Growing up on air bases around the country is probably one of the most privileged childhoods one could ever have. You do take it for granted, but when I think back on it the only word I have for it is "wow"! Yes, we were usually in fairly remote places, but it didn't matter. You were a part of this tightly knit community, there was never a dull moment, there were always plenty of friends and socialising, and there were of course those magnificent men and those flying machines. It's also a fairly noisy environment with the boom of fighter planes in the air through the day, rattling your window panes. You got used to it though and you also got used to being around the men who made all the noise. It's no surprise really that Top Gun was such a hot favourite at our house, most of the air base thought they were Maverick and Iceman and aviators and swagger abounded! Fighter pilots will never make you forget that that they are the coolest people to grace the face of the earth
My dad used to be gone before we woke up for school, coming back for lunch sometimes, and flying around 3-4 sorties a day. And every now and then we would be taken to see the night flying. This was always hugely exciting, the darkness just adding to the excitement. We'd stand away to the side of the run way and watch an extremely loud, and thrilling, take off or landing. My dad would later ask "Did you see me wave to you?", and we would nod, secretly wondering which one had been him since we had waved at all of them and couldn't see in the dark!
Though it's also one of the cheesiest movies ever made, it was always a hot favourite. My dad's in-home theatre system set up so that it would sound like the aircraft were whizzing around our living room. We had it on LCD, video cassette and had the audio CD, wearing out all of them over time. I couldn't pick a favourite but I zeroed in on the Top Gun Anthem. This track while the opening credits roll, is the icing on the cake on one of the most epic scenes. And Papa Pilot loved it!