Barry Seal was just an ordinary pilot who worked for TWA before he was recruited by the CIA in 1978. His work in South America eventually caught the eye of the Medellín Cartel, associated with Pablo Escobar, who needed a man with his skill set. Barry became a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer. Soon acquiring the title, ‘The gringo that always delivers’. Fun movie, if not for the fact that the truth was changed to protect the guilty.
In real life, Barry Seal was fired from TWA in ’72 when he was charged for smuggling plastic explosives across Mexico. He flew tons of coke into the States for multiple drug kingpins, including Escobar. When he was busted, he started working for the DEA as an informant. He was overweight, poisoned his fellow Americans with drugs; and didn’t care about his family enough to enter WITSEC.
From a historical perspective, it should be taken with a grain of salt that a guy like Seal, given his position, can be placed in a situation where everything is cool, time after time after time after time again.