I started to think about the most amazing experience I have ever tried during my time in the world of adventure travel.
I was invited to take part in one of the most exhilarating activities have ever tried and felt very proud that it was going to take place in the UK. The experience was going to be an aerobatic flight where I would actually do some of the manoeuvres myself. I couldn’t wait to meet the pilot who was crazy enough to give me control of his aircraft!
The Aerobatic Flight Briefing
This was very informative and set out exactly what was in store for us. It covered health and safety, information about the aircraft, what we would be learning and taking part in and last but by no means least, the emergency procedures. After donning my flying suit, I went in search of my pilot.
DJ was his name and he was great! Enthusiastic yet calm, knowledgeable yet funny and with over 14000 flying hours under his belt, he had lots of flying experience and a great personality to go with it!
Cleared for Takeoff
I walked over to the plane with DJ and while he was doing his safety checks on the Bulldog, someone else was helping me on with my parachute, getting me strapped into the aircraft and going over final safety and emergency procedures then we were off.
Within minutes we were taxiing down the runway and I was learning how to use the rudders to steer the aircraft. We took off in formation with another aircraft which was amazing. I had never flown so close to another plane – I just knew I was going to enjoy every moment!
The aircraft was dual control which was probably even more comforting for DJ than me! It did mean that I could try to learn some manoeuvres in a very safe environment and I was ready to experience some real aerobatics!
The first loop was amazing – the aircraft was very responsive and effortlessly went through 360 degrees. You see sky then fields then sky again – a great feeling – which I conveyed with my shrieks of laughter.
Now it was my turn – I couldn’t believe that I was going to get the chance to do this and of course DJ was always there to tell me what to do and step in if necessary.
This was the part of the flight where I turned into a female version of Tom Cruise (in the film Top Gun) as I chased another aircraft around the skies. I would have to use all the skills I had learned to keep on the tail of the other aircraft who was doing his level best to shake me off!
I did love this part of the day but I definitely need more practice – I will just have to go back and do it all again!
Back to Base
They say that all good things must end. Although I was sad that we were going back, I was really amazed that I had done so much. The aerobatic manoeuvres, pulling 4.5 g, chasing another aircraft around the skies. What a way to spend an afternoon!
When the aircraft came to a halt and as I put my feet back on the ground, I had the biggest smile on my face which stayed there for the rest of the day! To be fair, my smile returns every time I think about my aerobatic flight. I had so much fun and will remember this experience for a very long time.
What I learned
- An activity that would be classed by some as extreme can be experienced in such a fun, safe and professional way.
- The freedom you feel when you are flying and taking part in an aerobatic flight is very liberating. You can leave any cares and worries on the ground while you play in the skies.
- Everyone working at Ultimate High has a love of flying and they are all great ambassadors for the aviation industry. Their knowledge and expertise can be passed on to others whether they have never flown before or are pilots themselves.
- An aerobatic flight is a very addictive activity – I will certainly back for another fix!
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