Ford opens the door on his plane for Jodie Gawthorp, of
Westchester, Ill., who was selected to fly with Ford, at the
Experimental Aircraft Associations AirVenture air show at
Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis., Thursday, July
28, 2016. The "Star Wars" and "Indiana
Jones" star was accompanied by Gawthrop when he flew
his DeHavilland Beaver on Thursday at the AirVenture Oshkosh
2016 air show.
OSHKOSH — Yes,
Harrison Ford uses a checklist when he flies his plane.
teenager accompanied the "Star Wars" and "Indiana
Jones" star when he flew his DeHavilland Beaver on Thursday
at the AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 air show in Wisconsin. His
passenger, 16-year-old Jodie Gawthrop, won the trip in a national
contest through the Young Eagles program, which uses pilot and
ground volunteers to introduce children to flying.
Ford was the
program's chairman from 2004 to 2009. The contest was designed to
celebrate the program reaching 2 million members.
reporters after the 15-minute flight that he and Gawthrop talked
shop in the air.
really, really fun. We spent some time talking about the airplane
and what I was doing and going through the checklists," Ford
said, referring to the step-by-step protocols that pilots follow.
"Jodie actually asked me if celebrities use checklists. I
said, 'absolutely. They need them.'"
Westchester, Illinois, has 10 flight hours under her belt through
the Civil Air Patrol. But she said she was nervous about meeting
the 74-year-old movie star.
"I geek out
over Indiana Jones movies. I love 'Star Wars,'" she said.
"But I'm really excited to meet Harrison Ford as a fellow
struck the area just before Ford and Gawthrop were scheduled to
take off. As the rain subsided, the pair emerged from a
runway-side building with Ford holding an umbrella over the girl.
They climbed aboard the single-prop plane amid cheers from dozens
of spectators, including at least one who was wearing a T-shirt
emblazoned with the image of Han Solo, Ford's "Star
Ford and Gawthrop
circled the airfield twice before landing. Afterward, Ford said he
would remember his flight with Gawthrop for a long time. Gawthrop
called the trip "amazing."
Ford crashed a
World War II-era plane after taking off from California's Santa
Monica Airport in March 2015. Investigators blamed the crash on a
problem with the plane's carburetor. Asked Thursday if he feels
any residual hesitancy about flying after the accident, Ford
joked, "I still can't play the violin."