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Stars in their skies: the celebrity pilots who fly for fun

Part of the excitement of going on holiday is getting on the plane knowing that you’ll soon be touching down somewhere new and exciting. But just imagine how much more exciting it would be if you were flying the plane! Well, some celebrities do just that. With the recent news that former Countdown star Carol Vorderman has just gained her pilot’s licence and plans to fly around the world tracing the route of Amelia Earhart, here are five more celebrity pilots who are perfectly comfortable in the cockpit.

John Travolta

John Travolta owns and pilots his own Boeing 707
John Travolta owns and pilots his own Boeing 707

Perhaps the most famous celebrity pilot, the star of Saturday Night Fever and numerous other Hollywood blockbusters has been flying for many years. The Face Off star is so dedicated to his flying that he not only owns a Boeing 707, along with four other planes, but even has a 1.4 mile runway at his house in Florida which backs onto Greystone Airport so that he can park his jet at the front door. As you do.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman only learnt to fly at the age of 65
Morgan Freeman only learnt to fly at the age of 65

Sticking with the Hollywood set, the 76-year-old Shawshank Redemption star Morgan Freeman is also happy behind the controls of an aircraft. Though while Travolta has been flying for many years, Freeman was a relatively late starter and only gained his licence at the age of 65. He now owns more than one aircraft, including a Cessna and a $7m private jet.

Phil Mickelson

Golfer Phil Mickelson is equally comfortable at the controls of a golf buggy or aeroplane
Golfer Phil Mickelson is equally comfortable at the controls of a golf buggy or aeroplane

With the hectic schedules of golfers, and the money they can earn, it’s no surprise that several have invested in their own planes and gained their pilot’s licence. Back in the day, legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus flew their own planes and today, three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson regularly takes the controls. He owns a Gulfstream jet and it’s perhaps no surprise that he is so assured in the cockpit – his father Phil Mickelson Senior was a jet fighter pilot before becoming an airline pilot.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has had a pilot's licence since 2005
Angelina Jolie has had a pilot’s licence since 2005

Flying is not just for the boys and back in Hollywood, Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie gained her pilot’s licence in 2005. As reported here, she even likes to take the kids up in the sky when she’s at the controls – on this occasion when she was visiting the UK. Clearly unwilling to be outdone by his wife, Brad Pitt apparently holds a single-engine licence as well and has even taken helicopter lessons.

Gisele Bundchen

Brazilian supermodel Gisele has taken helicopter lessons
Brazilian supermodel Gisele has taken helicopter lessons

Supermodel and UN Goodwill Ambassador Gisele didn’t even let a marriage and a pregnancy get in the way of learning to fly a helicopter back in 2009. Despite being six months pregnant, she passed her pilot’s exam with flying colours.

Would you want to learn to fly one day or are you happy to sit back and let the pilot take the strain when you head off on holiday this winter?

Images by joseluiscel, Ana Kelston, Armchair Aviator, Little Zey, Gage Skidmore and Bob Bekian used under creative commons licence

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