What’s the one place a celebrity can be sure to escape the entourage? At 12,500 feet above the madding crowd, obviously. Lots of Hollywood’s loftiest denizens have happily taken to the skies–and a few of them have even decided to stick around and earn a license. We know what we’re talking about, ‘cause we’ve played host to lots of celebrity skydivers. (It doesn’t hurt that we’re so close to Los Angeles, y’know.)
Not so long ago, we had the pleasure of taking salty-sweet Miley Cyrus skydiving at our dropzone. As we’re told, she got excited about it during an interview for Rolling Stone and dragged the writer of the article out to do a jump the very next morning. In a fit of typical punkiness, she informed her instructor that we’d be ‘so f#%$&@’ if she died. Of course, she needn’t have been the least bit worried! She was absolutely exuberant on the way down, gushing that she was “finally a bird.”
Though Will Smith grew up in California skydiving country, he made his first jump pretty far afield–out in the United Arab Emirates. He and wife Jada Pinkett Smith were on vacation in Dubai in 2014, where the thriving skydiving and wind tunnel flying community compelled them to give both forms of human flight a try. They were so stoked on it that they brought their sons out a couple of weeks later so they could also get a rousing introduction to the sport.
Liam Hemsworth might be best known for his stint on the Hunger Games, but our favorite of his appearances is in his 2014 skydiving video. He made his first tandem skydive for an interview he was doing for Nylon magazine, so he had a bit more in the way of photo and video crew than most newbie skydivers–but if it weren’t for that, you’d have to be a diehard fan to have been able to tell him from anyone else on the plane. He looked just as anxious and excited as everyone else, after all.
Patrick Swayze’s skydiving scenes in the 1991 classic, Point Break, might be his most famous screen moments–and rightly so, as he was a hobbyist skydiver before he even snagged the role. In fact, the famous “adios amigo” bit is actual footage of the man himself making a skydive–no stunt double whatsoever!
It was a family affair, really. Swayze’s brother, who was a very experienced skydiver at the time, brought him down to Perris to show him the ropes. To everyone’s surprise, Patrick got right into it and earned his license. According to his instructor, the star’s natural athletic and gymnastic ability made him “a natural.”
Funny story: one day, when the at-that-point-massively-famous Swayze was at the dropzone, he went entirely unrecognized by most of the jumpers.
Another world-famous licensed jumper, golf superstar Tiger Woods, also did his training in southern California. He snapped up 30 skydives while he was in town for an invitational tournament in 2007, celebrating his thirty-first birthday by getting his USPA A-license certification. Another “natural” jumper, Woods soon ended up pulling a classic skydiver move very early on in his jumping career: namely, getting spotted tucking into a plate of pancakes at the IHOP. (Pancakes are an elite sport skydiver’s main source of nutrition.*)
Who knows who you’ll be sitting next to on the plane? Better make sure you spring for the photo and video package–you just might have a celebrity photobomber next to you on the aircraft.
*OK, that’s actually not true.