Celebrities (and presidents) have lives where most everything they do is tightly controlled, either for work or for their image. It makes sense that the pure freedom and independence of guiding your own aircraft would appeal to these high-powered, passionate people with a flair for the dramatic. Ascending to great heights, wind whipping around the often small plane, the pilot is far above the concerns of daily life and the flash of cameras.
From former Presidents to beauty queens to the most unexpected celebrities, these famous people skip commercial and take flying into their own hands. Some of these celebs have had some pretty scary moments when they’re acting as their own pilots.
Zach Braff: Flying Away From Fear
Zach Braff has to fly often, like many celebrities, especially film actors. He found himself a bundle of nerves about taking to the air, and in order to calm himself, he decided to obtain a pilot’s license.
Braff told British Elle, “It quiets your mind; when you are someone who thinks a lot and your brain is going non-stop, it has to become still so you can focus.” Now in love with flying, the TV series Scrubs star takes to the sky when he can, after gaining an education on the ins and outs of airplanes. Learning how planes work did calm his fears–smart move!
Harrison Ford: From Star Wars to His Real-Life Plane Crash
Harrison Ford is best known as the star of Indiana Jones and Star Wars: in both series of films, Ford is an adventurer with a brave heart, which is clearly not too far off the mark. He plays Hans Solo, captain of the Millennial Falcon, which has its share of crash landings, and in actual life, Ford crash landed his own, small plane.
After flying for twenty years, Ford is an experienced, responsible pilot, but experienced a rare situation: a loose engine part. His plane was an Aeronautical ST3KR – a restored World War II-era trainer, which started having problems almost as soon as Ford took off from Santa Monica. Ford crashed on his way back to the landing strip, in a park area. He sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized for a month before recovering and taking to the air again. Keep reading to find out which U.S. President can fly his own plane, too.