Movie Review: Miami Vice

What do a couple of pilots do when overnighting in Lincoln, Nebraska?  Go to the Grand Theater downtown to see Miami Vice.  The movie isn’t as sunny as the TV series.  As pilots we enjoyed the helicopter scenes but couldn’t decide whether or not to feel insulted by the fact that Detective Tubbs seems to have become a qualified business jet pilot.  Tubbs flies a bizjet to Haiti for a meeting with a bad guy.  Then he talks about filling up his turbine-powered machine with “avgas” (you actually can do this for a few hours, but Jet-A is preferred).  There is also a scene with the Adam A500 centerline thrust twin-engine plane, an almost mythical beast (Adam promised to deliver lots of these, but they couldn’t get FAA certification for anything more than the kinds of altitudes and conditions in which you’d fly a 1956 Cessna 172 with busted gyros (retails for $20,000), which has reduced demand considerably for the $1 million plane).  Finally they have an Avanti Piaggio, indicating that the filmmakers did go down to the local airport and say “drag all of your weirdest planes out of the hangars.”

Anyway, it is great that aviation is featured in the film, at least as a tool for drug importers.  But to those of us who struggle to maintain proficiency and add ratings, it is humbling that a guy who spends most of his time playing with guns, cars, boats, and criminals seems to be able to fly anything with wings.

4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Miami Vice

  1. Hey, don’t knock the Piaggio. When I manage to pull a Phil Greenspun, I’m forgetting the helicopter and the single engined plane and at least some of the yuppie toys and going straight for the Piaggio.

    Unless I can scare up a LearFan or a Beech Starship, of course. 😛

  2. Ha! Pull a Greenspun?! Don’t we all wish… Phil, you’re the man and I really enjoy your blogs. Since I’m a Oracle nerd, Beech pilot, affiliate marketer (wannabe), student of the markets and, sometimes, fooled-by-randomness Las Vegas tourist we share some of the same interests.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if, during our lifetimes, we could earn some disposable income writing about VLJs? Say, referring readers to a URL like

    Keep the articles coming…

  3. You want humbling? Try Jack Bauer in 24 being able to fly any aircraft he lays his eyes on. This is a guy that is an ex soldier, expert counter terrorist agent, starts the first season running a regional headquarters for said agency, knows how to use computers and pdas, knows probably more about his cell phone than most of us do, drives like a racecar driver, flies prop, rotary wing and multi engine jet aircraft. When does he train?

  4. Having round-tripped in a P180 on Friday and Lear 35 on Sunday, I should point out that the Piaggio is much nicer for folks with acute hearing: less high-frequency noise than the typical small bizjet.

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