Top 10 Aviation Movies for Aspiring Pilots

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In the world of aviation, it is easy to keep your head in the clouds. The film industry goes above and beyond to portray the lives of pilots. The following aviation movies are only a few of the top must-see films for aspiring pilots.

1) Sully (2016)

This Warner Bros film was based on the “Miracle on the Hudson”. Captain Chesley Sullenberger, “Sully”, glided his disable plane onto the Hudson River. He saved all 155 lives on board but is later facing investigation that threatens to destroy his reputation. The film was directed by Clint Eastwood with Tom Hanks as the star.
Aviation Movies : Sully (2016)
Aviation Movies : Amelia (2009)

2) Amelia (2009)

One of the most popular aviation myths is centered around the legendary Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. With Hilary Swank as Earhart, this film is a glimpse into her life and her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Her adventure still remains a mystery today.

3) Snakes on a Plane (2006)

Samuel L Jackson, as Neville Flynn, takes on a powerful mobster after witnessing a brutal murder. After hundreds of snakes are released onboard Flight 121, Neville and the passengers must struggle with the snakes to survive.
Aviation Movies : Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Aviation Movies : One Six Right (2005)

4) One Six Right (2005)

This documentary film dispels common misconceptions of General Aviation airports with aerial photography. Focused on Southern California’s Van Nuys Airport from past to present, this film shares the timeless love of flying with people of all ages.

5) The Aviator (2004)

Depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Hughes focuses on his role in designing and promoting new aircraft, including the TWE as a rival to Pan AM airlines. He is seen having severe bouts of mental illness and germophobia throughout the film.
Aviation Movies : The Aviator (2004)
Aviation Movies : Pearl Harbor (2001)

6) Pearl Harbor (2001)

A historical film with a mix of war and romance. Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett portray two lifelong friends that are caught up in the horror of the infamous Sunday morning in 1941. Even through dreadful Pearl Harbor, the two find themselves in love with the same Navy Nurse portrayed by Kate Beckinsale.

7) Top Gun (1986)

Tom Cruise stars as Maverick, the impulsive, daredevil Navy-pilot ace. After he is accepted into one of the most elite Fighter Schools, known as “Top Gun”, Maverick finds himself haunted by his father’s mysterious death. He fights to be able to suppress his competitive nature to win the Top Gun Trophy while wooing the girl of his dreams at the same time.
Aviation Movies : Top Gun (1986)
Aviation Movies : Airplane! (1980)

8) Airplane! (1980)

Even though Elaine did not want to be with Ted Striker anymore, he still followed her onto the flight she was working on. After all crew and passengers fall ill, it is up to Ted to safely land the plane. The ex-Navy pilot is forced to overcome his fear of flying that began after an incident at war.

9) Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

The dramatic retelling of the Pearl Harbor attack. The film illustrates the American intelligence agencies that intercepted Japanese communications hinting at the attack, however, they were unwilling to believe that such a strike could ever occur on U.S. soil.
Aviation Movies : Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Aviation Movies : Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)

10) Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)

This comedic film is revolved around the craze of early aviation. After a British newspaper offers a prize for the winner of a cross channel air race, there are sabotage efforts that don’t go unnoticed.