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by Bob McCullough

Jim is the amazing pilot who flies helicopters, airplanes, and jets in the movies when stunts are called for. The cast, crew and I loaded onto a bus at Universal Studios to go to our location shoot for the day. That day was in Ontario at the small community airport for the filming of the ground and crash sequences for Survival on Charter 220. This was a rare day when Randy and Kevin was not required to be on the set as they were not in any of the scenes. It was a day of filming the outside of the airport office and loading of the pilots and crew of Charter 220. The day was getting to be long and boring, so when I heard that Jim Gavin was going to be flying a Leer Jet to do the aerial shots of the "Crash", I wanted to go up with him. Jim was all in favor, but now I needed the directors okay which I got.  We loaded up in Jim's Leer and took off. It felt as though the tail section was going to be torn right off with the power in the acceleration. We filmed the sequence many times at different angles and it was getting late, so we wrapped and went back to Ontario Airport. After we got out of the jet, we noticed that the crew had packed up and gone home (home being Universal Studios some 70 miles away) leaving the two of us stranded at a closed airport in the middle of no where. No big deal, I would play the hero and offer to rent a car to run us back to the studio. Much to my embarrassment, I had forgot all my credit cards at home that day, so we took off running after the jet hoping Jim could fly us back to Burbank airport where we might be able to catch a ride to the studio. Unfortunately, Jim was not going in that direction as he had to take the jet back to the owners, Hmmm? Now what? Jim, being the very gracious gentleman that he is, whipped out his wallet and gave a $100 bill. So, the stunt lady and I called a cab to run us back. When the cab arrived, we found that the cab driver was new to the area fresh out of the hills in Arkansas. We showed him the way back to Universal, but he was so excited that his fare was "Movie Folk" that he jabbered non-stop all the way to the studio. We finally arrived at 2 am the next morning and this guy was so high on the fact that he was actually on Universals lot. He won our hearts, so we had him drive all over the grounds. We showed him the famous "Back Lot", all the different villages, JAWS, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Phantom of the Opera set, and then ended the tour at the studios set of Fire Station 51. That young guy went back to Ontario totally star struck. at least we hope that he found his way back to Ontario :-) I don't think that either the stunt lady or I will forget that day in our lives. Jim Gaven is a hero to me and I watch for him to this day in every credit at the end of any movie that had a flight scene. He is truly one of the best pilots out there. Thanks Jim. 

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