Harrison Ford learned to fly a plane because he worried he was ”getting old.”
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor initially took pilot lessons as a college student but ran out of money after just three sessions, eventually picking them back up much later in life when he feared he had lost the ability to learn new things.
He explained: ”I didn’t pick it up again until I was 52. I was worried I was getting old and I couldn’t learn anything anymore. I didn’t only want to be an actor in my life. No dissatisfaction with that career, I just wanted some other experience. Airplanes are expensive but at a certain point it was clear to me that maybe it would be cheaper to buy my own than for Warner Bros to keep flying me around, no such thing as a free lunch. I have a love for airplanes. It’s the hole in daddy’s armor and yes, where all the money goes.”
The 73-year-old actor – who crashed one of his vintage planes earlier this year – insisted the appeal of flying for him isn’t about taking risks and being a daredevil, but the ”responsibility” of taking care of his and other people’s safety.
He told GQ magazine: ”I’ve later come to understand that what I love about the experience of flying is freedom and responsibility. The notion of taking responsibility for your own safety and your passengers imposes a kind of rigor in your situation. It is that combined with the freedom of flight, the joy of seeing, of being part of the third dimension. It’s understanding the visual complexity of the thing, the joy of creating this body of knowledge of flight, that you didn’t know anything about and then applying it to practice – that is the appealing thing to me.
”People think it is about the danger or the thrill of it. But it’s not about risk, for me, it’s about mitigation of risk.”