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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 6 August 1, 2008     

Stunt pilot tells tales
By Barbara A. Schmitz

Corkey Fornof regales the audience with anecdotes from his career as an aviation stunt double. Photo by Phil Weston

Corkey Fornof has appeared in countless movies, yet few people know his face.

But that’s part of being a stunt pilot, aviation stunt double, and aerial coordinator for the movie industry.

Fornof has played John Travolta, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Nicholas Cage, to name a few. And he isn’t afraid to admit he’s worn some pretty strange clothing while filming, too

"I’ve worn more dresses than I care to count," he said to laughter.

In a packed forum Thursday afternoon, Fornof told about his career and showed and described how some aerial scenes are filmed. AirVenture visitors can also see him flying a Lopresti Fury during the showcase portion of the air show.

Fornof has more than 15,000 hours in nearly 300 different types of aircraft. He holds single- and multi-engine ratings, and has a low-level aerobatic waiver. He’s been filmed in every continent except Antarctica, and has also worked as a test pilot, corporate pilot, and aerobatics pilot. In addition, he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Motion Picture Pilots Association.

In The Phantom, a story of a descendent of a line of African heroes who travels to New York to thwart a criminal genius, Fornof said he wore purple loungewear, and would spend a lot of time on the beaches of Thailand and Australia waiting with the red biplane for the next scene to be shot. "It’s beautiful. I kept thinking I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this."

As he showed a clip of the movie, he asked, "So is it me or Catherine Zeta-Jones?" Then, later, he adds, "I wanted this part, but the director said no."

What part?

Kissing Zeta-Jones.

He’s also worked on James Bond movies like Moonraker and License to Kill. For movies he’s landed on highways, been chased by rockets or shot at, flown through a hangar at knife-edge, and much more.

"Bond movies are a lot of fun to make because there is so much action," he said. "We would rehearse for days…and do scenes five or six times."

Besides being fun to make, being in a movie has one more benefit–getting residuals, he said. "It’s kind of like having a retirement program."

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