‘Top Gun’ Star Monica Barbaro Flies With U.S. Navy Blue Angels

The actress was honored for her charitable work and contributions during Fleet Week.

Monica Barbaro attends the global premiere of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ in San Diego. She plays Phoenix, the first female fighter pilot in the film.

Actress Monica Barbaro flew with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Oct. 8 during San Francisco’s Fleet Week in recognition of her community and charity involvement. She was flown by Pilot Lieutenant Commander Griffin Stangel in a Boeing F/A-18. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels honored Barbaro by displaying her name and her character’s call sign, Phoenix, on the sides of the plane. They also celebrated with a post on Instagram.

“Today, actress and Top Gun: Maverick star, Monica Barbaro, call sign “Phoenix,” had the opportunity to leave the G-suit behind and take a ride in the back of one of our F/A-18 Super Hornets,” the official U.S. Navy Blue Angels account wrote. “It was a pleasure having you visit with the team and share your love of aviation with us! Till next time, Phoenix!”

Barbaro is known for her efforts and contributions on behalf of the ACLU, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Wingman Foundation.

“It was really fun to get to see everything they were about to do in the show, and then get to watch it with that perspective,” Barbaro told CBS San Francisco. “I’m very lucky I flew in the movie, and kind of knew what I was doing up there. I think if I were a first timer, that would’ve been pretty intense.”

Barbaro’s Top Gun: Maverick co-star, Glen Powell, flew with the Blue Angels earlier this year. He is currently working on a documentary about the 1946-formed flight demonstration team that works under the U.S. Navy. The film will follow “the newest class of the storied Navy and Marine Corps flight squadron through intense training and into a season of heart-stopping aerial artistry, and the veterans on the team who, this year, will take their final flights” and will hold historic significance as the first IMAX movie to feature blue and yellow F/A-18 Super Hornets. Aviation films hold a special place in Powell’s heart, after playing a pilot in two films (Top Gun and Devotion).

“I made two naval aviation films back-to-back, lived on bases among our men and women in uniform and learned firsthand what it takes for them to be the best of the best,” he said. “After flying with the Blue Angels in an air show, I saw an incredible opportunity to make a world-class documentary.”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.