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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aerobatic Flight

When I first saw those words, aerobatic flight, I pictured a young woman in a red sparkly leotard jumping into the air, doing a summersault and landing on a tight rope. And then I Googled it…I found out that I was very very wrong. Aerobatic flight is not an acrobat flying but rather a small bi-plane that does ridiculously dangerous turny things while flying.

The website,, describes aerobatic flight as a “neck- numbing, adrenaline-inducing roller coaster of thrills 2000ft in the air”. Anything that gets described as neck-numbing is not OK with me; who on earth wants a numb neck? Not me. According to them “it is the best seat in the house of the best view in the world”, I beg to differ – how much of the world do you think you are going to see when you are turning and rolling and feeling nauseous  and closing your eyes out of pure “neck-numbing” fear?

In an attempt to entice you even more, they state that "from the front seat of the open-cockpit bi-plane you’ll even get a chance to do a loop and roll before you head home". Oh wow, how kind of you.  And then they have the nerve to suggest that you "fly the plane yourself! Indulge your childhood fantasy," definitely not my fantasy, "and take control of an aerobatic training aircraft. Strap yourself in", thanks for the safety tip,"for the ride of your life". I feel dizzy just writing about this.

Wikipedia states that “aerobatics is the practice of flying maneuvers involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight”. I agree, aerobatic flight seems rather abnormal to me. It goes on the say that “most aerobatic maneuvers involve rotation of the aircraft about its longitudinal (roll) axis or lateral (pitch) axis. Other maneuvers, such as a spin, displace the aircraft about its vertical (yaw) axis”. Roll, pitch and raw – terms I have never heard before and terms I never wish to hear again.

Now, what are the aerobatic flight safety measures? Wikipedia offered this ‘reassuring’ comment, “in some countries, the pilot must wear a parachute when performing aerobatics”…mmm…only in some countries, why not in all? Surely all countries love their citizens, surely all countries frown upon splattered human beings in their suburbs? I guess not.

I have witnessed this craziness in the air before and I will admit that it is impressive and entertaining. But I will not be impressed or entertained if I am personally doing the rolling and the pitching. I am pretty sure that I will feel like I am dying and some or other survival instinct will kick in and, praying that I am in one of the countries that believes in parachutes, I will close my eyes and then jump.

My wonderful sparkly idea of aerobatic flight has been shattered into a million little pieces and I am now left feeling nothing but light-headed. I don’t know why I feel more comfortable with the thought of human beings flinging themselves into the air, but I will have to go with my gut (because I love and appreciate all my internal organs) and say that aerobatic flight is not for me.

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