Aerial dialogue in CAPS is UHF radio;
plane to plane, plane to carrier.
Aerial dialogue in small case is ICS;
an inter-cockpit system; a live mike,
heard by pilot and RIO only.
1. EXT. NIGHT. - THE PACIFIC IS ANYTHING BUT
WINDS HOWL. Rain drives horizontal. The sea surges up,
nearly to the flight deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty
Hawk. The carrier plunges, driving its bow into a wall of
grey water. The deck pitches forward and back, rolls left to
right, and yaws in a corkscrew motion. The entire 93,000 ton
behemoth rises and falls in the TYPHOON-DRIVEN SWELL.
2. SOMETHING DROPS DOWN OUT OF THE NIGHT
A ROAR. Silver wings flash by, a cockpit, fiery jet
exhausts. A forty ton monster drops at 120 knots into an area
the size of a tennis court in a CONTROLLED CRASH.
2A. A SHOWER OF SPARKS, A SCREECH OF RUBBER AND METAL as
the gear hits the deck. The hook catches the 3 wire and the
F-14 TOMCAT is slammed to a halt. It's the scariest thing
you've ever seen, the most dangerous maneuver in aviation and
just another day at the office for a Naval Aviator.
HARD DRIVING ROCK AND ROLL - THE CARS - RIDE ME HIGH
3. FLIGHT DECK - THE LANDING SIGNAL OFFICER - (LSO)
Leans almost horizontal into the winds. He holds the pickle,
controlling the landing lights and speaks into a mike. His
calm, professional commands belie the extreme conditions.
POWER, POWER...DON'T CLIMB...
OKAY, HOLD WHAT YOU GOT.
4. ANOTHER TOMCAT FLIES OVER THE RAMP
It slams in. The pilot hits full power, catches the wire, slams
to a stop, cuts his engines.
6. AIR OPS - BELOW DECK
Lots of scopes and electronic gear. The CARRIER CONTROL APPROACH
OFFICER (CCA) watches a blip on radar, reaches for his mike key.
7. EXT. THE TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING - (AERIAL)
We float like gods, above the storm, above the cloud cover,
looking down. From overhead, a probe slides into frame, then
a graceful nose. The cockpit sides by, Pilot, then Radar
Intercept Officer (RIO) barely illuminated by the orange glow
of their instruments. The fuselage gracefully swells to two
enormous air intakes, then variable angle wings, swept back
for high speed flight. Twin tailbooms cant outward,
horizontal stabilizers make constant adjustments. Enormous
twin jet exhaust ports glow red in the moonlight.
8. INT. COCKPIT - (AERIAL)
We become aware of WIND WHISTLE, JET ENGINE SOUNDS, RADIO
STATIC. The pilot, COUGAR, is calm, steady. The Radar
Intercept Officer in the backseat, GOOSE, is a wildman,
always an edge of humor in his voice. A UHF transmission
STRIKE (V.O. filtered)
GHOST RIDER, THIS IS STRIKE... WE
HAVE UNKNOWN CONTACT INBOUND,
MUSTANG. YOUR VECTOR ZERO NINE ZERO
Almost immediately the RIO picks up a target and responds.
CONTACT 20 LEFT AT 25, 900 KNOTS
8A. ANGLE - SECOND F-14 - 115 - COUGAR'S WINGMAN
Come in on the cockpit with stenciled name and call signs: LT.
EVAN MITCHELL is the pilot, MAVERICK. In flight suit and oxygen
mask, we can only see his eyes. they are confident. In his
mid-twenties, he is lean, hard, athletic...the archetype fighter
pilot. His rear-seater is LTJG. WALTER MERLIN; WIZARD.
I'LL I.D. HIM, YOU HOOK 'EM.
Maverick peels off to right, to high cover position; 5 o'clock.
9. INT. GHOST RIDER 117 - COUGAR'S POV
HEADS UP DISPLAY (HUD) glows dimly on the windscreen. Directly
in front of the stick, two CRT screens display data. The bottom
screen shows a radar sweep. Wedged between the instruments is a
snapshot of a pretty young woman with a 2 month-old baby.