Written by Samantha Spolander
Wednesday, 11 October 2006 17:18
(See images below) - Early morning anglers were pleasantly surprised by a formation of 4 Harvard Aircraft sponsored by Castrol Aviator and Academy Brushware (Pty) Ltd, when they approached the dam from a South Westerly direction and continued descending with their main gear and flap out towards the water. Once lined up the lead aircraft touched down onto the water and shortly thereafter the number two, three and four wingmen did the same. At this point the formation continued to waterski along the waters surface at a constant speed until take off which occurred before the North Eastern bank of the Klipdrift Dam near Johannesburg.
The pilots involved were, Scully Levin - Lead, Arnie Meneghelli - Number two, Stew Lithgow - Number three and Ellis Levin - Number four.
This procedure was done numerous times as the pilots were practising for this act to be filmed and aired on National television on the 13th March 2006 on Supersport 1 -under the title "Aviation Action".
This act was meticulously planned from the flying side taking all obstacles into account, aircraft performance and pilot capabilities, as well as from the safety side, which included us having a launch with 3 divers and a paramedic on site, this ensured that all our requirements were met with regards to possible incidents and at the same time fulfilled the requirements set out by the SACAA, which have approved the operation of this act.
The pilots believe that this is a world first and the concept behind this idea was to make more people aware of the thrill that aviation can bring, specifically to many previously disadvantaged people in South Africa who in past years were never exposed to this type of thing.
It goes to show that South African aviators are amongst the best in the world!
Quotes/Questions/Comments received from around the world :
- "Can anyone confirm that these are actual photographs and not something computer generated?" - John Beere - Hawaii
- "Your team is truely remarkable - Good Flying!" - Rich
- "Did the Flying Lions actually perform this daring maneuver?" - Brandy Tanisi - White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA
- "Are these genuine or "trick" pictures" - Tudor Owen - London, England
- "I thought I had seen everything that could be done with an aircraft?" - Jim Reed - Sant Rosa, California
- "I'm positive the pictures are fake, can you verify this for me?" - Bill
- "Is this an actual stunt or is it a doctored photograph? I do not think I would have the intestinal fortitude to try this!" - Pete Fuller Canada
- "I have examined the pictures, I cannot find anything to prove them to be fraud, but something tells me that the pictures are unreal? - Philip Hawthorne - Ashburn, Virginia.
Last Updated ( Friday, 18 September 2009 10:46 )