The Flying Bulls’ annual training camp in Maribor was dedicated to developing new show acts and displays. The team worked on spectacular manoeuvres, in particular for AIRPOWER19.
P-38 “Lightning”, T-28 “Trojan”, F4U-4 “Corsair”, Alpha Jet, Push Pull, B-25 “Mitchell”, BO 105, and Edge 540 - these were the participants of The Flying Bulls’ annual training camp in Maribor. Raimund Riedmann, the chief pilot of our fixed wing fleet, was very satisfied with the outcome: “It went very well and the entire team made excellent progress.” His positive assessment is even more rewarding given the fact that the weather - as in previous years - was highly challenging yet again. While strong winds caused delays at the beginning of the training camp, the second day was marred by rain. As a result, the fleet was forced to remain grounded for an entire day. As soon as the weather improved, The Flying Bulls took advantage of every possible flight minute. The team never needs much time to return to “full flight mode”, not least due to experiences gained during previous training camps.
MANOEUVRES WITH HELICOPTERS AND AEROBATIC AIRCRAFTS
A highlight of the training camp was the very first attempt at joint manoeuvres involving a helicopter and an aerobatic aircraft. Such a display has never been flown before. “A wonderful show act and most definitely a highlight,” Riedmann enthused. The manoeuvre involves a helicopter, piloted by Mirko Flaim, performing several barrel rolls around the display smoke emanating from a plane flown by stunt pilot Dario Costa.
Following many months of planning, the first test flight was launched in Maribor. The two pilots executed the pre-coordinated manoeuvres at great distance. When it became apparent that the planned show act was actually possible, the distance was gradually reduced. “We approached the display very cautiously. The smoke in particular makes it look very spectacular,” Flaim explains. At the end of the training camp, the pilots were merely ironing out details. This means that the manoeuvre can be flown at air shows as planned. Flaim adds: “Helicopter aerobatics are very particular. Up until now, there were only solo displays for helicopters. We have managed to combine a helicopter and a plane for the very first time.”
Elements of other displays were also rehearsed in Maribor. The fixed wing aeroplanes, such as T-28 “Trojan”, the Alpha Jets, and B-25 “Mitchell”, trained their complete displays. “Everything has turned out to be feasible, of which we are all very proud. The finishing touches will be applied in the coming months,” Riedmann says.
A supervisor present at the training camp observed all flights and displays, after which the individual manoeuvres were reviewed in detail during in-depth debriefing sessions. As in previous years, all pilots were awarded clearance for this year’s event schedule.
SEASON HIGHLIGHT AIRPOWER19
The undisputed highlight of this year’s event calendar is AIRPOWER19, which takes place on the 6th and 7th of September 2019 in Zeltweg (Styria). The Flying Bulls are looking forward to this event in particular, as it allows them to present both familiar and also new displays.