With the retirement of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat from the U.S. Navy in 2006, aviation fans around the globe still long for the Tomcat. Tomcat enthusiasts keep the F-14’s legacy alive through widely shared images/videos on social media while repeatedly watching the same movies that made the iconic aircraft famous, most notably the film “Top Gun”. With the upcoming release of “Tomcat Tales” (premieres July 05 2020), Tomcat fans can now look forward to a new film experience that features riveting stories directly from the cockpit with never-before-seen footage from the Pilots and Radar Intercept Officers that flew the F-14.
The Aviation Geek Club had the unique chance to preview Tomcat Tales before it’s released and to be clear, this is no standard documentary. Award-winning, screenwriter, director, and producer, Mark Vizcarra delivers a fresh and unique perspective to producing this entertaining film. As a retired Navy Fighter Pilot, he logged thousands of hours flying the world’s most sophisticated fighters.
Commander Mark Vizcarra received his commission through Aviation Officer Candidate school in 1984 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1986. He began his Naval Aviation career flying the venerable A-4 in Fleet Composite Squadron Ten in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. After finishing up his first tour, he transitioned to the F-14A Tomcat at NAS Miramar and was assigned to VF-114, the Fighting Aardvarsks. While embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln’s first deployment, he flew Combat Air Patrol missions over a burning Kuwait during Desert Storm. In 1996, Commander Vizcarra completed transition training to the F/A-18 and was dual qualified flying sorties in both the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet, often on the same day. In 1994, he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement for Tactical Aviation from the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) for accomplishments achieved as a skilled fighter pilot and Naval Officer. Commander Vizcarra has flown over 2500 hours in Navy fighters, landed aboard nine different aircraft carriers and is a graduate of TOPGUN.
With Tomcat Tales he brings an entirely new standard to incredibly entertaining storytelling. The film covers the Tomcat’s 30-plus year history including development, combat missions, Topgun training, and of course, the challenge of landing the F-14 onboard the aircraft carrier. “Tomcat Tales” includes flight stories from Top Gun’s first Commanding Officer, the only surviving Naval Aviator who flew all of the Grumman Cats, four Rear Admirals and many other Tomcat community icons. Director Mark Vizcarra, assisted by his brother, Michael Vizcarra, who co-wrote and produced this film, both flew Tomcats and actually flew together in the F-14. It’s rare for filmmakers to have such a unique, firsthand perspective when it comes to military aviation.
Captain Michael Vizcarra received his commission through the Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1984. He earned his wings and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1986. In 1987 upon completion of F-14 training, he reported to VF-154, the Black Knights. He was subsequently assigned to VF-124 as an F-14 Instructor in 1990 where he graduated from TOPGUN. Captain Vizcarra deployed with the Diamondbacks onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt within days following September 11, 2001. Upon returning from this record setting combat cruise, he transitioned to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and commanded the newest Navy fighter assigned to Carrier Air Group 5 in Japan. Captain Vizcarra has accumulated over 3,600 flight hours, including 3,000 F-14 hours, 450 F/A-18F hours and 900 arrested carrier landings.
Tomcat Tales is the ultimate documentary about America’s most beloved Navy fighter jet— the Grumman F-14 Tomcat! For more information on the movie, CLICK HERE.
Now’s the time to strap in to hear from the real TOP GUNS as they tell never heard before stories of what is was like flying America’s most famous fighter.
The World Premiere of Tomcat Tales is coming on Jul. 5, 2020!
In the meantime enjoy this cool trailer of the film.
Photo credit: Michael and Mark Vizcarra
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