We see them on our phones, TVs and in the news almost every day… but did you know these British celebrities could fly? Celebrity pilots in the UK are more common than you think, and who knows, you might be sat next to one of them next time you’re having a coffee at your aero club!
Lord Alan Sugar
The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar has over 30 years piloting experience. Like Angelina Jolie, he flies a Cirrus SR22 and has even flown around with his 15-year-old grandson.
Carol Vorderman MBE RAFVR
Former Countdown co-host Carol Vorderman gained her private pilot licence at Staverton airport Gloucester in 2013 and owns a Diamond DA 42 that she has nicknamed ‘Mildred’. Carol is also an ambassador for the RAF Cadets in London!
David Gilmour CBE
Pink Floyd’s own David Gilmour got his pilot’s licence in 1997 and owns a large collection of historical aircraft, including supersonic jet fighters and several old biplanes. An avgeek’s dream!
Sir David Jason
Only Fools and Horses actor and comedian Sir David Jason got his helicopter pilot licence 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.
Eddie Izzard said that he got his pilot licence because when he was younger he was scared of flying and used to throw up on planes. Well, that is one way to cure a fear of flying… He also said it only took him 5 weeks of intense work to get his PPL!
James’ father was a colonel in the Army Air Corps and military helicopter pilot and instilled in him a love of flying. Blunt said in an interview, “I can fly! I got my pilot’s licence aged 16 before I could legally drive a car.”
After training at White Waltham Airfield, Grand Tour co-host James May got his pilot’s licence in 2006. James often speaks of his love for aviation and even used to own his own plane with a very interesting registration…
Sir Michael Gambon CBE
Actor Michael Gambon is said to love flying, and his brother is a professional pilot. Once, the actor Terence Rigby confessed to him that he was scared of flying, so Michael insisted that he could cure him by taking him up in his two-seater. Everything went smoothly but then just as Michael was beginning his descent, he pretended to have a heart attack. He slumped to one side and collapsed over the controls, with his tongue drooling out. What a joker!
TV presenter Noel Edmonds is said to have trained on a Bell 47 and to have owned a Bell 20, single-engined Squirrel and an Augusta A109! Apparently, he mainly flew between his house in Dorset and Northolt.
Richard Hammond, another co-host of The Grand Tour, passed his helicopter licence in March 2012. He now owns a second-hand £150,000 Robinson R44 which he keeps at his home and uses to occasionally fly to work. So, will be expecting Jeremy Clarkson to start flying any time soon…?
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