Fans of the original Top Gun have been waiting more than 30 years to see Tom Cruise reprise his role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. They were not let down when Top Gun: Maverick landed in theaters last month, complete with jaw-dropping cinematography, a full-circle storyline, and flying scenes that made the audience believe they were in the cockpit alongside Maverick.
The Top Gun sequel was packed with CGI and special effects to bring the film to life, but video footage recently posted to Instagram by the movie's Aerial Coordinator, Kevin LaRosa, shows exactly how the aerial shots were filmed.
The footage shows an Embraer Phenom 300E business jet flying a missed approach to the U.S. Navy supercarrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), later buzzing the carrier as a stunning sunset lights the background.
Viewers get a true view from the cockpit of the light jet, watching as LaRosa pilots the aircraft around the aircraft carrier, with help from Co-Captain Jonathan Spano and camera operators Michael FitzMaurice and David Nowell.
"I flew the Phenom extensively on the movie and the platform excelled when we needed extended time on station or the reliability and added safety of two engines for over water operations," said LaRosa in the video caption on Instagram.
"It was also unique in that the Phenom carried two @shotoversystems F1 camera gimbals from @team5aerials allowing us to fly two entirely different lens options on the same flight." LaRosa also thanked Brian Ferguson, the film's technical advisor, for helping to make the sequence happen through planning, logistics, overall safety, and permissions required.
While enjoying the film for a second or even third time, take a moment to appreciate the work by the entire crew to bring the film together and the crazy pilot skills needed to take you right into the danger zone.