Clint Eastwood: Celebrity with Pilot License
Always a trendsetter, Clint Eastwood has been a licensed helicopter pilot for almost 30 years. He says that flying helicopters is his favorite hobby because, “You’re the only one up there.” In a 1997 “60 Minutes” interview, he took Steve Kroft up in his helicopter and flew him over the golf course he was building in Monterey, California. He told Steve that he loves flying because pilots are identified only by the code on the aircraft. “You’re just a number in the sky. Everybody pretty much leaves you alone. Charlie Xray or 71Romeo Papa. Every plane is just an ID”.
Aerial coordinator Craig Hosking is the one who taught Clint Eastwood how to fly. “I got interested in learning to fly helicopters in 1969,” Eastwood says. “I was doing a film in Baker, Oregon, living outside town and flying in to the set in a Bell 47 every day. The guy flying it was a CFI, and he let me take controls and start building time. I was busy with other things, so I never got my license. But I always king of regretted that. So around 1990, I hooked up with Craig and got serious about it”.
Soon after getting his license, Clint Eastwood went to the Paris Air Show and ended up buying Aerospatiale AStar helicoprer there. After getting checked out in the aircraft in France, he had it shipped back to his home in California, where he’s put several hundred hours on it in the past few years. “A lot of times, I’ve seen Clint choose to take the helicopter somewhere – even on long trips – when he could have taken a corporate jet,” Hosking says. “That’s how much he likes to fly”.
Ride along with Clint Eastwood as he flies his helicopter:
Clint Eastwood made his name as a popular television and film actor, and went on to become an acclaimed filmmaker, directing several Academy Award-winning films.