Watch Pensacola: Wings of Gold

Pensacola: Wings of Gold is an action-adventure series that follows a group of Marino pilots at a Naval air station in Florida. James Brolin plays Bill Kelly, a leader of an elite squad of military pilots. His role is to recruit four young pilots to join him. Kelly is challenged by putting together this group called the Sea Dragons. At first the men have a lot of conflict and struggle to get along but over time they begin to form a cohesive unit and become a real team. The Sea Dragons are a diverse group of soldiers, consisting of a couple pilots, an electronics specialist, and an expert in explosives.

After spending time with these men, Kelly moves on to his next assignment which is to focus solely on fighter pilots. He has three new men to train under this gig. Eventually he adds helicopter pilots to his students.

In addition to leading the men, Kelly has a nineteen year old daughter that he needs to take care of and they don't always get along. One of Kelly's men even starts to fall in love with her which leads to a lot of drama. Kelly's daugher ends up going off to college so Kelly no longer needs to worry about her falling in love with one of his trainees. Kelly himself becomes involved in a romance with the doctor on the naval base, Dr. Valerie West.

While Kelly may be a stable role model, the men and women of his command are always getting into drama. One of the women on base is having an affair with a married man and becomes upset when things don't work out and it turns out he was only trying to blackmail her. Another woman is date raped while out with an acquaintance. The stress continues with the jobs as well as the team has to undergo survival training to keep their skills sharp. Every day Kelly has to learn and teach others how to balance the personal and professional.

Fireworks International
3 Seasons, 67 Episodes
September 15, 1997
Action & Adventure
6.1/10
Cast: James Brolin, Michael Trucco, Sandra Hess, Bobby Hosea
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Pensacola: Wings of Gold Full Episode Guide

  • Kelly returns to his hometown, Marfa, Texas, to be honored. He discovers two bodies. Back at the base Capone and Spoon talk to recruiters.

  • When a peace-keeping mission strands Burner in the jungles of San Felipe with rebel forces searching for him, Kelly and Hammer try to get permission to mount a rescue.

  • Burner returns, attached to the Special Operations Training Group, to prepare the 18th M.E.U. for a mission.

  • Abby meets Mark, an attractive man, coaching soccer, and begins a love affair with him. Then she finds out that the man is already married, and worse, to a marine sergeant air controller who was under investigation for a near miss involving her. The man tells his wife that Abby blackmailed him into sex for testimony clearing her.

  • It's Blaze vs. Ice in the Pensacola Shootout, where the Marines, Air Force, Navy and RAF all send two of their best pilots to compete. Spoon is Ice's wingman. Also there is an opening for a female astronaut; Hammer worries that Megan has a drinking problem.

  • After his daughter is injured in a car accident, Kelly takes her out on an plane trip to a remote cabin but the small plane starts having mechanical problems. They land, but have no way of calling for help and she starts having complications from the first accident and may die. Hammer, Capone and Ice try to find them.

  • When Spoon's plane malfunctions, counterfeit parts are discovered to be the cause and an investigation begins. Hammer meets a lawyer who feigns interest in him but is actually questioning him. Kate's niece, Megan, is running the Bucket in her absence. Meanwhile Teri handles the estate of Spoon's father and as a result, receives a lucrative job offer.

  • After a case of spousal abuse, Kelly goes to Washington to ask for raises for enlisted men. There he meets Ali, an old flame, and they rekindle the fire. Ice goes out with Dr. Brandon. Hammer has a close call.

  • After a helo pilot fails a training test, he gets himself killed, and Kelly is accused in an Article 32 hearing. The deceased marine wrote letters to his mother, a congresswoman, which contradict the truth and seemingly prove Kelly's guilt. Spoon, Mad Dog and Capone testify. Hammer and Col. Drayton offer moral support.

  • Hammer, Kelly and Ice fly some replacement Hornets out to an aircraft carrier and are assigned a supporting role in a combat mission. Kelly becomes an ace. Meanwhile Kate investigates her deceased husband's past after she finds a picture of a woman with whom she thinks he had an affair.

  • Spoon gets a visit from an old friend whose lies put him in an uncomfortable position. The worthless son of a famed pilot causes problems on a mission led by Spoon and Ice. Capone arranges a photo shoot at the beach house with a bevy of scantily-clad women.

  • Johnny Terelli, Capone's brother, comes to visit but doesn't tell Eddie that he is being pursued by both an FBI agent and a murderous Russian mobster, which endangers both Spoon and Ice. Country musician Gary Allan gives Kate and Mad Dog backstage passes and sings "Smoke Rings in the Dark."

  • A mini mart robbery turns into a hostage situation. Meanwhile Capone tries to help out Kate with the local mob and her jukebox.

  • The unit will be learning Burke's Breach, a combined attack strategem or set of tactics. General Burke, a former mentor of Kelly's, visits the unit, but his strange behavior endangers men during an exercise and Capone's career is threatened. Kelly discovers Burke's behavior may be caused by exposure to chemicals during the Gulf War.

  • Missiles are stolen from the base. Schaeffer, a Marine, saves Ice from a fire but when his burning shirt is torn off, a tattoo of a swastika is revealed and he is suspected of the theft. Meanwhile, Teri returns and guilt seems to keep her and Spoon apart. While Teri and Capone are present, Spoon uses a toast that Ice taught him on the night they almost became romantic.

  • Spoon and Ice look for a new roommate who can serve as a buffer between them. They and Capone undergo survival training. Kate goes out with their training officer, Capt. Ray Hartley, and becomes a victim of date rape.

  • Burner returns to shore and Spoon, Ice and Kate exult in his return from near death. Ice is injured by an explosion and is medically grounded by her doctor until her arm is strong enough to work the ejector lever. Spoon is jealous of the doctor and is having trouble getting over his near romance with Ice. Kelly investigates to try and find where the unexploded ordinance came from.

  • Spoon's car is stolen and, on Kate's advice, he turns to Capone for help. Kelly's daughter visits from college. Kelly recruits Cricket to be in the corner of a boxer.

  • After Jack Hightower's car is blown up in Cairo, Kelly re-evaluates and decides he wants to be in a combat unit.

  • Someone is trying to kill Kelly and Hammer. Both are shot at, apparently in reprisal for the events of the "Raid on Osirak" episode. Burner and Spoon compete for a prized spot on the "Panthers" while Ice seems to be getting passed over because she is a woman.

  • On the carrier, Kristi Blake, an actress planning to play a female pilot, studies and bunks with Ice. Spoon thinks of resigning. He confides in Ice about his father's cancer. Burner tries to argue Spoon out of resigning.

  • Spoon's father comes by with bad news. The Nuggets head out to try landing on an aircraft carrier, a dangerous and difficult skill to master.

  • The Nuggets practice touch-and-go landings before trying to land on a carrier, Spoon's father returns, a young acquaintance of Kelly's seeks romance with Ice and a sleep deprivation study needs participants.

  • Burner meets and falls for a woman with a secret. Kelly and Hammer try to get recognition for a suicidal man who threw himself on a grenade while serving as a marine but lived while the people he tried to save died. Kelly asks Kate on a date to the retirement party of a General. The Nuggets are evaluated as they go on an "obstacle course" (or sortie) ending with a bombing run.

  • News reports have a boat with Cuban refugees being fired on by Castro's air force, a family whom the Nuggets are socializing with is directly affected, and a Cuban ace who met Kelly in the past is flying unusually close to the Nuggets' training exercises. Also, Paddles has back trouble which may ground him.

  • A Nugget, flying as wingman, shoots down his lead in simulated dogfighting. This is called Blue on Blue. Two women seek Spoon's affections while two pilots pursue Ice.

  • Swamp has a loss of confidence, both in his flying and when he tries to romance Holly. Burner competes against a new instructor from Top Gun who can't accept losing even though instructors are supposed to be able hold back. Pearly, who was one of Hammer's trainers, is trying to qualify in order to take a fleet assignment, but he seems to have lost his skills.

  • During a community relations day, a orphaned boy living with his aunt is kidnapped for ransom.

  • A former Blue Angel leader is now recruiting and he offers Hammer a position on the Blue Angels. He also begins a romance with Kate. Burner and Spoon try to play matchmaker between Kate and Kelly. Meanwhile a retired general who is a fan of Teddy Roosevelt drops by and takes the unit on a fifty mile march with full gear.

  • Ice is made Strike Leader for a fiercely competitive bombing exercise against missile and fighter defenses. Spoon is attracted to Gunslinger, a pretty blonde operator of missile defenses. Jackal, still angling to obtain Kelly's command, intends to cheat during the Class Strike. And things escalate personally for Burner as he continues his attempts to help the woman with the abusive boyfriend.

  • The Nuggets go to Fallon Air Base to learn low level bombing, where a shifty Lt. Colonel makes trouble for them. Spoon is doubtful when told he is jinxed after breaking an Indian artifact. Burner falls for a woman whose abusive boyfriend turns out to be her boss. An old friend lodges a complaint against Kelly.

  • A young man shows up at the Bucket and informs Hammer that he is his son and that his mother has died. The Nuggets train to fly using instrumentation only, because at night or in clouds after making high gee moves they can get vertigo and become disoriented. Burner and Spoon volunteer to become judges at a "talent contest."

  • A hot shot German pilot shows off and annoys Burner, scares Spoon with his reckless driving and romances Ice. But he has a problem which may ground him. Also Spoon gets the wrong idea when Kate asks him probing questions to plan a surprise birthday party for him.

  • Burner may lose his wings for causing a sonic boom while showing off for two women. Also Kate may lose her bar when an underage woman is found with a drink..

  • While Hammer and Kelly go on a top secret mission, Burner and Spoon find they have their hands full when they try to look after Kelly's ostensibly prim and proper niece. It is revealed that Hammer was briefly a P.O.W. during the Gulf War.

  • Breaker's plane suffers a hydraulic failure and she dies trying to land the plane.

  • Ice's plane has a major mechanical problem during her first solo flight and her confidence is shaken, Burner is covers up a water jet ski injury so he won't be grounded until he is 100% healthy and Spoon and his father's girlfriend, Teri, start falling for each other when they spend time together.

  • Ice takes her first flight with Kelly as her Instructor Pilot. Burner is grounded by Hammer for losing his temper when a snob hits his motorcycle. Spoon's father visits, surprising Spoon with a girlfriend who is about 2 years younger than Spoon.

  • Kelly is assigned to train neophyte jet pilots. Hammer, his second in command; Kate, a bar owner; and three neophyte jet pilots, Burner, Ice and Spoon are introduced.

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