'Earhart' Star Swank To Complete Pilot Training

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The mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance over the Pacific in 1937 is a familiar story, but outside of aviation circles, her other accomplishments are less well known. A new film that opens Friday, Amelia, starring Hilary Swank, explores Earhart's life as a pilot, leading up to that famous final flight. The Ninety-Nines, the women's pilot association that Earhart helped to launch, is holding events around the country to celebrate the opening of the film, in hopes that it will help spark interest in general aviation. Swank spent about 19 hours learning to fly after she agreed to take on the role and said last week that she hopes to complete her private pilot training. "It takes all of your senses; you're completely immersed," she said at a news conference last week in New Jersey, where she met with pilots from the Ninety-Nines and displayed one of the Lockheed Electras that flew in the film. "It was exciting to learn something new that really was challenging." Click here to view the trailer.

Swank said she wasn't allowed to fly solo because of insurance concerns, but she is hopeful that now that the filming is over she will be able to complete her training. "I like to see things through to the end," she said. "One of the great things about my job is that I get to do all of these things that I might not have experienced had I not been an actor. I think being able to say that I learned how to fly to play Amelia Earhart is pretty great."