Westchester teen flies with actor Harrison Ford
Neither "Star Wars" nor Indiana Jones came up during the 15 to 20 minutes Jodie Gawthrop spent flying above Oshkosh with actor Harrison Ford.
Mostly, the Westchester teen and the movie star talked about their shared love of aviation during the Thursday afternoon flight, the 2 millionth sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association as part of its Young Eagles program, which promotes young people's interest in aviation. Ford, a longtime aviation enthusiast, chaired the program from 2004 to 2009.
"(The experience) was wonderful. It's beyond words at this point," said Gawthrop, 16, who occupied the co-pilot's seat in Ford's single engine DeHavilland Beaver airplane.
The flight took place during the EAA's annual AirVenture convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
"It's amazing to see the air show from that perspective," said Gawthrop, a Civil Air Patrol volunteer with the Palwaukee Composite Squadron in Wheeling. "Not until you see the planes all laid out, parked nose to tail, that you realize the sheer massive number of people who are there."
"It was great talking aviation with him," said Gawthrop, who has logged 10 hours of flying time in pursuit of her pilot's license, which she begins in earnest this fall. "One thing we could agree on was how great the people are, how they look out for each other and have each other's back," she said. "It's an amazing environment."