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The harrowing last words of the pilot who died while filming Top Gun have been revealed.
With Tom Cruise’s anticipated sequel Top Gun: Maverick just around the corner, many people have been rewatching the original in the run-up to its release.
And one detail they’ve noticed is the fact that the 1986 flick is dedicated to a man named Art Scholl.
For those not in the know, Scholl was an infamous aerobatic pilot who performed daring stunts for a range of movies and TV shows over his career.
But his life was tragically cut short while filming an ambitious stunt scene for Top Gun.
Scholl’s Pitts S-2 camera plane failed to recover from a flat spin and plunged into the Pacific Ocean, killing the pilot at the age of 54.
As revealed by YouTube page Movie Logic, his heartbreaking last words over the radio were, “I have a problem… I have a real problem.”
The exact cause of the crash remains a mystery to this day, and neither the plane nor Scholl’s remains were ever recovered.
But his memory lived on in the release of the film, with many of its action sequences attributed to the stuntman’s work.
When the news broke that a Top Gun sequel was in the works, Scholl’s wife Judy opened up about the life and death of her husband.
Speaking to the MailOnline at the time, she said: “Art was a great pilot and a great showman. But he was very calculating and prepared constantly. He was a triple type A personality.
“He had energy that wouldn't end and he was very fun to be with – but he was very focused. He took his work very seriously. He planned carefully – he wouldn't go out and break rules or anything. So on Top Gun I just don't know what happened.”
Judy, who is also a pilot, continued: “It was a massive shock to me. A lot of people in the industry and in aviation in general were surprised. He was relatively young to die.
“Fortunately he jammed a whole bunch of stuff into his life with air shows and competitions and movies and teaching but his death was a shock.”
She explained that the incident understandably had a devastating impact on her family, including the two sons she shared with Scholl.
Despite the heartbreaking blow, Judy said she wasn’t angry and even turned down opportunities to sue the producers – and she remains a fan of the franchise to this day.
“They've been talking about Top Gun 2 for several years now so I'm pleased its finally getting there,” she concluded. “I'll watch the movie when it comes out.”
Top Gun: Maverick hits cinemas on 25 May.
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