The very top is 3,842 meters. 12,604 ft. However launch is approx 100 meters lower. On this day the wind forecast was S/E however it was in the West when we reached the takeoff point, this made launch rather tricky being full cross wind. Approx 50% of take off attempts failed, even tandem instructor pilots !
The westerly winds also resulted in a lower height after launch necessitating a change of plan once airborne. It was so close to having to land and walk back up.
September lead me to Sichuan province to perform an airshow at Deyang leading the Global Stars team. Between events I had one day off which gave me a chance to go to the mountains for a quick PG.
I took my Nova Phantom with me to the Launch point at N31′ 5457 E104′ 4845 which is at approx 1000 meters. Access is via a rather old cable car reminesent of 1970’s France. This passes through a jungle area to the top. Unccessary music blaring out on route. This cable car brings people to the pathed walk around the mountain.
Arriving at the purpose made launch site I’m greeted by an instructor who ushers me to the office to sign “fly at my risk” forms. I have to supply my BHPA licence and insurance. All straight forwards. I discover its mandatory in China to wear a helmet and it appears carry a radio tuneable to 436.075 & 436.175 mgs.
The site is wide and green with a large spectator viewing area. Every take off raises a cheer from assembled tourists. Several tandem pilots plying their trade. Prices are on parr with Chamonix at approx £120 a trip.
Launch to landing at N31′ 5353 E104′ 4843 is 100% over forested and scrub ground lower down. Take off and turn right should put you in the lift zone but on this day its almost totally flat.
Just like any site in Europe I find no problem getting a lift back to base and up the lift again. I’ve initiated updating FLYSKYHY app with the location.
My long time friend and business partner Vytas called me in August and asked if I would come and do a show at the Nemuno Žiedas race track, Kaunas. I didn’t hesitate in saying yes because of my fond memories since 1992.
This circuit opened in the soviet times in 1960. Today a very popular privately owned circuit hosting many corporate race days and drive experiences. https://www.facebook.com/nemunoziedas
Looking to diversify the owner stages many events and is promoting to families, the youth and petrol heads. The event I am to fly at is a concert. Local bands, International fireworks display teams, Drone display, Laser display and now air display. “LIGHT ON”
Gates opening at 7pm. I am to fly at 7:30 on my first show. This being a “little and large” and a solo. Donatas Pauzuolis being a world champion model aircraft pilot is my partner .
Arriving in Lithuania after a 7 hours flight the first task is to off load baggage and discuss with Donatas Pauzuolis the flight sequence. We then practice. Friday is also devoted to practice flights and a visit to the track.
Saturday its planned that I fly in the class “A” airspace at 10,000ft over Kaunas and draw a smily. The day dawns CAVOK, wall to wall blue. The flight is at 13:00, photogs in place, take off on time and a shower blows through….. all I can do is a few hearts at 3000ft
Nothing more to say other than the time came, the clock was running and the display went exactly on schedule. All the pyros fired from the a/c and ground.
The concert was a huge success with approx 10,000 attendees.
I’m looking forwards to returning next year. New ideas are being planned !!
The Global Stars had a busy few days with approx 6 hours flying and 7 shows. Ending the weekend with a highly commended show at Shuttleworth.
The weekend kicked of with Chatsworth on Friday, followed by Saturday 14:10 at Chatsworth again. At this point the team split for a rapid refuelling. Two to Barton and two to Netherthorp to be airborne again at 15:00 heading to Portrush to arrive on slot at 16:35 afterwards landing Causway.
Portstewart had a UK first with a 4 ship formation team carrying pyros. Only 3 of the aircraft equipped because we have 5 pyro a/c shipping to China just now for national day displays. This will be the worlds first 5 ship pyro team demonstration.
After displaying Portstewart we recover to Eglington for the night.
Sunday its refuel Eglington, into Causway for smoke oil, opening the show at Portrush at 12:40, back to Causway, refuel and smoke then off to Chatsworth display and carry on to Gransden for smoke oil 2 hours later. Airborne again 1 hour later to close the show at Shuttleworth.
Pictures gleaned from the web. Many thanks to the artists for posting.
The National Street Rod Association drive out to Lt Gransden on the 9th August prior to going to Shuttleworth. Coffee and cakes then away after seeing the unbelivable airdisplays.com take to the skies.
Wilbur Wright‘s cheque book is insured for 300,000 USD, presented to me prior to displaying the Extra 330SC at Shuttleworth on the 20th July. To fly with the cheque book belonging to the “inventor” of aviation from 110 years ago is quite a moment.
Did Wilbur and Orville imagine what would be possible given engine power and structural materials of this age what would be possible?.
Not a flying post this time ! One of the perks of doing shows World wide is you get the oppertunity to meet new people, learn the culture and history of the country and its past.
On a recent try my hosts took me to the Sanxingdui archaeological site in Guanghan, Sichuan. This is a bronze age site covering approxamatly 4 square km. The inginuity and the abilities of these early peoples is amazing. Cutting rock and polishing with hand tools only.
Brevent is the main launch point to fly the Chamonix valley, served by cable car to within 70 meters. 2 directions of launch are available. The “house thermal” trigger point is right in front of launch. Initially valley winds will get you going. On several occasions I’ve had over 1000fpm climb here, this can be quite rough with parts of the canopy collapsing, hence I fly the Nova Phantom, performance on a B class wing. It was here I got to over 10,000ft.