As Tom Cruise fans and action fanatics rush to theatres to reconnect with Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell – nearly four decades since he first graced the big screen – one Fruitvale veteran is taking his own walk down memory lane.
For 65-year-old Vince Treverton, watching Top Gun: Maverick at the Royal Theatre in Trail brought back memories from his time with the Royal Air Force.
“I thought the film was a very accurate portrayal of life flying planes,” Treverton told Black Press Media in a phone interview from his home.
Born and raised in the South London town of Croydon, England, Treverton first became interested in planes as a boy. The former Croydon Airport (which now serves as an aviation museum) was where he was first exposed to planes.
After developing an interest in flying, Treverton joined the air cadets at age 13.
By the time he began university, Treverton had won a scholarship from the Royal Air Force based on his participation in the cadets throughout high school. The scholarship allowed him to attend university at Imperial College London where he studied aeronautical engineering.
During his 19-year career with the Royal Air Force, Treverton spent time learning to fly several different aircraft at sites across the United Kingdom, including a stint at Royal Air Force Alconbury in 1981. The station is located near Huntingdon, England and has been used by the U.S. Air Force since 1951.
“That was almost exactly the way it was in the Top Gun movies.”
On social media, fans have shared their thoughts on the movie, noting the themes of teamwork and leadership as key to its success.
“Having experienced all of those things, and knowing what it takes to be in the Air Force, it was a really emotional movie for me,” Treverton said.
Of all his memories from his flying career, Treverton looks particularly fondly upon his time training at the Royal Air Force Chivenor station where he engaged in air combat training “just like the characters in Top Gun.”
Upon retiring from the Royal Air Force in 1994, Treverton spent 23 years as a commercial airline pilot with Cathay Pacific Airways, retiring in 2021.
In 2015, while flying for Cathay Pacific Airways, Treverton met his wife, Susan, in Hong Kong. The couple bonded over their shared enthusiasm for hiking.
As Treverton’s flying career came to a close, the couple decided to move to B.C. in order to be close to friends. They now live together in Fruitvale.
Although his professional flying career is over, Treverton is now a member of the Trail Flying Club and can be found flying the club’s Cessna 172 for leisure.