Did you know that Pope Benedict XVI is a chopper pilot?

While now ex-Pope Benedict is the first pope to have embraced modern technologies like Twitter and mobile phones (not that there have been many popes in recent years…), the Catholic News Agency has reported another rather unusual and startling fact about the former pontiff:

Pope Benedict XVI has a pilot’s license for the papal helicopter and likes to fly from the Vatican to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, but the pope does not have a driver’s license as he never learned to drive a car.

Apparently, Pope Benedict had never saw the need to learn how to drive as throughout his life, he could always get to where he was going though other methods – like flying the papal helicopter or presumably riding in the back of the popemobile in latter years.

No word on when Pope Benedict became a pilot or much else about his flying experience. Aviationclub does have the following picture of what appears to be Pope Benedict at the controls of the papal helicopter:

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