I've heard several stories about Art Scholl and his involvement in "Top Gun".
IMDB says: During the filming of some sequences from civilian aircraft, longtime Hollywood stunt pilot Art Scholl was killed. A biplane he was flying crashed off the Pacific Coast. The film is dedicated to his memory.
Check-Six.com says: After successfully completing an upward spin in his aircraft, Scholl attempted an inverted flat spin. While descending rapidly in the spin, and at an altitude of 3,000 feet, he uttered, "I've got a problem." Shortly later,, at an altitude of 1,500 feet, he spoke his last known words... "I've really got a problem." Rescue planes recovered only some floating debris, and it was speculated that the aircraft sank to a depth of over 900 feet.
The exact cause of the fatal crash remains unknown, as neither the plane, nor Scholl's body, was ever recovered.
Other websites say: Art Scholl was performing the flat spin in a F-14 Tomcat and the footage of the Tomcat spinning in the movie (when Maverick and Goose crash) is the footage of Scholl's fatal spin.
Another rumour is that the footage of the spinning sky when the Tomcat is going down was that filmed by Scholl.
Both of these rumours conflict what appear to be established fact that he was flying a Bi-plane (an Aerotek Pitts "Special" S-2A) and that no wreckage was recovered - hence there would be no film recovered to use in the movie.
Anyone able to define the fact from the fiction?
Posts: 1 | From: Edinburgh, UK | Registered: Mar 2006
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If he was experienced enough to get hired for that job, he would also be experienced enough to not try an inverted flat spin. To be quite honest, I have a hard time seeing how one would get into one, and getting out of one is probably just as hard.
-------------------- /Troberg Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005
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I actually ran into Art (and his dog Aileron) on a couple of occasions while working on the Toronto International Air Show.
Yes, he died during the filming of Top Gun in 1985 while flying his Pitts Special (rather than his better know Chipmunk). It has been speculated that the camera equipment shifted the centre of gravity of the aircraft. Neither pilot or aircraft were recovered. Here are a few websites with more information about a great airman.
When I saw the movie, the credits dedicate the movie to him. NTSB says he was in an inverted spin in a Pitts. So if seems safe to say IMDB and check six are essentially correct. Don't know why one poster says that only inexperienced people do inverted spins -- they're routinely done by aerobatic pilots, and the Pitts will do them nicely.
Posts: 1 | From: Arlington, VA | Registered: Apr 2006
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quote:Originally posted by laid back maverick: Other websites say: Art Scholl was performing the flat spin in a F-14 Tomcat and the footage of the Tomcat spinning in the movie (when Maverick and Goose crash) is the footage of Scholl's fatal spin.
That would have been an effects shot done with a model.