Every Top Gun: Maverick Call Sign Explained

“Coyote,” Lt. Javy Machado’s call sign of choice, seems like a fantastic name, regardless of the story. Much like college mascots, choosing a cool natural predator for a call sign is an easy decision. However, Davis and the script invest more in the call sign than the simple “pick an awesome animal” avenue.

As Davis revealed to ComicBook.com, he immediately noticed that Machado had chosen Coyote over the top canine predator, the wolf. This put the actor in the mindset that Machado considered himself an underdog. Therefore, the pilot probably acted accordingly, working longer and harder than many of his peers.

The events of “Top Gun: Maverick” also seem to confirm this interpretation. During a critical scene, the lieutenant loses consciousness due to G-force pressure, his jet peaking and then beginning a dead fall to the ground below. The pilot regains consciousness much closer to crashing into the ground than anyone could be comfortable with, and stops just in time. It’s the kind of thing that would rattle just about anyone, including fighter pilots. Nonetheless, Machado recovers and returns the next time the team flies out to train for the mission. Like his namesake, he’s a junkie who refuses to come out easy.