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Real life rebel pilot! Incredible moment a PRIVATE JET roars through a narrow pass in California’s ‘Star Wars Canyon’

  • Aviation photographer Christopher McGreevy captured the breathtaking flight of a Dassault Falcon 8X private jet through the narrow canyon 
  • It is unclear who was flying the jet through the canyon, which is made from walls of red, grey and pink rock which look similar to the fictional Star Wars planet Tatooine 
  • Jet was being shadowed by another aircraft, thought to be a CineJet, which are used to film Hollywood flight scenes

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Incredible footage has emerged of a private jet roaring through a narrow pass in California’s so-called Star Wars Canyon. 

Aviation photographer Christopher McGreevy captured the breathtaking flight of a Dassault Falcon 8X private jet thundering through the canyon that crosses Riverside and San Diego County in Death Valley National Park.

It is unclear who was flying the jet through the valley, which is made from walls of red, grey and pink rock which look similar to the fictional Star Wars planet Tatooine – Luke Skywalker’s home planet.

In the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, Luke Skywalker is in an X-wing fighter and has to destroy the Death Star by flying through an incredibly narrow passage and uses ‘the force’ to navigate his aircraft. 

The daring flight earlier this week is believed to have been part of a promotional video for the aircraft but this has yet to be confirmed by Dassault.

Military aircraft were banned from flying through the canyon lower than 1,500 ft after an F/A-18 Super Hornet slammed into the canyon wall in 2019, killing its pilot Charles Walker, 33 and injuring seven onlookers. 

In the past, jets have been known to zip through the gorge at 200 to 300mph, flying as low as 200 ft from the canyon floor. But the canyon’s walls are so steep, the aircraft are still able to fly below the rim. 

Aviation photographer Christopher McGreevy captured the breathtaking flight of a Dassault Falcon 8X private jet through the small valley that crosses Riverside and San Diego County

It is unclear who was flying the jet and why it was being flown through the valley, which is made from walls of red, grey and pink rock which look similar to the fictional Star Wars planet Tatooine - Luke Skywalker's home planet

Aviation photographer Christopher McGreevy captured the breathtaking flight of a Dassault Falcon 8X private jet through the small valley that crosses Riverside and San Diego County

An onlooker takes pictures and films the flight of the Dassault Falcon 8X as it makes its journey through the canyon

An onlooker takes pictures and films the flight of the Dassault Falcon 8X as it makes its journey through the canyon 

Onlookers take pictures and film footage of the private jet flying through the large canyon in Death Valley National Park

Onlookers take pictures and film footage of the private jet flying through the large canyon in Death Valley National Park

Military aircraft were banned from flying through the canyon lower than 1,500 feet since 2019 when an F/A-18 Super Hornet slammed into the canyon wall, killing its pilot Charles Walker, 33 and injuring seven onlookers

Military aircraft were banned from flying through the canyon lower than 1,500 feet since 2019 when an F/A-18 Super Hornet slammed into the canyon wall, killing its pilot Charles Walker, 33 and injuring seven onlookers

Mr McGreevy said he believed the private jet was being flown to film a promotional video for the aircraft

Mr McGreevy said he believed the private jet was being flown to film a promotional video for the aircraft

But it is common to see military planes completing training exercises just above the Death Valley canyon. 

And it appears that civilian flights are still permitted. 

Mr McGreevy said he believed the private jet was being flown to film a promotional video for the aircraft.  

The jet was being shadowed by another aircraft, thought to be a CineJet, which are used to film Hollywood flight scenes. 

The Dassault Falcon 8X, which costs around $60million, is 80 feet long and can hold up to 19 passengers. It can reach a top cruising speed of 500mph. There are just 71 models in the world

The Dassault Falcon 8X, which costs around $60million, is 80 feet long and can hold up to 19 passengers. It can reach a top cruising speed of 500mph. There are just 71 models in the world 

The canyon is officially called Rainbow Canyon and is in Death Valley National Park, about 160 miles north of Los Angeles

The canyon is officially called Rainbow Canyon and is in Death Valley National Park, about 160 miles north of Los Angeles

The canyon is officially called Rainbow Canyon and is in Death Valley National Park, about 160 miles north of Los Angeles. 

Mr McGreevy told The Drive: ‘It was easily 20 passes in two sessions, in the AM and PM. I was told it’s going to be a promo video for the new jet. 

‘They flew the crew’s families out on it and they were on top of the hill watching. The kids and wives of the pilots were there. The jet flew into Inyokern Airport near China Lake from New Jersey.’ 

The Dassault Falcon 8X, which costs around $60million, is 80 feet long and can hold up to 19 passengers. It can reach a top cruising speed of 500mph. There are just 71 models in the world. 

Fighter jets zipping through narrow Star Wars Canyon in 2017. The U.S. military uses an area of California's Death Valley National Park nicknamed Star Wars Canyon as a training site for fighter jet pilots

Fighter jets zipping through narrow Star Wars Canyon in 2017. The U.S. military uses an area of California’s Death Valley National Park nicknamed Star Wars Canyon as a training site for fighter jet pilots

Lt. Cmdr. Ian "Elf" Kibler of the VX-9 Vampire squadron from Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, banks his F/A-18E Super Hornet through the nicknamed Star Wars Canyon in Death Valley National Park in 2017

Lt. Cmdr. Ian “Elf” Kibler of the VX-9 Vampire squadron from Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, banks his F/A-18E Super Hornet through the nicknamed Star Wars Canyon in Death Valley National Park in 2017 

A fighter jet roars through the Death Valley canyon during a training exercise in 2017

A fighter jet roars through the Death Valley canyon during a training exercise in 2017 

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