10 Pilot Celebrities You Didn’t Know They Can Fly
If you aim to become a pilot, it doesn’t matter how rich and famous you are, you have to put the hours of training in.
In this blog, we will list 10 celebrities who got their pilot licenses and went through the same rigorous process that anyone else has to, and for them, it clearly seems worth the time and effort.
Tom Cruise played “Maverick”, the elite naval fighter jet pilot in the blockbuster movie Top Gun, Cruise is not only a licensed pilot he also owns his very own private jet a Gulfstream IV, one of the finest celebrity private jets around.
Known for his love of stunts and action, it’s no surprise Cruise is also a qualified helicopter pilot, according to People.
Brad Pitt is an accomplished pilot and in addition to having mastered the more common or garden aircraft, he owns a World War II-era Supermarine Spitfire. He is apparently fascinated with vintage planes, he was inspired by Fury, the WWII action film he shot in the UK in 2013.
According to The Daily Mail, Brad Pitt undertook certified training at the Boultbee Flight Academy in Oxford, where he learned how to operate the Spitfire’s unique controls.
Harrison Ford didn’t choose acting as the only career, he is, in fact, a highly experienced pilot of more than 20 years, and has logged more than 5,000 hours in the air, according to ABC News.
Ford flying career is also filled with dangerous moments, apparently, he likes action for real not only in movies.
Ford was hurt in a 2015 accident when the WWII-era plane he was flying crashed on a golf course near Santa Monica, California. A few years later in 2017, the star was landing a small plane at John Wayne Airport in Orange County when he flew over an American Airlines 737 aircraft bound for Dallas-Ft. Worth. Luckily, there were no injuries and the (FAA) Federal Aviation Association saw no need to take official action against Ford.
Travolta is a bonafide aviation enthusiast who owns five private planes total, which he parks on his front lawn! Yes, you read that right: he parks airplanes outside of his house.
Travolta was one of the first people to purchase land in the exclusive Jumbolair Aviation Estates, and has two runways that lead directly to his front door. That’s what we call dedication.
He is also an honorary pilot for the Australian airline Qantas.
Although he joined the Air Force as a mechanic, Morgan Freeman didn’t learn to fly until he was 65 years old. According to Fox News, Freeman owns a Cessna 414 and a Citation 501.
The actor has also learned his recognizable voice to marketing materials for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Clint Eastwood has been a licensed helicopter pilot for almost 30 years and admitted in a 1997 “60 Minutes” interview that flying is his favorite hobby: “You’re just a number in the sky. Everybody pretty much leaves you alone. Charlie Xray or 71 Romeo Papa. Every plane is just an ID,” he told presenter Steve Kroft.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Eastwood was a 21-year-old draftee when his plane went down during the Korean War. He was the only passenger in a Douglas AD torpedo bomber, flying in severe weather off the coast of Northern California, when the pilot told him they were going to attempt an emergency landing in the shark-infested waters off Point Reyes. This acceding didn’t stop him from flying.
Kurt Russell says flying runs in the blood, as his grandfather had one of the first float planes in Maine. “The love of airplane for pilots, I think, is almost inexplicable. It’s the experience itself. It’s the fact that you can’t explain it, I think, that makes you feel the way you do about it. This is something that can change your life,” he told one interviewer.
He is, in fact, the pilot who first reported the Phoenix Lights phenomenon. Every UFO obsessive knows about the Phoenix Lights, a mass sighting that took place in 1997, which has since become one of the best-known UFO incidents.
Dr. Phil McGraw, is not only a qualified psychologist and a go-to guy for all your emotional problems, but he is also a licensed pilot.
Dr. Phil has a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating, according to Airliners, making him one of the few celebrities who has gotten the more challenging IFR rating in order to be able to fly in the clouds. An instrument pilot can legally fly in the clouds, rain, and fog, which broadens his abilities and keeps him in the air instead of on the ground during inclement weather.
According to People, Oscar-winning Jolie was first inspired to take to the skies by son Maddox, who was obsessed with aircraft at a young age. After a slew of lessons, she gained her private pilot’s license in 2004 and has been flying regularly ever since.
She is most often seen flying small turboprop aircraft including the Cirrus SR22, one of the safest single-engine planes, and a Cessna 208 Grand Caravan, which she owns.
The Brazilian supermodel learned to fly a helicopter while six months pregnant, which is almost as impressive as her motivation behind the lessons. Allegedly, she wanted to learn the nuts and bolts of aviation for her role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN’s Environmental Programme, which is researching alternative sources of jet fuel. Proof, if needed, that she’s not just a pretty face.