OK... We Admit It, We're BIG Fans!
Most of the world has seen him fly -- but often in the guise of some other person... whether it be James Bond or The Phantom. The man behind the stick for some of aero-movie-dom's most famous scenes is none other than JW "Corkey" Fornof... one of the best pilots in the biz and a helluva nice guy. Better yet, he claims to be ANN's biggest fan... and with that particular approbation (one he hasn't been bashful about voicing -- Thanks!), it seemed only natural that he become the subject of an Aero-TV feature.
Fornof is more than James Bond's 'stand-in pilot.' Corkey is a living/flying legend... for all the right reasons. Corkey flew with his father, J.W. "Bill" Fornof, in a world famous two ship air show with matching bronze Bearcats for a number of years (until Bill's tragic loss in 1971). Their airshow business was based in Houma and involvced routines built around the flying of the T6, Mustang and his favorite warbird, the rotund but formidable Bearcat. He has over 17,000 hours in over 287 different types of aircraft and has worked as a test pilot, corporate pilot, and formed the first civilian jet demonstration team. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Motion Picture Pilots Association -- among others. He has planned, organized and flown some of the most thrilling aviation stunts in movies -- movies with immediately familiar names -- like License to Kill, Face Off, Moonraker, The Phantom, or Six Days and Seven Nights. And to add to these distinctions, he's flown for over 100 commercials and even done his thing on MTV.
These days, though, Corkey is living a love affair while extolling the virtues of the little sporty two place plane that will not die... Roy Lopresti's exquisite "Fury." Corkey loves this thing, noting that, "The LoPrestiFury flies like a little fighter. It does everything my Mustang would do except 500 kts... This is one sweet ride. Roy LoPresti was right on when he designed this plane. The Fury is perfect for aerobatics or cross country flying".
The Lopresti gang knew what they were doing when they drafted Corkey to be the Aerial Ambassador for their dream-plane. The Lopresti camp rightly notes that, "If you're going to show off a fast, sexy, high performance aircraft, it helps to have a secret agent as your pilot. The Fury possesses the thrilling excitement of air combat or an aerobatic WWII fighter. It's precision and perfection allows smooth rolls and figure 8s. One can glide cross-country in this leather-seated beauty listening to tunes of your choice through the Bluetooth Headset and 'Intuition' Ipod system."
So, for now, Corkey tours the aviation world with the Fury, stopping at air shows and aviation establishments all over the country -- and taking on the occasional film job. The Fury program benefits immensely from his demonstrations and spokesmanship... while demonstrating the charms of the single engine, retractable two seat sport aircraft designed by LoPresti Speed Merchants and destined for serial production. Roy's dream lives on, courtesy of his son, Curt, who has is realizing his father's dream by pushing to manufacture and market the Fury in the not too distant future. This 222 mph airplane sports a bubble canopy, sticks, economical operating costs, aerobatic performance and a sweet soul that offers excellent handling. ANN and Aero-TV look forward to meeting the first of the new generation of Fury owner/pilots -- ASAP.
Join Aero-TV and Corkey Fornof In A Bit Of Aviation History (Part 2)
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Copyright 2008, Aero-News Network, Inc., ALL Rights Reserved.
The Airshow Biz is Not an Industry... It's A Family
We all have to deal with trial sand tribulations unique to us... but few will ever deal with the kind that Alan Henley has been facing for t the last year. A consummate aviator paralyzed while a simple act of playing with his kids went awry, Alan is having to rebuild a life that once meant unlimited freedom of the skies into something a bit more constrained... but knowing Alan, he's going to push those limits as far as he can.
Hence, the reasons that dozens of performers, hundreds of industry personnel and tens of thousands of people came together to honor and support a single flyer... one they care for, in the consummate act of "family" we've seen from the aviation world in many a year.
The airshow community rallied to the cause with incredible passion and organization. Nearly 3 dozen 35 aerobatic performers committed to flying in the North Florida airshow April 18-19, with the able aid of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA). Everyone flew both days, and along with a number of ground and aviation static and support displays and activities, the event made for a feature-packed weekend that drew attendees form all over North America. The airshow had everything... from skydiving to wing-walkers to military tactical demonstrations, to warbirds, to some of the best precision aerobatic pilots and planes in the world.
It was a spectacle. The performers list was a veritable "Who's Who" of the airshow world. Performers include (but are not limited to) The AeroShell Aerobatic Team, the Aerostars, Corky Fornof, Dale Snodgrass, Announcer Danny Clisham, Greg Poe, Jim Peitz, John Mohr, Lee Lauderback and Stallion 51 Mustang, Glider Pilot Manfred Radius, Patty Wagstaff, Announcer Rob Reider and Steve & Susanne Oliver -- and that barely covers a third of those who flew! And yes, ANN and Aero-TV were there to cover every exciting moment!
Proceeds from this event benefitted Fly, Drive and Ride for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research and The Alan Henley Foundation. The Alan Henley Foundation is a charitable organization whose sole purpose is to benefit his treatment and his family. Alan and his wife, Jennifer, have two young children, Skylar and Brandon.
Alan has served admirably, for a number of years as the lead pilot for the AeroShell Aerobatic Team (tough duty, he used to tell us... and we never believed him... grin). He was injured last July in an accident while playing with his children at his home in Birmingham, AL. A chin-up bar gave way while Henley was on it, resulting in a fall which caused severe injuries to his neck and head. Alan is making progress... but it's a slow expensive process that is not being all that well supported by Henley's medical insurer -- so it became up to us, his aviation family to pick up the difference.
Alan has undergone a number of surgeries and battled collateral infections and complications that resulted from his injury. At the moment, we regret to note that he is still paralyzed from the chest down, and will undergo extensive rehabilitation 'on a long journey to an uncertain recovery.' But Alan promises to fly again... he may need hand controls or other devices to aid the process, but this is an aviator who will NOT be denied the skies... and judging by the chat we had with him at Cecil Field, we'd be foolish to bet against him. Mark our words, Alan will fly again.
In HIs Own Words, Alan Henley Spends A Few Minutes With Aero-TV!
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Copyright 2009, Aero-News Network, Inc., ALL Rights Reserved.