It turns out that USAF Thunderbirds pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, killed last Wednesday in a crash during a routine training flight, had worked as a consultant on the upcoming movie "Captain Marvel.
Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson ("The Room," "Kong: Skull Island") plays Major Carol Danvers as she transitions from Air Force pilot to superhero Captain Marvel. (Comic book geeks will note that Carol Danvers has a particularly tangled history in Marvel lore, but we're going with the origin story that Marvel is pushing on its website.)
Marvel Studios called Del Bagno a friend who will always be a part of their team.
We lost a friend yesterday. Marvel Studios is saddened to hear of the loss of Air Force Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, who we were lucky to get to know during his time as a consultant on Captain Marvel. We will miss him greatly; he’ll always be part of the team.— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) April 6, 2018
And Brie Larson used his call sign Cajun in a tribute that called him a "brilliant pilot and even better person" who inspired her to "work harder and live fuller."
Stephen Del Bagno. Rest In Peace brother. I’ll never forget you. 💔 pic.twitter.com/fsrJl02Cl1— Brie Larson (@brielarson) April 6, 2018
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Larson also got technical advice from Brigadier Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, the 57th Wing Commander in Nevada. Leavitt also released a statement honoring Del Bagno: “He was an integral part of our team and our hearts are heavy with his loss.”
"Captain Marvel,” directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, is still in production and will be released in theaters on March 8, 2019.