Bahrain Airshow 2016


BIAS 2016 – Air show blog

24th January

Time to disassemble. Mark Brown, DHL Captain has offered to help, so with 4 persons on tools we soon get the Extra 330SC apart in the morning, aIndia af Gallexy nice lunch and then load to the container in the afternoon. This time lapse video shows it all The container will be sailing on the 29th Jan to Southampton arriving 1st March. A few days for customs and delivery then assembly again. Just one last flight in G-IIHI to Warsaw, Poland to the new owner.

23rd January

Al Fusan BIAS2016Last day and 3rd, briefing at 9am as usual. Nothing new apart from we will get a pleasant few hours at 26’c 🙂 As formation teams go the Al Fusan team are one of the best, certainly they know how to make lots of smoke. Exceptional display.

Lastly a great time was had by all, thanking everyone involved in the organisation starting 23 months ago to the present day.

22nd January

Saudi HawksDay 2 of the show went well. Lots of jet noise and then myself and the silent twisters. My show starts at 5,000ft power off, smoke off into an inverted spin, then the power comes on, the smoke comes on and Al Fusan BIAS 2016its a flat spin, many turns till its time to recover pulling out then flying down to the display height. Up vertical point rolling, fly away to set up the tumble nose over tail. That’s the most stressful figure for the plane. The evening was completed with a trip to the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) track and karting. The Mark Stewart (son of Jacky) team MSP are very competitive. For 52BD each we run a mini GP. 7 laps warm up to select the starting grid, then a 9 lap race. BIC kart resultsAgain start order is ranked on lap times. Both occasions on starting 2nd. Then a finals race of 11 laps. Both Mark S and myself are way out front and lap the tail end guys, avoiding the traffic carefully we both manage skillful overtaking of each other. A real race was had which I won in the end, the first time I’ve beaten Mark S in 8 occasions.

21st January

Its airshow day 🙂 I have the honour and privilege of opening BIAS 2016. The days first show is at the “public end”, poor visibility delayed the start by 40 mins. The afternoon show at the “VIP end” was running to time. I then flew again in the evening for the pyro show. pyro cockpit viewOn this occasion I started at 6,000 slowed right down to the stall, rolled inverted and dived at the ground, full left aileron, throttle closed and hit the “light um up” switch. Rolling and diving to VNE and back in to the routine.

20th January

BIAS2016 flagsLast days validation flights take place. Jet noise everywhere I’m told! Me, I’m by the pool relaxing. All that remains is for me to validate the pyro show. I start at 6,000ft. stall turn, throttle closed, vertical down, full left aileron and hit the pyros. I’m not sure of the number of rotations before I hit VNE but its a lots.

Briefing is at 09:00 for the first show day. I have a 10:30, 14:35 and 17:15 flight tomorrow.

19th January

pyro cockpit wing viewTo fly at BIAS you need to validate your display in front of the safety committee, this was planned for 11:30. arrive at the a/f at 10, prep the a/c, fuel, oil, cameras and get strapped in. Call on the radio and wait while arrivals happen. Slot scrapped! Next flight 14:00. Flown and validated. That gives me most of the day of tomorrow till mid PM when I rig the pyro for an evenings practice.

18th January

BIAS TV InterviewAnother day in the warm sun, temps reach about 25 midday. Very pleasant. A morning practice for another gym work out in the skies over Sakhir 🙂 The afternoon is taken with a quick photo shoot and then another practice flight for Pete Well + Chis Burkett in formation with the DHL 757. Tomorrow is validation day where you present your flight program and the flying control committee watch your flight and sign you off for the show.

17th January

BIC-BahrainToday after a good sleep with fresh eyes we did a few last jobs and the duplicate inspections and we are  – good to go. With a flight slot at 14:00 it was +7.5 & -3.6G on a full stomach. I took quite a long sortie and enjoyed myself. Great to be back in the skies over Bahrain again. DHL-BahrainThe second flight of the day was to act as camera ship for the DHL team. With the camera attached and  remote control shutter device.

16th January

container lifting BIAS 2016We arrived at Sakhir air base 10am. The container was waiting to be grounded. I’ve not seen a self lifting container lorry in Bahrain so a crane is used. The fork lift raises a worker to attach chains to all 4 corners. Lifting whilst the lorry drives away.

It’s always a tense moment cutting the bolt and opening the door. All strapping is as tight as the day it left Gransden. On this occasions we have customs officers with a dog to take a look and we are all clear to unload. I take the opportunity with the local labour to remove the old graphics from the underside of the a/c. A task made simple with the wings in a vertical plane with so much help.

BIAS-assemblyWe set to work for the assembly. The aim is by the end of the day to have the a/c fully assembled and ready for final inspection. This we manage after a long day. The guys from Bahrain TV filmed with us most of the day.


13th, 14th & 15th January 2016

Global-stars-India-dissasembled-extrasThe last few days have been very hectic. Loading 3 Extras on the 13th for travels to Hyderabad, India for the show in March. Then 1 on 14th in the morning, after which immediately drive to North Weald to introduce buyers to an Extra 300L G-BZFR. Checking the aircraft and documents followed along with an offer to purchase which was accepted. Drive back to home, 20 mins packing bags. Out again for a meeting with the Nick Buckenham, CIVA Chairman for planning the next World Air Masters series of events in China. That ended the working week with 2 Extras going to new homes this year.

Up at 04;45 for travels to Bahrain, no M25 issues, no LHR issues, Gulf Air departure on time. The flight was comfortable. Interesting to see that any seat back presentation commenced with an advert for BIAS with myself featuring twice in flying routines.

Our first morning in Bahrain dawns CAVOK with just a little dust hazel. It’s of to the airport very shortly to break open the container and start the buildup.

27th – 28th December

NYK Artimis from Singapore called in to Jebel Ali for just over 24 hours to pick up my container then just 24 hours later its in port Bahrain. This ship is 300 meters long. The engine is a Sulzer RTA96-C This is 87 ft long and 44ft high with up to 108,920 horse power. Astounding.

All shipping has worked seamlessly and on schedule thanks to the efforts of Exhibition Freight Services.

21st December

I see from Marine Traffic web site that my container has arrived on time at Jebel Ali. It will be loaded to a feeder ship and in one weeks time its delivered to Manama port, Bahrain. DHL are handling the imports/ Exports for the show.

1st December – 21st December

Following my container via #MarineTraffic. This is the first time I have used the London Gateway Port. I’m told that the container lifting cranes use laser guidance to help with “soft” landing as they are lowered. The series of pictures below show the journey down the English Channel, through the Bay of Biscay then the straits of Gibraltar and on Eastwards through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to dock at Jebel Ali.

25th November

Loading day. I use exhibition Freight Services for all my shipping logistics. True to form the lorry was here on time. Loading takes 2 persons 2.5 hours. Your allowed 3 hours to load free of additional charges.

GIIHI-loading GIIHI-lashedThe next time I see my lovely Extra 330 will be on the 16th January 2016. Opening the doors of the container with Nick Peel my licensed engineer.

24th November

SuperlineProThe day before shipping my Sealey #SuperlinePRO tool chest arrives. I load this with all the tools required for assemble of the Extra 330SC along with oil, spare parts and sundries. One last job to do is remove all spark plugs and inhibit the cylinders. Place the dried silica gel bags up the exhaust and seal the outlet, seal the air intake.

16th November

BIAS-Extra330SC-shippingTime to take the plane apart. The Extra 330SC is quite straight forward to dissemble. A few tricky jobs, for example removal of the rudder. Two 8mm a/f spanners are required with shafts ground down to approx 3 or 4 mm wide. The access slot is rather small and only a fraction of a turn on the nut is possible.

Removing the canopy, cowls and shell is the next task, this is secured by many 5mm pan head screws. Internally 4 imperial 3/16″ bolts are used, 2 of which are near impossible to get too forward of the rudder peddles.

With the aircraft fully exposed the fin and tailplanes are next. All straightforward 14mm bolt heads. Just 2 x 8mm slightly difficult nuts to remove holding the elevator central pivot point. These are mounted on a bespoke frame which also takes the wing. One 10mm bolt on the elevator push rod plus the trim tab activator.

Next of is the wing. Fuel pipes, manifold pressure, fuel pressure lines, earth bonding wires, throttle rod, aileron push rods and then the longeron joiners. Rear spare bolts being 13mm a/f are quite straight forwards. The main spar bolts are 20mm stainless steel. These have a tendency to “pick up” either on the way in or on the way out. BIAS-2016-EXTRA330SCA special puller is used.

The wing is lifted out with 6 persons and placed in the shipping frame.

Engine inhibited, inlets and exhausts sealed. Bolts and nut refitted to holes and that’s basically the job done.

2 persons 6 hours.

27th October.

G-IIHI-Annual-2015I’ve start the annual inspection. Earlier this year to have all paperwork in order before shipping on the 25th November. Lots of preventative maintenance carried out also. New tyres, brake discs, park pads, new seals, bearings cleaned and regreased, new plugs, engine baffle material, tail spring along with “on page” tasks.

Loading 25th at Gransden.
Etd London Gateway 1st December / Vessel Rio de la Plata
Eta Jebel Ali 21st December
Etd Jebel Ali 21st December / First available Vessel
Eta Bahrain 26th December

Nick Peel from Brooklands Engineering is my part 66 composit engineer for assembly in Bahrain along with Richard and Clare Parkinson for assembly and media.

George Sealey of Sealey tools will come out later replacing Nick to help with disassembly for the return to the UK after the show.

Shipping of pyros is in hand by not a certainty with DHL. Import licences being sought at this time.

BIAS 2016 at Sakhir air base.

Bahrain-2016-logo-red13th October 2015.

With contracts signed and 3 months to go before opening the sea containers at Sakhir Air Base to start assembly of the Extra 330SC its time to firm up other details of the begging’s of the 2016 Global Stars adventures. :-

♦ Aircraft shipping date
♦ Licensed engineers availability
♦ Ground crew availability
♦ Photography and camera personal plus equipment for the aircraft
♦ Pyrotechnics shipping
♦ Spare parts inventory

Between now and shipping of the aircraft all maintenance required needs carrying out. Annual inspection, life items checking, preventative maintenance and the issue of the new ARC.

At least visas are not required for Bahrain so that’s one less pressure to contend with.
The following filmed during BIAS 2014

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