Earhart Plane Hijacked En-route To Film Set
The vintage plane director MIRA NAIR used as AMELIA EARHART's craft in biopic AMELIA was hi-jacked en-route to the South African film shoot.
The filmmaker threatened to give up food during the shoot if producers couldn't find her one of the actual Lockheed Elektras the famous aviator flew - but she had no idea it would be such a saga to get the plane from the south of France to the location in Cape Town.
Nair tells WENN, "We located this Elektra in the south of France from this wonderful family called the Shabers, who agreed to fly it to us across the entire continent of Africa.
"The Elektra runs on Aveo gas, which is not a gasoline you get now and it was almost like flying it in Amelia's time. You have to keep landing for extra fuel.
"At one time they radioed down to a country - I won't mention the name - and asked if they had fuel and they said, 'No,' and then said, 'Oh, yes we do.' The Elektra landed there and the family was surrounded by 15 soldiers and taken hostage for one and a half days. They demanded $13,000 and we had to fly in $13,000.
"They called the French embassy in that country and the French embassy called the producers and we wired the money. We were literally hijacked and the plane arrived 24 hours before the scenes had to be shot. It had to be polished and, oh my God, it was a big saga."
But when filming with the craft began, Nair quickly realised she was destined to use the Elektra in the movie: "Bernard Shaber, the pilot and owner, showed us this photograph of Amelia landing in Dakar, eating lunch with his father with this Elektra in the background.
"I thought that was a sign; this had to be our Elektra."