A pilot from northern Ontario, inspired by Top Gun 36 years ago, will see a sequel with her son | CBC News

Nicole Parker’s life reflected the story Top Gun in many aspects.

Parker of North Bay, Ont., Is an Air Canada pilot and has recently seen a long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick.

In 1986, when she was 15, she saw an original action drama film aimed at students in the US Navy’s elite combat weapons school.

At the time, she was already interested in aviation and was an aviation cadet in Trenton, Ont.

“What is it [Top Gun] it only strengthened my love of aviation and my love of flying a little, ”said Parker.

Two years after watching the film, Parker obtained a pilot’s license. A few years later, Tom Cruise’s film imitated her life in a new way.

In the original film, Cruise’s character Pete (Maverick) Mitchell falls in love with his flight instructor Charlotte (Charlie) Blackwood, played by Kelly McGillis.

Parker was also a flight instructor. She had a contract to teach students at Kingston’s Royal Military College. She also had a secret relationship with one of her students.

“I met him at the bar, you know, we talked and then, you know what? I showed up at the airport,” she said. “Over the next week, I found out he was my student.”

The relationship escaped

They secretly dated for two years before appearing at his graduation as a couple. The relationship grew. They fell in love, got married and were together for 16 years.

Parker says the original Top Gun strengthened her love of flying. Over the weekend, she filmed the sequel Top Gun: Maverick with her 17-year-old son. (Submitted by Nicole Parker)

“My ex-husband was a bit of an individualist and someone who thought out of his career and life,” Parker said.

Like Cruise’s Maverick, she said, her amour had a motorcycle when they started dating.

“I remember going on a runway on Kingston and then they called me from the tower and said, ‘One of your students and some blonde girlfriend is on the track.’

A newspaper clipping shows Justin Wall and Nicole Parker, right, at an air show in Abbotsford, BC, in 1997. Parker says their relationship resembles a love story in Top Gun. (Submitted by Justin Wall)

Parker’s ex-husband Justin Wall confirmed the motorcycle story.

“That was before 9/11,” he said in an interview.

“So they didn’t have … security and stuff. You certainly shouldn’t have been on the runway, but at the time in Kingston, you’d know if planes were coming because the lights were on.”

Wall said the original Top Gun inspired him to become a pilot.

“I saw the movie and I think, ‘That’s it.’ I was hellishly determined to go and fly with jets from the carrier, but as a Canadian you really have to move mountains. “

The sequel is “a lot of fun,” says the Canadian pilot

When the long-awaited sequel was released last weekend, Parker watched the film at the premiere night with their 17-year-old son.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said of the film. “I think they did some really great flying scenes. So it just didn’t disappoint me. Great soundtrack, lots of simple things.”

Tom Cruise plays Captain Pete {Maverick} Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick of Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. (Paramount Pictures)

As with the original film, the filmmakers worked closely with the US Navy and attached half a dozen Imax-certified cameras to each fighter in the film. Cruise also designed a five-month intensive training program for his young colleagues.

The film was well-received by audiences and earned $ 156 million in the domestic market over the opening weekend.

LISTEN Pilot Nicole Parker of North Bay, Ont. Describes in detail how her life reflects the Top Gun story:

North in the morning8:47The life of a North Bay woman bears an incredible resemblance to one of the characters in the original Top Gun movie

The first Top Gun movie hit the big screen 35 years ago. Now there’s a new Top Gun movie, but it’s a character from the original movie that shares a very similar story to Nicole Parker of North Bay. Nicole joined us to talk about the strange similarities between her life and the life of the character played by actress Kelly McGillis.

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