LUBBOCK, Texas — The Navy fighter pilot (not the actor) who actually flew the plane for the new “Top Gun” movie is Lubbockite Amy Heflin.
Heflin graduated from Lubbock High in 2007 and went on to the Naval Academy. She then served as one of the US Navy’s most elite fighter pilots for more than a decade. In the new movie, Heflin doubled for actress Monica Barbaro.
“It was absolutely incredible,” Heflin said. “I am extremely fortunate to have the job I have, it’s the one dreams are made of.”
Heflin said she went from being concerned about tactics to being concerned about lighting and camera angles.
“It was very different types of flying,” Heflin said.
Her dreams of becoming a pilot began at a young age, as Heflin said she told her elementary school teacher she wanted to go to the Air Force Academy.
“She said, ‘I don’t know if that’s for girls’ – and I think that’s what kind of lit a fire,” Heflin said. “Let me prove you wrong.”
Heflin said her initial draw to becoming a pilot was when her father would take her and her older brother out to the old Reese Air Force base to watch the thunderbirds, as kids.
After graduating from Lubbock High School, both Heflin and her brother went on to become pilots.
Heflin said that her motivation to join the military was her brother who had down syndrome. “Seeing I could use my abilities, my able body, to give back to the community was the driving factor,” said Heflin.
Heflin expressed that she hopes the biggest takeaway from this film is inspiration for young women – to know that their dreams, too, can take flight.