I flew Tom Cruise’s training plane, I survived


SAN DIEGO – Let’s be clear on one thing: I did it not To vomit.

It’s important to clarify when the fainthearted is blasted aboard the world’s most advanced aerobatic plane, the Extra 330, one of the planes Tom Cruise used to train actors for the rigors of shooting action in “Top Gun: Maverick”.

As my pride flew out of the cockpit, I never took my eyes off the two bags of vomit beside me, nor stopped repeating my mantra: Don’t vomit. Don’t vomit. For the love of God, don’t vomit.

Confession: I can fly commercially like a pro, but avoid roller coasters that require a harness. Still, I volunteered, even semi-advocated, for this adventure, offered in conjunction with Tuesday’s “Top Gun: Maverick” digital release.

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The phrase “once in a lifetime opportunity” was all this sucker needed. I brought my own denial to avoid freaking out weeks in advance.

It didn’t help my ever-looming dread of meeting a guy who happily slipped in photos from his recent aerobatic plane crash. The vomit was everywhere. The windows, the seats, on his lovely indulgent girlfriend. He warned me: locate the bags of vomit before takeoff and do not drink tequila the day before. Do.


USA Today

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