Mar 18, 2012, 12:21 PM
Post #1 of 5
He did it without a wing-suit or a box catcher or a fancy runway :)
You Asked for It (1950–1959), Airplane-to-Horseback Tackle Needham's first real TV stunt was also one of his best. The scene, on the show You Asked For It, called for a stuntman to sit precariously on the landing gear of a flying plane and tackle a man riding a horse at full gallop. Needham was tapped to be the jump man squatting below the Cessna 150. "The rate of speed that we closed on that horse was unbelievable. That plane was doing about 58 mph, maybe 16 to 18 feet in the air," he says. As the plane made its approach, the pilot was flying so low he had to "hang it on the prop," controlling the plane with engine speed and pointing the nose high in the air. The pilot couldn't see the horse below and Needham had to give him hand signals to help position the plane. "I had to jump 15 to 20 feet before I even got to him—and I had to catch him . . . and not the horse." Once lined up, Needham jumped from the plane and sailed through the air, tackling the rider. "My main concern was to get at least one hand on that guy, so that it would look like I was pulling him off that horse. But the main thing was, don't hit that horse. Because if I did, there could have been some kind of wreck."