With “Top Gun: Maverick” pushed back to Memorial Day 2022, a Royal Australian Air Force crew is gladly stealing the spotlight.
On Friday, video of a massive C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane darting through and around the skyscrapers of downtown Brisbane, Australia, was making the rounds online. And to think it was only a dress rehearsal.
The flyover, a practice sortie for Saturday’s Sunsuper Riverfire fireworks extravaganza along the Brisbane River, will be repeated as part of the finale to the three-week Brisbane Festival. Yes, they know how to party in Australia — pandemic or not.
The images of the plane’s low-flying and seemingly incredibly dangerous route caught many by surprise, including a U.S. Air Force C-17 pilot who talked to the online site Task & Purpose.
“If the crew’s timing is off or if they are slow to react, the jet would collide with a building. Very risky,” the pilot told the publication, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to media.
The pilot said C-17 pilots in the U.S. are required to fly 1,000 feet above structures in populated areas. And though there are exceptions for sporting-event flyovers, he said, even then they are not allowed to dip below the tops of buildings.
“Those Brisbane videos are insane,” the pilot said. “We could never do something like that in the USAF. If we did, we would lose our wings immediately — never fly again.”
Sound familiar? Watch what happens when Tom Cruise’s Maverick buzzes the tower in 1986’s “Top Gun.”
Watch video of the Australian C-17 flyover from YouTube here and above or via Reddit below (but beware in the Reddit take; there’s understandable profanity in ample supply).