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Top Gun and panic attacks

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  • Top Gun and panic attacks

    In the movie Top Gun two pilots have panic attacks on encountering potentially hostile aircraft, Cougar in the initial scene and the hero Maverick in the final air combat scene.

    How realistic is it for US navy fighter pilots to have panic attacks? I know in ww2 air crews who had done numerous missions over Germany ended up with psychological problems but neither of the two pilots in the film had had any significant experience.
    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

  • #2
    Let me ask you a question.
    Scenario: Aircraft carrier mid-Pacific
    0400 pitch black due to heavy cloud cover
    Sea State somewhere around plus or minus 6
    put it down or chance of survival on ditch about 10%

    Is this panic attack time or screw it down and remember your training. Hard to say, the human brain reacts to different situations differently in different people. Those that succumb to panic attacks in military aircraft, or any aircraft, and don't recover don't usually live to tell about it.
    Too Much To Do Too Little Time

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
      In the movie Top Gun two pilots have panic attacks on encountering potentially hostile aircraft, Cougar in the initial scene and the hero Maverick in the final air combat scene.

      How realistic is it for US navy fighter pilots to have panic attacks? I know in ww2 air crews who had done numerous missions over Germany ended up with psychological problems but neither of the two pilots in the film had had any significant experience.
      Totally unrealistic. Pilots trained to land on pitch black carrier deck that is both moving forward and heaving up and down are not prone to panic. More realistically, Cougar would have been demanding permission to engage and kill the other SOB while he was manuevering to get his own missile lock.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        Watched a show that said pilots were more stressed out ( high bp, etc) during landing on a carrier than in combat or bombing run
        Are we there yet?

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