Ask Alexandra – December 2015

1) Alexandra,
Hope this finds you well. If I may expand on an earlier question I had of you in regards to the 1996 unaired pilot ‘Daytona Beach’ (before you began on Fire Co 132). I see that you are a retired Air Force pilot and now flying in air shows with the Daytona Air Command.

In the ABC promo you are actually seen flying in an aircraft, along with inserted film clips of a T-33 with the Navy’s Blue Angels logo.

Before CGI it appears that you are actually in the aircraft in flight (close-ups) in the promo. What was that like for you to do? How much flying were you actually able to do? Do you recall where the flight scenes were filmed and what kind of aircraft you were actually in?

There are a couple of small airports in the area and even one with a flight museum (noted in the script), the Valant Air Command just south of the city.

Thank you for all that you do environmentally, much appreciated.

Richard Yokley

Hi Richard,

I filmed the pilot Daytona Beach 20 years ago now, so I have forgotten a lot of the details, but I do remember, because my character was a fighter pilot, I had to film a scene in a fighter jet. It went very, very fast. I was given an air bag to throw up in (which I did not use) because the G force was very strong.

I filmed those scenes up in the air around Daytona Beach, from a small airport. I was in the rear seat and they made it look like I was flying, but of course I was not (luckily!) I cannot recall much more except that I was nervous. I had been in helicopters for the 2 part series with Pierce Brosnan, Detonator 1 & Detonator 2 (also called Death Train & Night Watch) and I had flown in Nicaraguan military helicopters during the war there when I was delivering medical supplies to remote villages with Operation USA – the helicopters had to do evasive maneuvers to avoid gunfire from the ground – but I was probably most nervous in that plane because the space is so small and I felt a bit trapped.

Thank you for inquiring about Daytona Beach. I was sorry it did not get picked up by ABC, as it was a great idea to do a series about auto racing and it was fun working with Steven Eckholdt and Lee Majors.

Best wishes to you for a wonderful new year,

2) Hi Alex! I’ve been a huge fan of your since I was a kid. I was a big Baywatch fan…and you were always one of my favorite characters. I was reading an article on your YEARS ago and remembered you had competed in an Ironman triathlon. That inspired me to also want to get involved in triathlon as well. I have now completed 3 ironman distance races in Lake Placid and was wondering if you ever planned on racing again!? You should also know I have been a lifeguard now for 18 years at World Famous Jones Beach in NY and will be there every summer as long as I can swim and run to pass the test!! Wishing you all the best in everything. Would love to meet you one day!
Cary Epstein

Hi Cary,

Being a lifeguard at Jones Beach is a challenge, I am sure – kudos to you for helping so many people over the years. I did a photo shoot there in 1979 and the beach was lovely – I hope it is still as lovely!

I no longer compete in triathlons, as I had knee surgery in about 10 years ago. That is why I began to do some longer swims – I couldn’t run long distances anymore and I so loved that! It is wonderful that you are doing the Ironman distance and I am honored that I in some way inspired you. Amazing how little we can be aware at the time of how our actions might influence others!

I am planning on doing a 15 mile swim this year or next – I just need to find a warm water venue, as I hate being cold and I will be in the water many hours.

Best of luck to you in 2016 with your racing and your lifeguarding. Thank you for your service on the beach, and thank you for writing.

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