US Navy and Marine Corps.

“We train to do it day by day. What you’ll see in the movie is a bit of a stretch. Flying from an aircraft carrier is without a doubt one of the most amazing things I’ve had the chance to do. said Scott.

“The excitement was landing on the aircraft carrier. All weather missions, day and night. Doing this in the dark night, no horizon, no moon, no stars, doing this when the ship is moving. Doing this in bad time is the most exciting thing,” he said.

Ultimately, “Hansel” says piloting the jets isn’t the only “Top Gun” tactic.

“What makes a good fighter pilot is being humble, credible and approachable,” he said.

And a need… a need for speed!

“Top Gun: Maverick” hits theaters nationwide next week. Scenes were filmed on the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Fighter pilot Mike says he was aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln during filming.

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