Louis Gossett Jr., aka Colonel Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair who helped Doug Masters to rescue his father in Iron Eagle, passed away

Louis Gossett Jr., aka Colonel Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair who helped Doug Masters to rescue his father in Iron Eagle, passed away

By Dario Leone
Apr 8 2024
Sponsored by: Mortons Books
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Louis Gossett Jr. passed away

Louis Gossett Jr., who won a supporting actor Oscar for playing the hard-as-nails drill instructor in 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentleman” a few years after winning an Emmy for his role as the cunning Fiddler in “Roots,” died on Mar. 29, 2024.

As reported by Variety, Gossett’s family announced his death in a statement, writing: “It is with our heartfelt regret to confirm our beloved father passed away this morning. We would like to thank everyone for their condolences at this time. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

In Taylor Hackford’s “An Officer and a Gentleman,” Gossett’s Sgt. Emil Foley memorably drove Richard Gere’s character to the point of near collapse at Navy flight school. Gossett was the first Black man to win the best supporting actor Oscar for that role.

Louis Gossett Jr., aka Colonel Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair who helped Doug Masters to rescue his father in Iron Eagle, passed away
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In addition to “An Officer and a Gentleman,” Gossett is best known among Aviation Geeks for “Iron Eagle” (1986).

Iron Eagle

While Top Gun showed off the F-14 Tomcat to its advantage, the F-16 Fighting Falcon had the very questionable Iron Eagle series to show off the machine’s agility to cinema goers.

As told by Bertie Simmonds in his book F-16 Fighting Falcon, the 1986 first film saw Doug Masters (Jason Gedrick) rescue his father Colonel Ted Masters (Tim Thomerson) from the heart of an evil stereotypical Middle Eastern regime after Masters Senior had been shot down. What follows is a laughable plot where Doug and his teenage friends manage to get intelligence on the prison where they are holding his father in the fictional Arab state of Bilya and manage to get two fuelled-up and bombed-up F-16s ready for Doug and Colonel Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair (Louis Gossett Junior) to stage the rescue attempt.

Louis Gossett Jr., aka Colonel Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair who helped Doug Masters to rescue his father in Iron Eagle, passed away

In the film the snarling bad guy Colonel Akir Nakesh is played by British actor David Suchet, who also is the main opponent in the dogfight at the end, where his ‘MiG-23’ is destroyed by Masters and the whole thing ends happily.

While the kiln is a bandwagon exercise following from the much more polished Top Gun, it does have its moments. Writer/director Sidney J Fury was forced to turn to the Israeli Air Force to help make the film when the USAF refused. This means that the action scenes feature some very cool aerial footage by Jim Gavin (of Blue Thunder fame) of Vipers tangling with`MiG-23s’ played by IAI Kfirs.

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Louis Gossett Jr., aka Colonel Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair who helped Doug Masters to rescue his father in Iron Eagle, passed away
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: screenshot from the movie / Tri Star Pictures


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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