Harrison Ford: Unlimited Passion for Aviation
Harrison Ford: unlimited passion for aviation
The 72-year-old actor Harrison Ford has always been a total fanboy for airplanes, helicopters, and life in the cockpit. In this video Harrison Ford tells about his love of aviation, flying his DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver, his Bell 408 Helicopter and several of his other airplanes. Ford shares some insight on the difficulties of filming Six Days, Seven Nights, and his desire and challenge in actually being the pilot in command for the flying scenes. "I love the places you go," he says. "I love the people in aviation, the people that I meet in aviation. I love seeing the world from an airplane. I'm in love with flying."
Harrison Ford’s love of the skies began in the 1960s when he took some flight training courses at Wild Rose Airport in Wisconsin. It cost $15 an hour to practice in a Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer—which the young carpenter and aspiring actor couldn’t afford. It was in the mid - 1990s that Ford bought a used Gulfstream II and decided he wanted to learn to fly. Since then, he has seldom been far from the pilot’s seat. “I have more airplanes than it’s fair for anybody to have,” Ford told in 2004.
Ford became chairman of the Young Eagles program of the Experimental Aircraft Association in 2004 — a position formerly held by one of the world’s most famous test pilots. “It was a daunting prospect taking over from Chuck Yeager, who was a wonderful representative for the program,” said Harrison Ford. “But for years I’ve been enthusiastic about the program, so I thought it would be a little payback to spend some time helping promote aviation.”
While shooting Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ford was keen to rent aircraft during his time in England and solicited a plane for use at the Denham Aerodrome near Pinewood Studios. But that meant joining the Shropshire Aero Club, according to the BBC. “I asked him, ‘Can we make you a temporary member of the aero club?’ and he said ‘I don’t want to be a temporary member, I want to be a lifetime member,’” said Bob Pooler, chief instructor with the group.
It hasn’t always been smooth landings for the actor. Harrison Ford was injured last year when his World War II-era, single-engine plane he was piloting crashed on a golf course near Santa Monica, California. The actor made a textbook emergency landing at Penmar Golf Course after the engine of the Ryan ST3KR plane he was flying failed, said Los Angeles fire officials. He was taken to a nearby hospital in "fair to moderate" condition. Ford was "banged up" and receiving medical care, said his publicist, Ina Treciokas, who described the actor's injuries as non-life threatening.
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