Two fighter pilots, Phil Clark and Jay Rivers, who flew together in Vietnam are assigned to the elite Air Force Fighter Weapons School (known as "Red Flag") at Nellis AFB, Nevada about a decade after the war. Brash, self-confident Clark is an instructor, while quieter, family man Rivers is the student. At first, the two men resume their friendship. But as the student starts to show the master a thing or two, tensions develop. Can their relationship survive the stresses of one of the military's top schools?
John A. Barnes
Did You Know?
During the funeral sequence, the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron "Thunderbirds" perform the Missing Man Formation in honor of a fallen pilot. Filmed in 1981, the Thunderbirds would themselves deal with tragedy three times during an 8 month span, losing 3 members of the formation seen in the film, and 6 pilots in all. In May of 1981, Thunderbird 6, Captain Nick Hauck (flying the rear-most aircraft, closest to the viewer during the funeral sequence), was killed during an airshow at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Four months later, Thunderbird Commander/Leader, Lt Col David "DL" Smith, was killed when attempting to eject from his aircraft, shortly after takeoff from Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, following their annual airshow. Four months later, the Thunderbirds would lose Commander/Leader, Major Norm Lowry, Captain "Willie" Mays, Captain "Pete" Peterson (the pilot executing the pull up in the Missing Man sequence in the movie), and Captain Mark Melancon, when all four Diamond Formation aircraft crashed during practice at Indian Springs, Nevada, at what is now Creech Air Force Base. See more
Major Rivers obviously is from a Air Base in Florida as several times he or his wife references it. But the aircraft he flies has a Nellis Tail code and markings of the 414 Aggressor Fighter Squadron, the very squadron he is up against. See more