In recognition of the upcoming Star Wars Day "May the Fourth" celebrations, we have decided to share a peek behind the scenes, and allow the public to see how production test/film pilots were forced to learn about their aircraft/spacecraft performance and handling characteristics during and in between the shoots. Thankfully, no film pilots were injured, but multiple accidents and incidents occurred due to the limited training and hasty film schedule...
This image captures one of the unfortunate moments during filming. A museum aircraft carrier was deployed to use during filming. A pilot was distracted by the directors requests and allowed his fuel to run critically low. During a hasty priority approach, the pilot failed to follow proper procedures resulting in extensive damage to the prototype. Film production/test pilot Lt Brian Williams offered no reason to the Investigatory Safety Commission for his landing attempt with S foils extended other than to say "I Was There"
A Rebel Alliance modified T-47 Airspeeder awaits maintenance crew after the film production pilot elected to land at a local airport due to an electrical issue encountered during filming of "The Return of the Jedi" Image capture: Media Co.uk
Six days after the loss of an X Wing aboard the smaller Museum Aircraft Carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was offered by the US Navy to Lucas Films to help min completing production. An X-Wing variant using the electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) successfully launched even though, once again the pilot erroneously selected the S Foils in the extended position, damage was limited, and the X Wing managed to return the the boat, trapping on the number two arresting wire of Ford's advanced arresting gear (AAG) . The flight also marked the beginning of ship suitability testing, known as developmental test 1, for the primary interceptor and the USS Gerald R. Ford as the lead ship of her class of United States Navy Supercarriers.
A rare released image capturing one of the film production pilots tanking from a support KC-135 on loan from the Air Force in between filming of air to air sequences for the "Last Jedi" Film.
This image captures seconds before a TIE fighter was lost during a recent air show demonstration. Thankfully, the crew managed to eject before impacting the surface. Preliminary findings indicate the accident was caused by the Galactic Empire demonstration spacecraft entering a split S maneuver with insufficient altitude to allow for recovery. Propelled by Twin Ion Engines (hence the TIE acronym), TIE fighters are fast, fragile star fighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire.
Fight to fly, fly to fight, fight to win.
— Rebel Alliance Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN
"Go Ugly Early" Jedi Proverb