Sean Smith/JPI
Cynthia Wang
January 14, 2011 02:30 PM

After Dancing with Chelsie Hightower and playing a bachelor-type on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, erstwhile Bachelor star Jake Pavelka has another TV part on Friday’s Bold and the Beautiful.

“I play a pilot,” Pavelka, who’s a commercial pilot in real life, tells PEOPLE, “and what’s ironic about the whole thing is that it’s harder to play a pilot than to be a pilot!”

Pavelka was offered the role in part because producer Brad Bell flies planes, too. “He’s a pilot himself and we had a whole lot in common,” says Pavelka, “and I said, ‘Absolutely!’ It’s fun having a part like that. And the cast members were all incredible. I got to meet most of them. But my part was with Katherine Kelly Lang and she was a doll.”

But acting doesn’t mean an end to Pavelka’s flying days. In fact, he still works mostly as a commercial pilot. And later this year, he will take flying to new heights as a stunt pilot.

“I’m going to get involved in air shows,” Pavelka says. “As a civilian, you can’t fly in an F-16 but you can fly in a civilian fighter trainer that still goes 600 miles per hour, so I think I’m going to be flying a jet like that in several air shows this year.”

Also soaring is Pavelka’s love life – he and Dallas wedding planner Meghan Jones are still going strong. “We have taken some Latin lessons and she’s getting pretty good and can beat me up on the dance floor,” Pavelka admits. “I got crazed about Latin during Dancing with the Stars. Chelsie and I, we did the samba and the cha cha, so I got bit by the Latin bug.”

Is it safe to say that Pavelka would never do The Bachelor again, a la Brad Womack? “I read that story that I was begging to be the Bachelor,” says Pavelka, “and that was news to me.”

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