Years ago, we received word of a young aviator who attempted to re-enact one of the most iconic scenes of the movie. Specifically, the scene where Tom Cruise flies by a control tower at approximately 400 knots, rattling the tower so hard that the air boss spills coffee all over himself.
In retrospect, I'm not certain why it surprised anyone that some flight school student might actually try to pay homage to this scene.
On his first solo flight--a flight conducted without the aid of an instructor pilot--one enterprising young lieutenant prepared to take a ride into the danger zone. Okay, maybe just the traffic pattern. Taking off, and circling the airfield in the pattern, he turned from downwind to crosswind, preparing to line up for his final approach into the stage field.
The lieutenant, presumably hearing Harold Faltermeyer's Top Gun Anthem in his head, clicked the microphone switch on the aircraft's cyclic and called the air traffic control tower.
"Tower, this is 54E-Solo [the aircraft's "buzz" number, plus the "Solo" suffix], requesting a flyby"
There was a brief silence on the radio, with a suspicious voice answering back, "54E-Solo, say again?"
"Yes, this is 54E-Solo, request permission to buzz the tower"
I'm not even certain why he even felt the need to reply back after the tower's suspicious response, especially with his aircraft tail number. Maybe he thought he'd call back a third time, this time hovering in front of the tower for dramatic effect, while asking for permission again.
"Uh, 54E-Solo, I think you need to land and taxi to parking. Like now."
Suffice to say this was the last--and only time--a flight school student requested permission to buzz the tower. Who would have thought Top Gun was fake?
Focus: Has Hollywood lied to you? Did you try something in the military that you'd previously seen in movies or games? If so, please share.