One of the most iconic films of the 1980’s would have to be Top Gun. It was the movie that made the already famous Tom Cruise a super star. It was also credited with the revival of the US military in films following the widely unpopular Vietnam war, and also spurned a massive interest from people seeking a career within the military. It was about a crack Navy pilot, Maverick, played by Cruise and his wing-man Goose, played by Anthony Edwards. Maverick was a spectacular, but dare devil pilot who was selected to attend the Top Gun school for pilots to further their flying skills and careers. But the film was not all fun and acrobatics. Perhaps the most memorable scene of the movie was when Goose died after their plane went into a flat spin. What many people don’t know though is that there was an actual death in the Top Gun flat spin, and the airplane and his body have never been recovered.
Cameraman Art Scholl was aerobatic pilot, flight instructor and aerial cameraman. He was working on the Top Gun film when his plane was unable to recover from a flat spin and fell into the Pacific ocean, never to be found again.
How the Top Gun flat spin death happened
Scholl was attempting to capture the flat spin for Top Gun from inside the cockpit, as the pilots would have viewed it. He placed the plane into an intentional flat spin for this purpose. The plane continued to spin uncontrollably as it passed its planned recovery point. The last message Scholl said over the radio was “I have a problem—I have a real problem”, just before his plane plunged into the ocean.
The final line of the closing credits of the Top Gun film say “This movie is dedicated to the memory of Art Scholl.”