US Navy

About This Episode

How did Tom Cruise fare in the jets Commander Frank Weisser piloted during the filming of Top Gun: Maverick?  “Walleye” shares memories of his time in the Navy and with the iconic Blue Angels, but he also tells tales of piloting the actual planes Tom Cruise’s character was supposedly flying in “Top Gun: Maverick.”   In addition to how Tom did when they were experiencing many Gs, hear just how close they were to the ground and canyon walls in some on the unforgettable scenes.

Listen to This Episode On


About Our Guest

U.S. Navy Commander Frank Weisser was thrice deployed in combat, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he may be best knows as pilot for many of “Top Gun: Maverick’s” iconic flight scenes or for his time with the Blue Angels.


Frank reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., for aviation indoctrination in October 2000. He completed primary flight training in the T-34C Mentor at NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and transferred to NAS Meridian, Miss., for intermediate and advanced flight training in the T-2C Buckeye and the T-45C Goshawk. He received his wings of gold in November 2002.

Frank remained with Training Squadron 7 (VT-7) as an Instructor Pilot in the T-45C as a Selectively Retained Graduate (SERGRAD). During his tour, Frank served as the Squadron Facilities Manager and Schedules Officer. In June 2004, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), the “Gladiators,” at NAS Oceana, Va., for training in the F/A-18C Hornet.

In April 2005, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 87 (VFA-87), the “War Party,” where he deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in August 2005. During this deployment, Frank flew 34 combat missions over Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While with the “War Party,” Frank served as the Schedules Officer, Avionics/Armament (AV/ARM) Division Officer, Naval Air Training and Operation Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Landing Signals Officer (LSO). While there, Frank was awarded the Lieutenant Charles Nelson Award for Junior Officer Leadership and contributed to the “War Party” receiving the 2005 and 2006 Battle “E” for sustained superior performance in an operational environment.

Blue Angels

Frank joined the Blue Angels in September 2007. He served as the Narrator and VIP Pilot in 2008 and as the Opposing Solo pilot and NATOPS Officer in 2009. He has accumulated more than 3200 flight hours and nearly 200 carrier arrested landings. He earned a Master’s Degree in Systems Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in September 2009. His decorations include the Strike Flight Air Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and various personal and unit awards.

He flies Lead Solo in the #5 plane

Learn more about Commander Weisser’s Top Gun: Maverick role in Forbes: “U.S. Navy CDR Frank Weisser, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’s’ Secret Weapon”