November 13, 2010
By Dave Hirschman
Hollywood took center stage Nov. 12 at AOPA Aviation Summit with aerial stunt coordinator and movie pilot J.W. “Corkey” Fornof and former Navy F-14 pilot and movie producer Francesco “Paco” Chierici.
Fornof showed a variety of clips from decades of movies with the famous scene from the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy of a BD-5J flying through a hangar drawing the most applause from the sold-out crowd.
Fornof also complimented actor Harrison Ford for his skillful flying in Six Days, Seven Nights, even though Ford had only logged about 300 hours flying time at the time he flew the de Havilland Beaver in the film set in Hawaii.
“I told him to take it down to 12 feet above the horizon, and he did,” Fornof said. “I told him to take it down to six feet and he did. He really feels the airplane.”
Chierici produced Speed and Angels , an award-winning documentary about the making of Navy fighter pilots. Chierici flew F-5s in an adversary squadron at the time and used his behind-the-scenes access to tell a compelling, personal story that avoided computer animation and totally relied on actual film with real in-cockpit audio.
Chierici said he has become an enthusiastic general aviation pilot in recent years and flies a Mooney and Yak 50 from his home near San Jose, Calif.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Continuing significant orders to the training market shows that Piper Aircraft is making progress in its three-year plan to gain market share in that competitive arena.
L-3 Aviation Products plans to join the general aviation ADS-B world with its Lynx MultiLink Surveillance System. The new products will be “specifically tailored to fit the panel and budget of today’s general aviation aircraft and pilots,” said Larry Riddle, vice president of sales and marketing.
It was a big day for the newly resurrected Mooney International Corp. Mooney president Jerry Chen handed over the keys to the first airplane to roll out of the Kerrville, Texas, manufacturer’s newly reactivated factory site.
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