AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 26

PILOT BRIEFING

JUST FOR FUN |

Pop culture influences
Can a movie-or TV show-produce pilots?
B Y J U L I E S U M M E R S WA L K E R

" WE NEED ANOTHER TOP GUN " is an oft-repeated mantra of

those hoping to increase the pilot population. And it was
true; a military recruiter at the time of Tom Cruise's depiction of U.S. Navy pilot " Maverick " (1986) was reported as
saying that when he asked of the numerous young people
why they were signing up, they told him it was because of
the movie. But aviation has been a part of popular culture
since the first Academy Award for Best Picture went to the
1927 movie Wings. Consider these influences:

Wings (1927). Silent film set during World War I starring
Clara Bow (if you don't know who Clara Bow was, think
Nicole Kidman circa 1920). Known for its realistic air combat scenes.
Top Gun (1986). Young pilots in the elite U.S. Navy fighter
weapons school learn a few things about life in the air and
on the ground (starring Kidman's first husband).
Sky King (1951-1962). Television series about a rancher
in Arizona; his niece Penny; and his Cessna 310, Songbird.

26 | AOPA PILOT February 2021

M*A*S*H (1972-1983). TV series spinoff of the movie of
the same name, the Bell 47 was as much a starring character as the rest of the cast.
Jimmy Stewart. A real-life pilot and star of the 1957 film
The Spirit of St. Louis. Stewart also plays the pilot of a
Fairchild C-82 who makes an emergency landing in the
Sahara in The Flight of the Phoenix (1965).
Airplane! (1980). Considered one of the funniest movies
of all time, this parody of the Airport movie series introduced phrases such as: " Flying a plane is no different than
riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in
the spokes " and " Surely you can't be serious? I am serious,
and don't call me Shirley. "
Airport (1970). Managing an airport-during a snowstorm,
with a stowaway and a suicide bomber on a landing airplane-is a tough but exciting job. There were three sequels.
Sully (2016). Everyone wants Tom Hanks as their pilot

ASAF HANUKA

Black Sheep Squadron (1976-1978). Television series
about misfit pilots during World War II. Robert Conrad
played Greg " Pappy " Boyington, a World War II flying ace.

Magnum P.I. (1980-1988). One of the top TV series in
history, Tom Selleck's character often flies the islands of
Hawaii in a helicopter.



AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 8
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 11
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 19
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 26
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 30
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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