It's hard to believe that we're throwing it back 36 years to the release of the original Top Gun movie! It was truly an unforgettable experience working with Paramount promoting the first movie, long before we ever knew just how big this would become...

Since then, we have sewn countless amounts of squadron patches onto our leather G-1 flight jackets. The original "Movie Hero" style has graced the covers of magazines, donned by celebrities, and we have even been invited into some of your homes through personal family holiday cards and photos. For this, we are forever grateful! 

36 years later, "Top Gun" remains one of the most influential air-combat action films ever made; placing the F-14 Tomcat in front of the world as an iconic symbol for an entire generation. The U.S. Navy also reported their highest number of recruit applications that year. 

Fast forward to 2018, we were contacted again by the new movie's costume team. As the current official USAF supplier of the iconic A-2 leather flight jacket , we are honored to be a part of this unsurpassed piece of Naval and movie history. We can't wait to watch the premiere of "Maverick"!  

Today, we invite you to join us in brining back "that loving feeling" that can only be found when sliding one's arms into a Cockpit USA "Movie Hero" leather flight jacket!  Our creative team connected with Pilot Bruno, who shared his childhood dreams of becoming a "Top Gun Pilot" which inspired his career in aviation, and the reason why he wears our "Move Hero" Top Gun II jacket. 
1. Tell me about what inspired you to become a pilot? And your first experience holding your first set of flight controls ?

When I was 5 years old, I rode with my Dad to the São Paulo International Airport (the city I’m originally from) to drop off a friend of his that was flying home. After they said goodbye, he took me to the terrace (yes, airports still had panoramic terraces those days) and we spent hours watching planes land and takeoff. On that day, something clicked in me, and by the time I got home... I was hooked on Aviation.

I spent my entire childhood and teenage years fascinated with planes. I read books, watched thousands of videos, and spent all of my free time playing (well, “flying”) Microsoft Flight Simulator.

It wasn’t until I turned 35, that I handled the controls of a real plane for the first time, a Piper Cherokee 180. I was in the right seat, and my friend Neal had invited my wife and I for a “burger” flight. He let me have the controls for 5 minutes and once we had landed, I was convinced that it was finally time for me to pursue my childhood dream.
2. You chose the Movie Hero Top Gun II, have you seen the "Top Gun" movie? Whom did you watch it with? How was your experience and how did it inspire you?

I remember asking my Dad to rent the “Top Gun” movie every weekend! I wanted to be a "Top Gun Pilot", I watched it every single weekend with my brother—who also loves the movie to this day. 
Due to my “history” with Top Gun, the “Movie Hero” replica has always been a favorite to me. Several brands out there tried (and still try) to replicate it, but they always fall short of an actual replica. The one made by Cockpit USA is the real deal. The first time I tried it, I felt like that little kid hitting “play” on the VHS and watching the epic Top Gun intro for the first time. I think we all wanted to become Navy pilots after watching that movie!
3.  What type of pilot are you? What is it like becoming a pilot in your adult life?
I’m a Private Pilot with an Instrument rating. I must say it wasn’t easy to start a new career in my 30s… It would’ve been much easier if I was younger! But I can say with confidence that it is the best decision I have ever made 

The day I received my Private Pilot’s license, I felt this incredible feeling that I had discovered the thing that I love to do the most. There aren’t many things that can beat that feeling. 
4. Instagram vs. Real Life : How would you describe the difference between what we see online vs. your real life work as a pilot?
What you see on my Instagram is my real life. I’m not the kind of person who shows a “perfect life” on Instagram, in fact it’s quite the opposite. What you see in my pictures, videos and reels is the real Bruno: a guy who decided it wasn’t too late to pursue his dreams, who is still learning to fly and discover all of the amazing doors General Aviation can open. I share my victories, my defeats, my mistakes and even stories most wouldn’t allow themselves to share. By doing this, my content became relatable, and inspiring. When people see it, they think: “well, if he can do it, so can I.”

I get DMs from people all over the world saying my Instagram inspired them to pursue their own Aviation dreams. It means the world to me. 
5. When did you first hear about Cockpit USA?

Through my “inspirational influencers", people who were setting the tone for Aviation on social media, and motivating others like me to keep pursuing their dreams. One of them is @pilotannie (Annie Vogel), whose Instagram page has always been incredibly aspirational to me! She flies in Canada and is always sharing photos, wearing her signature Cockpit USA brown leather bomber jacket. I’ve been a fan ever since.
6. Tell us about your plane and its connection to Top Gun?

I fly a Grumman AA5A. It’s known as “Grumman Cheetah”.
Since the 1940s, Grumman had a tradition of naming its planes after felines: Wildcat, Lynx, Cheetah, Tiger… Tomcat.

That’s right. The F-14 Tomcat was built by Grumman, in their former Calverton factory, located a few miles away from where I did my flight training in Long Island, NY and near the American Airpower Museum, started by Jeff and Jacky  and also sponsored by Cockpit USA.

I learned how to fly next to the place where my favorite fighter jet was once built, I now fly it's (sort of) “distant” cousin... The Cheetah. It is much slower, of course, and doesn’t carry missiles… but in some ways, you can tell they share the same blood.  
7. What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2022?


2022 is the year that I decided to make Aviation a true lifestyle for me. My wife and I recently flew the Cheetah from New York to Lakeland, FL for Sun’n Fun, and it was an epic trip. Now we’re already planning our next adventures! I want to fly all over the country (and also to Canada and the Caribbean), and I hope to bring everyone with me through Instagram. We will be attending the Memorial Day celebration at the American Airpower Museum, and we look forward to seeing everyone there. I have some amazing adventures to explore, and I can’t wait to share!