Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(June 18, 1952–February 8, 2009): Assistant aerial stunt coordinator and engineer who worked closely with aerial stunt supervisor Corkey Fornof on Licence to Kill. One of Champagne’s key sequences was the stunt where CIA pilot Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) maneuvers her Piper Cub crop-dusting plane so that James Bond (Timothy Dalton) can jump onto a moving tanker-trailer truck.

For that sequence, shot in the mountains outside Mexicali, Mexico (near the border with the US), English stuntman Simon Crane doubled Dalton, and aerial stunt coordinator Fornof flew the Piper. A padded “bed” was placed atop the tanker truck, and Fornof slowed the aircraft down to about 70 mph so that Crane could jump onto the truck.

For the pre-credits teaser sequence in which Bond captures Sanchez’s Cessna 172 private plane, Champagne explained that three aircraft were actually used. Fornof flew the in-flight Cessna, a second plane was hung upside down in the Coast Guard helicopter snare, and a third was mounted on the ground rig (where close-ups of Dalton were shot). All three aircraft were purchased from a Florida aircraft junkyard. The plane that the Coast Guard helicopter snares was equipped with an engine built by John Richardson’s special effects department. Its tail section was also reinforced to accommodate the helicopter’s winch cable.


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