Shropshire Star

Indiana Jones and the plane from Shropshire

A Shropshire flying club has a new member – Hollywood superstar Harrison Ford.


The 72-year-old actor and pilot signed up to the Shropshire Aero Club, based at Sleap Airfield, near Wem, when he hired a plane for his leisure time while filming the new Star Wars movie.

He chose an Aviat Husky aircraft, similar to the planes he keeps back home in America, and on Sunday, Bob Pooler, the club's chief flying instructor, delivered it to an aerodrome near Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

Mr Ford, star of films including the Indiana Jones series, Blade Runner and Witness, had a mandatory check-out flight and the aircraft was left in his capable hands until mid-November.

The club has now decided to make Mr Ford a lifetime honorary member.

Harrison Ford with the Aviat Husky aircraft he has rented from the Shropshire Aero Club

Mr Pooler said: "Harrison Ford owns a couple of Huskys in the States so he wanted to rent and fly one while over here.

"We happened to have one for rent. He phoned me up last Friday and left me a message.

"So I flew down on Sunday, did a check ride with him and got him to become a member because he has to be covered by our insurance.

"I delivered the aircraft to Denham Aerodrome, just 10 minutes away from Pinewood Studios where the movie is being filmed.

"I thought he was an absolute gentleman who was really polite.

"He was concerned about me getting back. He wouldn't leave until he knew I was going to be okay. He said I could use his driver to get back, but I didn't need to take him up on it.

"He invited me to see his collection of aircraft if I was ever in California."

Mr Pooler added: "The Husky can operate in and out of short fields. After he left me on Sunday I think he was going to visit friends on their grass strips."

Ten years ago Mr Ford hit the headlines when he hired a canal barge for a holiday with his wife, actress Calista Flockhart, and her son, on the Llangollen Canal, taking charge of their boat in Oswestry.

The Indiana Jones star is in Britain to reprise his role as Han Solo in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII.

Production for the highly anticipated movie came to a halt after Harrison injured his ankle when the hydraulic door of his spaceship, the Millennium Falcon, fell on his foot in June.

Despite the filming delay, the film is still expected to be released on December 18 next year.

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