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Pilots  go behind the scenes of Hollywood flying

AOPA President Craig Fuller hosted the Friday luncheon at AOPA Aviation Summit.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.”

The Friday luncheon topic of 'Hollywood Pilots' drew a crowd.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.

—Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman
Dave Hirschman
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large 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.

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