Raimund Riedmann quit his degree in architecture for the sake of his flying career – an important decision: Riedmann has been a pilot at the Flying Bulls since 2000 - virtually since it was formed - he is now the Flight Operations Manager & Chief Pilot of the fixed-wing aircraft. He has approval to fly nearly all aircraft models in the Flying Bulls fleet. Of course he has found a few personal "favorites": the bulky Corsair, the "mascot" of the Flying Bulls, the delicate P-38 and the "Jumbo" in the house of The Flying Bulls – the Douglas DC-6. His greatest flying challenge up to now: there is a "special" challenge for established pilots too – for Raimund Riedmann, this was his first flight with the Corsair – of course he could resort to the vast experience of his predecessor, Sigi Angerer– but at some point you have to just say "here goes!"
1. Do you remember your first flight as a pilot?
RR: Sure, every detail. It was an oldtimer even back then, a 1950s Rhönlerche, the training glider in Innsbruck, back in the summer of 1986.
2. How many flying hours have you completed so far?
3. Airbus 380 or B-25?
RR: B-25! The Mitchell is flying in its purest form, without electronic aides and computers.
4. Which plane would you like to fly if you could have any choice, and why?
RR: A Starfighter. It combines everything a plane should have. Beautiful shape, sex appeal, speed, and it must have had great steering response. Apparently, it was a bit of a challenge and anything but easy to fly.
5. Are there any technical or design details of the aircraft that fascinate you in particular?
RR: What gets me is how advanced those planes were in terms of aerodynamics. Nothing has changed much since, especially passenger planes, irrespective of how modern they are.
6. What are the flight qualities that inspire you the most in an aircraft? And is there anything you’d criticise?
RR: The DC-6 is in a class of her own, she’s very flexible, whether she’s used as cargo or passenger plane, short or long haul. The Corsair gives you a real sense of three dimensions in space. As great as that sounds, you always need to be sensible and respect your limits.
7. Have you ever worried about the age of a plane once you’re on board?
RR: I’ve never been worried, but there may be some tension when boarding a plane you’re not so familiar with. Apart from that I fully trust the technical team who do a great job.
8. What was the most turbulent flight you ever witnessed?
RR: I’ve experienced engine failure. It’s interesting to see how trained behaviour patterns can be applied in an emergency.
9. Is there any other aircraft that ought to be added to the Flying Bulls collection?
RR: A Starfighter – and it would have to be airworthy. But the noise will probably ensure this remains an impossibility, so in the meantime I’ll keep dreaming of flying a Hawker Sea-Fury.