click on the title to see the video on DailyMotion
The same day that Philippe made his first flight in the Pancake we were taking our limits to another level as well. Harry took us with him in the Fuji from Wings over Holland. At first Sander was the only one who went into the plane with Harry to fly a couple of manoeuvres and unusual attitudes.
We went into the air with the Pancake as well to try to make some 2-way shots from the airwork and of the PCA itself in the air.
As Harry demonstrated a looping, barrel and spin to Sander, he was able to copy a couple of them himself. In the video we managed to film pieces of this from the Pancake, even watching it brings back part of the sensations from that day.
After both Sander and Philippe turned out to be heroes that day I couldn't stay behind. Unfortunately I was too impressed to be able to film it from within the cockpit. I did not like the looping at all, perhaps also because of the lower seats in the Fuji (no neck support as in the diamond). The barrel is fun but the most impressive thing for me was undoubtedly the vertical spin with the earth approaches you really fast and right in front of you.
Harry is practising for aerobatics once in a while an he has joined the national championships in his league now for the second year on a row. He is getting better and better and was about to win his category this year when he took a bit to much risk with the plane he was flying and ended up stalling the engine with a magnificent tail slide as the result.
The traditional cockpit from the Fuji is so different from what we are used in the Diamond. I expect that very experienced pilots have no problem in finding their way in the overload of different analogue gauges. If you are normally looking at the very well organized G1000 in the Diamond it is a whole other story. I really can imagine that in tense situations or sudden incidents being able to get an immediate and clear overview of the situation can make the difference.
Pancake Airlines Crew is trained by Dwarf Powered Gliders (www.dwarf.nl) and Wings over Holland (www.wingsoverholland.nl). Information on the PH-PCA Diamond DA40 can be found on www.diamond-aircraft.at. You can click on the title link to see the video on DailyMotion.