Maverick’s Unshown Scene Described By Real-Life Test Pilot



  • Astronaut and test pilot Chris Hadfield noted a missing scene in Top Gun: Maverick that would have featured Maverick launching in an ejection pod after escaping the exploding jet.
  • Realism and practicality are prioritized in Top Gun: Maverick, with the movie featuring accurate depictions of Navy pilot life and technical tools.
  • The involvement of the American military and actual Navy pilots as trainers ensures accuracy and corrects any inaccuracies.



A real-life test pilot and astronaut reveals a hidden scene within Top Gun: Maverick. A sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, Maverick features Tom Cruise returning as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. With Maverick training the next generation of pilots, the movie featured one last mission for the rogue hero. The sequel was a massive hit, earning $1.496 billion at the box office on a budget of under $180 million. It was also nominated for six awards at the Academy Awards and won Best Sound.

As the wait for word about Top Gun 3 continues, astronaut and test pilot Chris Hadfield is more interested in the realism of Maverick‘s planes than its sound quality. While speaking to Vanity Fair, Hadfield walked through one of the early scenes in Maverick to show exactly what was left out of the movie.

In the opening scenes, when Maverick was seemingly trapped in an exploding plane, Hadfield noted that the ejection would not be the same as most low-speed ejections. If Maverick was to survive, he would have had to have been ejected into an emergency pod. Check out Hadfield’s full explanation below:

“High speed ejections are not pretty. I mean, they often kill the pilot. For the airplanes that are really fast, they actually have an ejection pod. The whole front of the airplane ejects or separates, and so if you had a problem where the vehicle’s breaking up, you can eject, and that whole escape pod would separate from the vehicle and come down under a parachute. The fact that Tom Cruise somehow survives this break-up, I think it means that in this SR-72 Dark Star, there must have been an escape pod.”

The Realism Of Top Gun: Maverick Explained

Tom Cruise flying in Top Gun Maverick

In any other movie, it would be easy to assume that there was simply a missed detail that left the pod out of the movie. Hollywood cannot account for every detail while ensuring a quality narrative and emotional experience. Top Gun: Maverick remains an exception to that suspension of disbelief. Dedicated to a realistic and practical depiction of life for Navy pilots, the action movie deserves the benefit of the doubt.

RELATED: Top Gun: Maverick Ending Explained (In Detail)

A real-world Navy Admiral praised Maverick‘s realism when it was first released. The in-air experience and the technical tools applied to what life is like for Navy pilots. It certainly helps that the American military was directly involved with the production as the cast was trained by actual pilots using actual planes. Furthermore, Tom Cruise is a licensed pilot with experience in the air. If anything was inaccurate, the movie’s star and the Navy pilots were there to correct it.

Additionally, very few sections of Maverick were CGI. Director Joseph Kosinski kept with original Top Gun director Tony Scott’s tradition of using practical stunts. The same is true for Cruise, who tends to undertake his own stunts. The realism of Top Gun: Maverick is why it was likely that the crash pod really was in a hidden scene rather than just being an overlooked detail.

Source: Vanity Fair