5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today click here

10 celebrities you probably didn’t know have pilot licences

PUBLISHED: 16:12 10 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:46 07 December 2015

File Photo

File Photo

Archant

A Rolls-Royce and a Beverly Hills mansion have always been a celebrity must have, but there is now a growing trend in the ownership of private jets. From catwalk supermodel to professional golfer, here is a list of ten celebrities you didn’t know could be flying a private plane overhead right now.

Morgan Freeman achieved his PPL at the ripe old age of 65 Morgan Freeman achieved his PPL at the ripe old age of 65

Morgan Freeman

Actor Morgan Freeman’s became a mechanic in the US Air Force in his late teens before considering training as a fighter pilot. However acting won out over flying, resulting in Freeman not finally achieving his private pilot licence until he’d reached the ripe old age of 65. He owns a Cessna Citation 501 jet, a Cessna 414 twin and an SJ30 private jet, and is qualified to fly all three.

Tom Cruise has held a pilot licence since 1994 Tom Cruise has held a pilot licence since 1994

Tom Cruise

Top Gun’s very own ‘Maverick’, actor Tom Cruise, has held a pilot licence since 1994. Inspired by the experiences of filming Top Gun, (many of the scenes were filmed in the backseat of a mid air F-14A Tomcat), aviation advocate Cruise is now the proud owner of five private jets, including a Gulfstream IV with a maximum range of 7,820km and a cruising speed of Mach 0.80.

Travolta spent the majority of his earnings on flying lessons at the beginning of his acting career Travolta spent the majority of his earnings on flying lessons at the beginning of his acting career

John Travolta

Actor and disco king John Travolta is not only famous for his dance moves but for his ability to fly too. Fascinated by aviation since childhood, Travolta spent the majority of his earnings on flying lessons at the beginning of his acting career and achieved his pilots licence aged only 22. Now a well established face in Hollywood, he flies a luxurious ex-Qantas Boeing 707-138B he named Jet Clipper Johnny after his children.

Angelina Jolie has held a private pilot license since 2004 Angelina Jolie has held a private pilot license since 2004

Angelina Jolie

Maleficant actress Angelina Jolie has held a private pilot license since 2004 after reportedly promising her son Maddox she would learn to fly. Jolie is an instrument rated pilot who flies a Cirrus SR22.

Richard Hammond passed his helicopter licence in March 2012 Richard Hammond passed his helicopter licence in March 2012

Richard Hammond

TV presenter and journalist Richard Hammond passed his helicopter licence in March 2012. He now owns a second-hand £150,000 Robinson R44 which he keeps at his home in rural Herefordshire and uses to occasionally fly to work.

Gisele Bundchen began her flying lessons in a Robinson R44 helicopter Gisele Bundchen began her flying lessons in a Robinson R44 helicopter

Gisele Bundchen

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen began her flying lessons in a Robinson R44 helicopter at Shoreline Aviation whilst heavily pregnant with son Benjamin. However this did not stop her from obtaining her helicopter licence in 2009 and Gisele now aspires to work for the UN’s Environmental Programme in the hope of finding a sustainable way to fly.

Harrison Ford achieved his pilot licence at the age of 53 Harrison Ford achieved his pilot licence at the age of 53

Harrison Ford

Best known for piloting the Millennium Falcon in the Star Wars films as ‘Han Solo’, American actor Harrison Ford bit the bullet and achieved his real life pilot licence at the age of 53, learning to do so in a Cessna 182. Heavily influenced by his role in aviation film Six Days, Seven Nights, Ford’s interest in flying combined with his ever increasing fortune, enabled him to buy a Cessna citation twin jet as seen in this video.

Mickelson now flies his own $40 million Gulfstream V jet Mickelson now flies his own $40 million Gulfstream V jet

Phil Mickelson

US professional golfer Phil Mickelson, has followed in his father’s footsteps (a retired commercial pilot), in obtaining his very own pilot licence. Mickelson now flies his own $40 million Gulfstream V jet to tournaments across the globe.

'Honory Group Captain Carol Vorderman RAF Air Cadets Ambassador', © Ministry of Defence, Flickr 'Honory Group Captain Carol Vorderman RAF Air Cadets Ambassador', © Ministry of Defence, Flickr

Carol Vorderman

Former Countdown star Carol Vorderman passed her private pilot licence at Staverton airport Gloucester in 2013 and now owns a Diamond DA42 she has named Mildred. Vorderman aspires to eventually fly around the world solo but in the meantime she is an ambassador for the RAF Cadets in London.

'Delboy' © Crystal Hendrix Hirschorn, Flickr 'Delboy' © Crystal Hendrix Hirschorn, Flickr

Sir David Jason

Only Fools and Horses actor and comedian Sir David Jason qualified as a helicopter pilot in May 2005. Also an enthusiastic glider pilot at the London Gliding Club, Jason helped launched the RAF air cadet’s new flight simulator at the RAF base in Syerston last year.

Did you enjoy this article? Then you might like:

10 outstanding women from aviation history

Flying aces of World War 2

10 of the best aerobatic pilots

2 comments

  • Great article. Noel Edmonds could be added to the list-

    Report this comment

    Marcelle

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

  • You omitted 'Lord' Sugar (Cirrus SR22 I believe) -oh, I forgot, he's been fired.....

    Report this comment

    psmiddy

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More from Features

Thu, 17:27

Winter weather and deadline pressures conspire to turn an interesting ferry trip into a potentially unhealthy outcome. By Anon

Read more
Friday, May 18, 2018

Forty years ago a revolutionary kit-build aerobatic biplane took to the Californian skies on rainbow-coloured wings — the Christen Eagle had landed. Words Lauren Richardson Photos by Lee Howard

Read more
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

An ATC cadet’s sedate Chipmunk air experience flight unexpectedly turns into something entirely more lively

Read more
Friday, May 4, 2018

A huge, military-influenced four-seater with comfort, fine handling and what has to be the world’s fastest-extending undercarriage. Words Dave Unwin, photos Keith Wilson

Read more
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

With a newly-won PPL in his pocket, Steven Lambert and friend Mark Delfosse set out on an ambitious circular European flying tour, visiting six countries in nine days. Words Steven Lambert, photos Steven Lambert & Mark Delfosse

Read more
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Thursday, April 12, 2018

The dream of touring in a turboprop of one’s own is not so far-fetched as it may seem. Words Colin Goodwin and photos Philip Whiteman

Read more
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

An enjoyable day out helping a friend turned into a dash for home before full dark, with avoidable consequences. By James Allan

Read more
Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Eurofly Minifox is an inexpensive single-seat aircraft that puts the pleasure back into flying — What’s not to like? Words Dave Unwin, photos Keith Wilson

Read more
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Seeking to become a commercial pilot can be a calculated risk – especially if you take the modular route – so what are the current employment prospects like? We asked some of the leading professional flight training providers for their views and tips. Compiled by Judith Austin

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine