Ever since the release of the hit movie, Mission: Impossible-Fallout, a persistent question on everyone’s mind has been: how did Tom Cruise manage to pull that helicopter stunt? Can Tom Cruise actually fly a Helicopter, or was it just a movie trick?
Yes, Tom Cruise can fly a helicopter. The scene in the movie where he did the helicopter stunt was not just a movie trick. Tom is an aviator and has showcased his skills in some of his movies. Learn more about his helicopter flying skills in this article.
How Tom Cruise Learned How To Fly A Helicopter
Just like every actor, Tom Cruise, does other things apart from acting. One of the skills picked up by the talented movie star is flying aircrafts. Tom Cruise is a licensed commercial pilot. He became a pilot in 1994, 8 years after shooting the original Top Gun movie. However, he did not learn how to fly a helicopter until his role in Mission: Impossible-Fallout warranted that he fly one. Tom went to work immediately and earned his helicopter license just in time for the movie.
Tom had all the support he needed to nail this. His training was sponsored by Paramount Pictures. He was sent to Airbus’ helicopter flight school in Grand Prairie, Texas. Randy Hepner, an aerial assistant on Mission: Impossible – Fallout, stated that Cruise had to gain 2,000 flying hours within a short time to become a licensed helicopter pilot. He trained daily for 3 months to be able to fly the helicopter.
Little wonder he was able to pull the 360-degree downward spiral maneuver stunt in between mountains. He was able to do this by himself in a matte black Airbus H125 helicopter. We have to hand over to Tom.
How Tom Pulled The Helicopter Stunt In Mission: Impossible-Fallout.
Flying a helicopter is one thing. Pulling off a difficult stunt as a newbie is surreal. Even the professionals did not believe he could pull it off. According to the aerial coordinator for the film, Marc Wolff, “To put someone like Tom into a situation like this is almost impossible to imagine.” But it was not impossible for Tom Cruise, and he proved so by doing it himself.
Although he nailed the stunt, it was not an easy journey. After learning how to fly helicopters, Tom Cruise still had to dedicate time to learn the stunt. Tom’s stunt coordinator, Eastwood, stated that they had to practice and train a lot to pull the stunt. Still, they shot the scene at least half a dozen times. Luckily for Tom Cruise, he had Eastwood’s support as the duo had once thought of flying a helicopter for fun in New Zealand. When their plans did not fall through, they decided to write a chopper scene into the sixth installments of Mission impossible film series. According to Eastwood, They looked at action sequences in movies, and there was no great helicopter action sequence, so they went ahead and made one.
Eastwood, Tom Cruise, and director Chris McQuarrie had to figure out what could be done. They came up with a concrete plan and analyzed if this fit the goal of each character. Tom Cruise and Eastwood worked together on set, and Eastwood devised the program to train Cruise for the stunt. Also, Eastwood stated that Tom was surrounded by stunt people while shooting the movie.
Even Eastwood himself admits how difficult it was for Tom to pull that stunt. It was freezing and exhausting, according to Eastwood, and they had to take a break occasionally. It was definitely not an easy one, but Tom, being a fan of daredevil scenes, had to nail this one he authored.
This shows how committed and dedicated Tom Cruise is to his craft. He is always willing to give his all to any role even if it means learning to fly a helicopter on a tight schedule.