updated 09/23/2009 AT 8:30 AM ET
•originally published 09/22/2009 AT 12:30 PM ET
Gisele Bündchen may be 6 months pregnant, but that’s not stopping her from taking lessons to learn to fly a helicopter, a friend confirms to PEOPLE.
While husband Tom Brady, 32, is in training with the New England Patriots, Bündchen has been doing her own training outside her new hometown of Boston. “She’s been coming to the airfield for a couple months and she started her lessons a few weeks ago,” says Keith Douglass, president of Shoreline Aviation, a company that provides private jets and aviation lessons.
“She’s gung ho about learning to fly. She’s one of the best students we’ve ever had,” says Douglass. “She’s excellent at learning and understanding what makes the helicopters fly. She knows all the rules and regulations. She’s fantastic at flying the helicopter. She is very smooth and professional and she listens.”
And despite her pregnancy, Bündchen, 29, who is able to continue with her lessons until November per her doctor’s instructions, had no qualms about going up in the aircraft. “She wasn’t nervous at all,” says Douglass. “I asked her. But she can fly into November – that’s when the doctors told her to stop, because she’s due in December.”
Flying while pregnant is considered fine, Douglass adds. “It only becomes an issue when they can’t comfortably get in and out of the airplane or the controls can’t be moved where they should be,” he says. “They don’t fly that high anyway in a helicopter so there are no big pressure changes.”
Flying for a Good Cause
Bündchen’s main motivation in learning to fly? Learning the nuts and bolts of aviation so she can work, as a new goodwill ambassador for the UN s Environmental Programme, on finding an alternative source of jet fuel. “She is trying to promote alternative fuel, and she’s going to be very active doing that,” says Douglass.
And while she’s close to being a new mom, the supermodel is even closer to getting her pilot’s license. “She’ll probably have her license in a month,” says Douglass. “She’s on the controls. She flies it off the ground and away she goes. She brings it back in, lands it perfectly. She’s doing a wonderful job.”
Eventually, Douglass says, flying might be a family affair. “I think down the road Tom will come too – they’re planning on using a helicopter quite often.”