'Goose' learns to fly
Depending on your age, you know actor Anthony Edwards as Gilbert Lowell from The Revenge of the Nerds, Lt. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw from Top Gun, or Dr. Mark Green from the television series ER. In Top Gun, Edwards played the radar intercept officer of actor Tom Cruise, who crashes their F–14 during a training mission. Edwards’ character dies, Cruise’s does not. Edwards recently earned his private pilot certificate and proudly states that now “Goose” gets to live and he gets to be the good-looking guy in the pilot's seat.
Getting started… Flying is something I have always wanted to do. Even before Top Gun. I know enough pilots to know that it isn’t something you want to simply dabble in. It takes commitment of time and focus to do it well. Finally an autumn opened with kids in school and a thumbs-up from the wife.
Early challenges… I was lucky to have a fantastic instructor who, by taking me step by step, never made me feel overwhelmed. (Of course, crosswind landings and not letting my altitude drift so much were a bit of a challenge, but I’m sure I’m not alone there.)
Hardest lessons… It’s not that I found the process exceptionally easy; however, it was that the building of information and the flying experiences just seemed to lead naturally to that big ol’ checkride.
Aviation activity… I am in the honeymoon phase of day-trip adventures to new airports. Luckily I fly in the Northeast so I get to substitute $100 hamburgers with an occasional lobster. Flying and food make me keep up my other hobby, running, which keeps my weight and balance in check.
Favorite airplane… Right now I am flying the Cirrus SR20 so I try not to look at other girls.
Advice for students… Don’t be afraid to ask the dumb questions. I played a doctor on TV for eight years and learned from real doctors that medicine is a practice and you can’t learn something new if you think you know it all. I’d like to think that pilots are like that too—always learning and never assuming.
Who: Anthony Edwards
Total time: 170 hours (soloed in 13 hours)
Extra: The actor turned 50 this year and says flying is his alternative to golf. His new television series Zero Hour debuts February 14th at 8 p.m. on ABC.