A group of daredevil Etihad Airways flight attendants jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet and played the theme tune to ‘Mission: Impossible’ while performing a synchronised skydive in a stunning stunt to celebrate the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s partnership with the highly successful Tom Cruise action franchise.
Okay, these ‘flight attendants’ weren’t actually real Etihad crew members but highly skilled skydivers who all also happened to be trained musicians who were hired by the airline to dress up as cabin crew to bring this incredible stunt to life.
Since the original video was first screened on YouTube in July to celebrate the release of ‘Mission: Impossible -Dead Reckoning Part 1’, the stunt has been viewed by more than 1.2 million people around the world, although we finally have a glimpse into how they did it.
On Thursday, Etihad released a follow-up behind-the-scenes video that gave away all of the secrets of this incredible skydiving stunt.
But while the flight attendants weren’t actually cabin crew, they were all real musicians, and they actually played their instruments while freefalling through the sky.
It’s no wonder that the stunt took weeks upon weeks of preparation to pull off, involving hours of practice and custom rigging so that the ‘cabin crew’ could really play their instruments in mid-air.
Etihad says it’s the first time that a skydiving orchestra has ever been assembled to play music after just jumping out of a plane.
“Each skydiver was given their part of music to practise and learn by heart, which they needed to be able to play perfectly despite the wild environment while skydiving,” the airline explained.
“A professional skydiving cinematographer jumped with them each time to capture it all, including group shots where each instrument affected the rate at which they fell.”
As part of Etihad’s partnership with the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise, the airline’s employees feature in the opening scene of Part 1 of ‘Dead Reckoning’. The scene was mostly filmed inside Abu Dhabi’s brand-new Midfield Airport Terminal, which is slated to open later this year.
As well as filming inside the terminal building, Tom Cruise was also filmed aloft the Midfield Terminal’s 315-metre roof to film one of the movie’s most “technically complex action scenes”.
In August 2021, Emirates got a ‘flight attendant’ to climb to the very top of the 829.8-metre-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai to celebrate the easing of pandemic-era travel restrictions in the United Kingdom.
Several months later, the professional stunt woman who donned the Emirates cabin crew uniform for the stunt climbed all the way back up the Burj Khalifa to help advertise Dubai’s delayed Expo event.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.