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Angelina Takes Flight and Does Right by the Troops

Wonderwall, Friday, July 10, 2009, 3:40pm (PDT)

With Michael Jackson's death dominating the news, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been given a respite from their standard cover spot on the tabloids (e.g., "Brad Walks Out!" or, conversely, "Angie Walks In on Jen & Brad!"), but they haven't dropped out of sight entirely.

On Thursday, the Oscar-winning mom of six turned up at an airport in Burbank, Calif., to take a flying lesson in her Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane.

"She looked like she was just having so much fun," a spy bubbles to OK! magazine, which says she practiced takeoffs and landings.

Another eyewitness tells Us Weekly that Jolie and her flying instructor winged to Santa Barbara and back.

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"When she got off the plane, she hopped off," recounts the snitch. "She seemed pretty energetic. She had a spring in her step."

Perhaps Angelina was just in a good mood because of her recent good deed. Turns out she made a quiet, USO-arranged trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., last month to meet with wounded soldiers.

The USO posted pictures from Jolie's visit on its Facebook page (see them here), and, if her stunning and glowing state is any indication (check out this photo in particular), altruism most definitely becomes her.

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Details of the meet-and-greet remain sketchy, but the actress is said to have spent quality time with several injured soldiers and their families. When she left, she allegedly had someone hand out gift bags containing a generous Best Buy gift certificate (rumored to be a thousand bucks) on her behalf.

In between flying the friendly skies and supporting the troops, Angelina has been doing what every other parent does over the summer -- trying to find fun activities for the little ones.

For Zahara, 4, and Shiloh, 3, that means dance class. Paparazzi snapped Jolie, who was kitted out in a strapless maxi-dress, exiting a princess-themed class hand-in-hand with the girls on Monday.

Zahara, pint-sized firecracker that she is, took the opportunity to express herself to the shutterbugs by sticking out her tongue (is it any wonder why she's our favorite celebrity tot?).

During class, "Zahara and Shiloh were so cute," a fellow parent tells Life & Style. "They were holding hands and sitting side-by-side. Zahara was a little more coordinated, and she was trying to help Shiloh. She was taking on the big-sister role!"

Jolie, adds the impressed snitch, "was so encouraging to them -- you could see the light in her eyes when she was watching. I was trying not to stare, but she's just so gorgeous in person, even more than on the big screen."

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As for Brad, he's been regularly spied cruising around Los Angeles on his motorcycle (with and without headgear that's cutely labeled "Daddy's Helmet"), although he might want to consider a reliable car with tinted windows.

On the heels of last week's misguided decision to hitch a ride with the paparazzi after his vintage two-wheeler broke down, he had his personal space invaded on Wednesday as he waited at a red light on Hollywood Boulevard.

Seems an overly excited fella on a tour bus saw the star and jumped off to grab a picture, which he felt was best accomplished by placing a video camera inches from his world-famous face and hollering, "It's Brad Pitt!"

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On the plus side, Pitt could be going back to work soon. The New York Times reports that his stalled "Moneyball" project, which was put into turnaround last month just days before cameras were due to roll, may get a second wind now that scribe Aaron Sorkin has been hired to do a script rewrite.

Sony originally put the kibosh on the baseball flick because it was unhappy with director Steven Soderbergh's new version of the screenplay, which it deemed "too arty and documentary in style." He's no longer attached to the film.

Next: Quickies: Drew & Justin Get Grope-y; Reese Gets a Black Eye

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