AVweb recently posted an undated LiveLeak video of a pilot of a Dornier taking about two minutes to go from what looks like an altitude of 12,000 feet or 3,600 meters to unload a few skydivers to then land at an airport somewhere in Europe (various comments suggest its in Poland or perhaps Germany while LiveLeak says the video was taken in Brazil). The real dicey maneuver (as if the whole video of the flight is not jaw dropping enough) comes in at around the 2:30 minute mark as the pilot does a low and hard bank above some woods and then lands at the airport:
It also appears that this following video from YouTube was taken from the ground and shows the pilot performing that last maneuver:
After the video was posted on AVweb, editor Paul Bertorelli then wrote a piece entitled: Should We Have Published This Video? Paul pointed out that skydiving operations tend to push envelope a bit when it comes to risk and that dropzones “often have enough tension with the local airport operators without making it worse by pushing outside the envelope of acceptable behavior in the pattern.” Otherwise, he concluded that there was no “defensible reason for that kind of horsing around” plus he added in the comments section:
This is pretty cool stuff to watch and before the crash, everyone says great piloting. After the crash, it’s what a dumb ass.
Other comments pointed out that the aircraft used is super durable and has STOL capabilities plus the pilot is obviously experienced.
With the videos along with all of the comments they have garnered on AVweb and LiveLeak in mind though, we would like to ask you our readers: Would you go flying with this pilot in real life or would you want to just stick to playing with the Microsoft Flight Simulator? Moreover, should this type of flying even be allowed?
Eric Dobson says
A large part of my decision to ride with this pilot would be based on who he was as a person. Is he a thoughtful and calculated pilot who is simply that good, and using his skill to save the business money, or is he generally reckless? There are many airshow pilots who fly more aggressively than this all the time, and we’d trust their skill to ride along. So why is flying for entertainment somehow more worthy than frugality?
Erick Staal says
Hmmmm… No, anyone whose staying in the aviation business is apparently based on literally cutting corners is a dead man flying imho.
The tow videos are not showing the same aircraft. The second video aircraft also has a Hungarian registration.
Interesting observation – several links have been posted in comments on AVEweb and Liveleaks that are supposedly videos taken from the ground of the aircraft and its still not exactly clear where the video was shot or when (summer I assume).
As a jump pilot for over 25 years I have to tell you all that the flying in the video is standard practice. Get down as fast as possible without damaging the aircraft is your job. The hard bank at the end is to bleed off excess speed. If you notice just before the hard left turn the pilot banked slightly right to set up the maneuver. That kind of flying isn’t for most pilots but jump pilots are some of the best in the business.
The video appears to have been made in Einsenach, Germany.
p.s. at the end of the second video, you can see the famous Ju52 with D-AQUI markings on the wing.