This is “Interview with Commander Frank Weisser”.This Father’s Day, retired U.S. Navy Commander and former Blue Angel Frank Weisser joins Jentezen Franklin for a behind-the-scenes look into the blockbuster movie, “Top Gun: Maverick.”  Weisser graciously shared his experiences as a naval aviator and how he came to pilot the iconic scenes in the movie. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to hear directly from Commander Frank Weisser and his amazing testimony of sacrifice, service, and faith. To hear more inspiring messages from Jentezen Franklin, visit… & subscribe to this channel: Tell us more about what’s going on in your life: Let us pray with you:… Share your testimony to encourage us and others:… See our outreach programs:… Stay Connected to Jentezen Franklin:… Donate to help us share the gospel around the world through Kingdom Connection broadcasts and other humanitarian outreaches:… #topgun #jentezenfranklin #faith

well he’s a Atlanta native they live up

in Northeast Georgia he attended the

United States Naval Academy he’s got so

many things that I’m giving you the

abbreviated version uh was deployed

aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt after

his training he flew 34 combat missions

in Iraq in support of operation Iraqi

freedom he joined the Blue Angels in

2007 one of the most elite flying groups

that you will ever see he served as the

narrator and VIP pilot in 2008 he also

solo pilot and

natops officer in 2009 he’s an American

hero he wouldn’t say that he’s very

humble very kind but would you give a

warm welcome to Top Gun Commander Frank



thank you



I don’t know if you can see Bill on the

keyboard but he’s got his aviator

glasses on and I mean they’re you know

they’ve never played that when I come

out to preach I don’t understand what

the deal is here I’m a Top Gun Preacher

come on now

you can try to be try to be sometimes

thanks again for being here we really

enjoyed talking in the first service I

saw Charisse and I went to see the movie

uh Maverick the numbers are already in

it’s the number one new thing on the

planet in the world it’s breaking every

record it’s got a great message a

message of inspiration and hope

um what was that like working with Tom

Cruise behind you and your flying feet

off the ground and doing those amazing

feats in that aircraft yeah it was uh it

was an incredible experience of course

and one of the things that did for me

was it broke down a lot of my Hollywood

stereotypes because

um I went into it thinking that these

people were going to be either

um you know too good to deal with just

me or having an air of um superiority

about everything but what I found was to

the to a person they were incredible and

it wasn’t just Tom and the other actors

it was really it takes such a machine to

to do what they do and uh they’re all

just really incredible folks and the

experience was tremendous it’s nice to

see behind the curtains a little bit and

know what they do

um and Tom was a real treat to fly with

he is a hard-working guy like I

mentioned before and he just um you

don’t get to that level of success

without working hard and so he the man

knows how to work and he is always at it

but he’s also an experienced pilot which

makes it a lot more fun to fly with him

because he was just really strong in the

airplane and what I found was when he

didn’t have any limitations we had no

limitations as a crew so we were only

limited by what the jet would could do

which is a lot actually so it was it was

a really from my Advanced point I just

wanted to go up and fly safe and have

fun we we really had a good time

it’s just fascinating to me and I’m sure

to every person out there you know

flying a machine like that

how fast how fast do they get up to

I think there’s a line that says I could

tell you but then I’d have to kill you

the speed that’s published for that

airplane is 1.8 Mach so that’s 180 the

speed of sound which is about 750 miles

an hour

so it will go really fast

and and those g-forces have you ever

passed out

not in an airplane but we get into a

simulator that spins you around and

around until you pass out and it is an

uncomfortable feeling for sure and even

being at seven or eight G’s

is really hard on your body you feel

like there’s an elephant in your lap you

know your body is pulled into the seat

if you go into a roller coaster at Six

Flags you might feel maybe two G’s at

the bottom of the loop but this is you

know I’m a 200 pound person so I weigh

1600 pounds

it’s a lot and and you’ve got to keep

your you’ve got to keep your wits about

it yes not just surviving it’s actually

thinking and still piloting the airplane

you’re different breed I mean you’re

different why what what would you I mean

not only doing that just just flying but

then going into combat situations like

you’ve done over and over in Iraq and

other places and knowing that you’re

going to be fired at knowing that you

the enemy would love as a trophy to take

you and your plane down uh do you do you

do you you guys seem like a do you deal

with that fear is it real to you or is

it just a kind of something kick in yeah

I think um obviously as a pilot you are

you have to be prepared so you you study

and you prepare and you train properly

to avoid that but um as we discussed

earlier for me fear is not was never an

issue and and that’s because we’re

Christian and I’m a Christian so I don’t

I’m not afraid of dying that’s the

ultimate the best is still yet to come

for us right

what I fear is not the airplane what I

fear is losing the people close to me I

would be fearful of not being there for

my family as they grow up but um fearful

of flying over bad guy country was never

something that bothered me

I I was amazed to learn uh in the first

service that you don’t really have you

didn’t really have um

even any experience in flying until you

got in the Navy and what happened yeah

that’s right I went to the Naval Academy

um how old were you I went to the Naval

Academy at 18 so right out of high

school but I went there to serve my

country and so

for me it’s all about service it’s not

about what I did it was about the fact

that I did something and that I wanted

to serve and however I could serve our

country I’d let them decide that for me

and they do that anyway they the

military is very much the term is needs

of the Navy and so my skill set was best

aligned with flying and so that’s what I

was assigned to do and then I learned

that way but what I found out right away

on flight number one was I loved it it

was just an incredible experience

and then it becomes this incredible

blessing because I can now serve my

country and do something I enjoy doing

absolutely were you do you feel like I

mean it’s just it almost sounds so

Random you know if you wouldn’t have

went into the military you you would

have never maybe flown an airplane

that’s insane and and yet that gift was

in here not just a pilot which is

incredible but you are a top pilot I

mean that you were the one that the Navy

sent to do these to represent in this

amazing movie and I guess you know it

just blows my mind that that gift was in

you and somebody identified it and

somebody uh you know

saw that in you and then one thing leads

to another and you Excel it it’s funny

when I went to the Naval Academy I

wanted to be a Navy SEAL and that was

before seals were popular after 9 11 and

that sort of thing this was in the mid

90s and so I was really heartbroken

actually I cried when I found out that I

was gonna fly

and now there’s one other aspect of this

which is if you go to flight school you

don’t know what you’re going to fly and

you can fly the fighters or you could

also fly cargo ships or helicopters or

Maritime Patrol so there’s a lot of

ambiguity in what you’ll end up doing

but I was heartbroken about it and when

I went down to flight school I was

surrounded by people who really had

wanted to do that since they were little

itty bitty kids and so my mind at the

time was I’m just going to work I’ll

outwork all of them even though it’s

what they wanted to do because it’s more

important that I’m serving my country

and if I’m serving it by learning if I’m

serving by doing something I can prove

more to me by working hard at something

I didn’t want to do than by just working

hard at something I I had for sure

always wanted to do


do you believe that do you believe that

that everybody has something in them

like that that God put them here to do

yeah I think it would be safe to say you

were born to fly you were born to fly I

mean you the gift was in you is in you

and do you believe God put something in

all of us it may not be a pilot but

there’s something that God has in mind

with every life I do believe that yeah I

think um you have to ask God though you

have to be willing to say

open up your heart and say lead me the

way you want to go and I will follow you

you sound so matter of fact about you

know you started flying and you become

the top pilot but but was there a

um was there a moment when you

recognized that that there was a talent

and a gift that was unusual I hadn’t

happened yet

no I mean I struggled when I learned I

felt like I was a really below average

pilot for a while but once again it’s if

you keep at it and you keep trying and

for me when I get to my lowest point

I resort to prayer

because what else is there when you um

when you you know you can’t do it all on

your own

but there is someone who can help and so

that’s what I would always fall back on

and I believe that my success is because

of my relationship with the Lord

so good amazing

growing up in Georgia and and then being

out making a major Pro maybe the biggest

movie in in so far in history uh as far

as people seeing it and bringing hope

and inspiration through that did you

ever dream that you could have the kind

of impact your life has had not only on

freedom and defending our freedom the

feeling that my wife and I had when we

watched and left the movie was one of

tremendous gratitude

to the Armed Forces

because we realize why we were eating

popcorn and having a good time there

were men and women who absolutely put

their lives on the line they’re in

danger even as we speak in this room

right now and they do it day in and day

out all the time watching

yeah I don’t think I anticipated having

an impact like we’ve been able to have

for a variety of reasons one of the

unique things about being on the Blue

Angels for so long is that you go all

over the country and you get to share

this dream of Aviation you share it why

I was called to serve and you have a

chance to hopefully Inspire and motivate

you know the future generation and for

me it was never about serving in the

Navy I wasn’t trying to find a bunch of

fighter pilots or find Sailors to fix

airplanes it was just explaining why I

felt called the serve and for me it’s

the military is the way in which I chose

to serve but there’s so many ways to

serve and everyone here is surfing and

so it was a chance to inspire and to

just tell kids that it’s better to give

than to receive and it’s better to serve

than to be served and in this world

you’re you’re constantly it’s most

important to do a little bit of

everything and to um to give that back

the Blue Angels have this really cool

capability of sharing this incredible

thing this air show the gentleman that I

named my son been for was the best guy

I’ve ever met in my whole life and he

died in an airplane crash and it was

heartbreaking for me and for our family

but he had joined the Navy to fly

because of seeing the Blue Angels

perform and he made me such a better

person just by being just the kind of

person he was that I spent my time on

the Blue Angels trying to find one more

of him

if I can go out and motivate and Inspire

these kids and find one bin who can kind

of change the world the mission

accomplished on my end it’s so good I

think um

so so you’re flying in at night over the

ocean and you’ve got a short Runway that

you’ve got to land that thing and let’s

just throw in for kicks stormy weather

bad weather because you have to do what

you have to do what is that like what is

that like Landing that fighter jet on

that Runway

what would you describe it

doing landing on aircraft care in the

daytime is fun once you get good at it

it’s one of the

most unique and enjoyable things in all

of Aviation but doing it at night is not

that way doing it at night is just work

and it’s it is scary and you it’s scary

only because you know your limitations

as the pilot and you know your

aircraft’s limitations and you know the

things that you can’t control which is

what the aircraft carrier does what’s

what the weather does and um and there’s

just so many ways to have things go

wrong or to mess up and so it’s actually

liberating the sense that you realize

you can’t do it all yourself and you

have to trust and first and foremost you

trust the Lord to keep you safe but you

also trust the people around you that as

we were talking earlier the time on the

Blue Angels the time behind the aircraft

here at night it’s a level of high trust

where you’re putting your life in so

many people’s hands at the same time and

any of them with a simple mistake not a

deliberate mistake but a simple mistake

could cause you to perish on that

evening and so you have this level of

trust that you put in everyone around

you the person steering the ship the

person talking you down the person

that’s responsible that the lights work

the person that had fixed my airplane

before I went flying my wingman who’s

with me you know there are times where

for example one night over the north

Arabian Sea everything in my airplane

just went dark everything a total extra

failure and so

another airplane joins up and the only

way to land is to follow that airplane

into land now they’re not going to land

they they fly just about close enough

that you can fly on their wing at night

and they drop you off and you look for

it and then you land so talk about a

level of trust that this wingman of mind

I I know I can’t do it alone anymore I

don’t have the capabilities I don’t have

the avocs to do it so it’s it’s a high

degree of trust but it it’s actually a

really wonderful thing to be able to to

trust another human being that much and

and when you’re on that uh that ship and

you know that that night you’re going

out on a mission you did many many 34

combat missions but hundreds of

situations you were flown into during

the Iraq War and so on

when you’re laying on that bunk and that

and that I know you’re missing your

family what do you think about how do

you prepare mentally for knowing I’m not

only going responsible for this machine

and run my mission but I’m going to be

fired at I’m going to be in danger I

could never see my family again what was

that like and how did you get through


is it a normal day or is it a routine

that you go through and yeah if um for

us especially if we fly a lot at night

and that’s because we’re good at it and

uh so you have in the military there’s a

there’s a tactical Advantage by

operating when other people can’t

operate and so the US military is really

good at operating in the Darkness

and we do it with night vision goggles

we uh we train more we get more

experience and more uh Hands-On training

and so we do that because it gives us an

advantage and so if you’re flying at

night you’re not even taking off till

nine or ten so you try to sleep in as

late as you can but um when you wake up

and you know you’re flying the night

you’re thinking about it all day long

for sure because you understand the

risks and and more importantly you’ve

had friends who have perished

doing that exact same thing so we try to

honor them by learning from their

mistakes and by not making the same

mistake twice but um you have to be you

have to be mentally strong and prepared

before you ever launch because you’re

strapping a 35 000 pound or a 45 000

once you load all the Ordnance on plan

onto your back

how did your faith uh hold you steady

through those

trying times and and even in what you do

how does your faith what role does it


I’d say it’s all consuming on my end

it’s uh and it has to be

um when you realize that you can’t

control it but only the Lord can and you

put your faith in Jesus

it’s actually a pretty big blessing to

know that um like I said you’re not


you’re just um

grateful that’s the word I spoke of

earlier it’s um I’m very grateful I’m

I’m grateful that I’m here of course but

I was very grateful to be able to serve

it is um it’s quite a blessing to

actually serve a cause bigger than

yourself and that’s really what it comes

down to it’s

um a chance to do something that you can

take pride in but also that you know

you’re doing something valuable for the

world around you is is a blessing you

talk about trust I was just thinking

about it and how you have to trust your

winged man and your people and your


but your wife and your family we just

don’t always understand that I think the

price that the family pays yeah you’re

exactly right so I made the choice to

serve my country

um when we were dating my I said to my

wife you know we’re

if this becomes more if we get serious

almost trying to warn her off that this

is not an easy life to be a Navy Wife

because I’ll be gone a lot and you’re

going to be home by yourself and

hopefully raising a family and and she

told me at the time that she felt that

was the way she was called to serve and

that it takes the spouse too





and on that so she chose to serve on at

my side but the children they don’t make

that call they’re born into that level

of service and so my oldest daughter was

born I was with her for one day as we

moved between Virginia and Florida and

then my son was born when I was at a on

a four-week swing doing air shows the

Blue Angels and our our baby girl was

born while I was over Afghanistan and it

it I mean it’s hardest on Bethany

but it’s of course really hard to be


so far away you know I I got in my

airplane the day that Caroline was born

and I typed in the Waypoint so in

airplanes it’s where you’re going you’re

out and as I took off from the care I

typed in the Waypoint for the hospital

she was born at to see the the most

direct route if I had to get there it

was like 8 950 miles over the North Pole

and back down to California I thought

well I’m a long way I’m a long way from

from her right then that’s very touchy

it’s very powerful

and it’s not an easy job being a father

it’s fun and and easier when they’re

young but at some point kids become


you know independent and that’s that’s

the goal but there’s great challenges

with that what what would you say to uh

fathers out there today you know I don’t

know how people do it without the Lord I

don’t know how you raise a family in the

21st century without Jesus Christ the

Cornerstone and I may fail at a lot of

things as a father

but I will not fail

at passing down to my children that

Cornerstone of everything that you ever

dream of it must be built on Christ

Jesus our lord is safe that’s success

right that’s that’s a hero if we can do

that as fathers

yeah I wholeheartedly agree I think that

um it takes a far stronger and more

powerful man to admit when they’re wrong

and to ask for forgiveness

I think being brave isn’t about just

protecting your family all the time it’s

about letting your children know that

you also are vulnerable and that you can

make mistakes we were driving to church

this morning and we were having a cup my

daughter my oldest had written a kind

note that we read last night and she

mentioned you know through the ups and

the downs and the tough patches and I

said tell me what those tough patches


and so we went through a time that she

was essentially banished to a chair to

sit for a period while she thought about

what she’d done wrong

and I said you know just so you know

it’s harder on me than on you and she

laughed at me because I don’t think you

know Dad it’s definitely harder being

punished and I said no it’s harder to

punish because you don’t know if you’re

doing it right and as the parent you

definitely every parent in the world

wants what’s best for their kids they

want their children to be better off

than they were they want them to be

better people than they were and so you

feel that burden of responsibility

but you there’s no one telling you what

to do and there’s there’s no one leading

you except the Lord and so when you

invite God into your life knowing that

we don’t know all the answers but we ask

him for help

I don’t know any other way than that

so good and today

to all of our fathers who are here to

encourage you we’re here to tell you

that I’m sitting on the stage I know

this is so uncomfortable for me to with

a hero but you’re just as much of a hero

when you stay

when you stand when you say I love my

family no matter what is going on their

mind and nothing will ever make me be

separate and that’s the kind of heavenly

father we have today

how many of you appreciate Commander

Frank wiser coming by with his family

would you show him some appreciation

today thank you sir you’re amazing bless



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