dimanche 4 juin 2017

Two days at the RBAR and no flying for me!

2nd June

Today we were supposed to go and fly the rehearsal part of the RBAR side act display. Unfortunately the weather didn’t go as expected and we basically had a call from Race control that everything was going to be cancelled. Winds were up to 35 kts in the Chiba Bay area and therefore no way of doing any Red Bull display. They also cancelled the side act display. One can understand as we are based in Sendai, it’s a good 1h15 minutes of flight to go south towards Tokyo and for only a ten minutes display that isn’t really worth it.

So back to the hotel early for Paul and Francisco, and for me a total different story. I was asked to attend the RBAR on site in Makuhari for the two days on the weekend. A very nice touch from Francisco, as he also had to be on board for every display but he asked me if I wanted to attend instead of him. Breitling Japan offered my that opportunity and there I was, on my Shinkansen train towards Tokyo.

3rd-4th June

The other part of the deal is also to make some public appearances and one of the most known aviation air show is the Red Bull Air Race so of course I had to be well dressed for these two days in front of the crowd.
On the 3rd and 4th June, the venue of Chiba is where every crazy pilot come to show the public in awe what they are able to do.

The Breitling pilot this year is Mikaël Brageot from France. Not easy for him to make it right unfortunately due to bad luck but he is an amazing pilot and also a good person to hang out with.

He is not the only pilot there and we were treated to a tour of the paddocks on Sunday morning and are are some pictures of them.

Look, that airplane is soooo dirty ;-)

Front of the Breitling racer

Cristian Bolton from Chile

The place where airplanes depart and land is very close to the sea and in an improvised airfield made especially for the RBAR. After the visit there, we went back across the harbor towards the Skylounge, the special place where VIPs stands...and me too (although not a VIP!)

The possibility to enter inside an inflatable pylon (on the ground not on sea !) was some of the highlights beside the race itself. I could also meet some pretty cool people and passionate about aviation, like Yasuhide Eikoku who works for Skymark Aviation as an Engineer ! We exchanged some good talks about our different Aviation Worlds.

On Saturday evening I was treated to an excellent japanese dinner that included some of the finest saké on Earth! Thank you Mr. Kimbara, Director of Breitling Japan for that particular evening. Funny and exclusive, while very informative.

His son, Jun Kimbara studies here in Switzerland and will surely continue the timepiece business his father has.

On Sunday, I met Jimmy DiMatteo, who is the Race director, an excellent character and great person who I met the year before in Budapest already. Jim will be our Breitling coordinator while in the USA but before all Jim was a USAF fighter pilot, who for two times in a row directed the prestigious Top Gun school. So he knows what he’s talking about.

With Katsu and Jim, still not having a beer (uniform regulation!)

After those two great days on stage (!), I came back by train to Sendai, with a nice dinner with my two colleagues, Paul and Francisco who were eagerly awaiting me for the meal. It was already 8.45 pm and we all were very hungry.

We needed to talk seriously about next day flight from Sendai to Mt. Fuji as it became quite tricky to find a correct window to be able to fly across the Pacific on the 6th, in two days, starting to feel the pressure! The forecast was showing that, and blue is cold as well as rainy/windy/cloudy...

Looks like we will be looking at that low pressure system very closely. We cannot fly towards Russia (no AVGAS) and we will have to fly some part at night too...

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire