Well we were planning to beat the World record flight this year which stood at 36 Aerochutes up at once. All the usual planning and preparation went into the event. Sending out invitations, arranging team leaders, grouping pilots by weight and experience etc. There were 42 pilots booked in to fly so it looked as we could easily beat the record. Now we just had to get good weather. May is the usual time of the year when we plan this event as Autumn in Melbourne is mostly calm winds and sunny skies….damn this global warming, we are getting our wettest and windiest weather for for years! We had planned for the 14th or 21st of May. As the dates got closer the weather intensified and looked terrible. We rang around for the 21st but were going to lose 8 or 9 people with other commitments. So we crossed our fingers and hoped for the 14th. On the Friday before when we made the calls to confirm everyone the wind was blowing and it was wet. Not everyone was convinced that my weather guru had it right. Even on the Saturday morning I had calls of pilots driving through rain to get to the Bermuda triangle of Melbourne- Werribee!
As it turned out the weather was perfect for flying, a bit overcast but light enough winds to fly safely and no rain. Everyone was briefed for the flight, what groups they were in, where to take off and land, how to handle an emergency, how to do the fly past. The sun started to rise and engines were started, 2011 World record attempt had begun. Pilots were directed for take off and everyone was airborne in about 45 mins. Each group of about 5 Aerochutes were in their holding patterns then the radio call was given to commence the fly past. All the groups joined up and fly past the field for memorable photos.
All the pilots are to be congratulated for their excellent flying skills and following directions. After all Aerochutes were on the ground a group photo was taken, a debrief and a number count…..total Aerochutes in the air….36! We didn’t beat the record but we all had a great morning flying and a lot of fun. 2012 look out!
Until next time enjoy your time in the air and fly safe.