The team are in India for the 5th Time.
The Global Stars have started the 2017 season early with a visit to Vijayawada and will fly at the Aviation Summit 2017.
15th January.Today is breakfast at 7:00 am and head to the field for dissasembly and packing. Its 29’c as we walk onto the airport. By 16:30 the planes are apart and packed into there containers for the onwards journey to Zhengzhou, Chine. All that remains to do is the final strapping down which will take approxamatly 2 hours in the morning.
Today is Tom cassells birthday so we arrange for the “spice girls” to sing happy birthday for him (SpiceJet hostesses) then in the evening we present a banner and garlands of flowers. Tommy was very touched.
14th January. The venue is 12 miles west of the airport which has a NOTAM issues closing the airspace for 35 mins on each occasion. Basically in the afternoon upon our return the airlines are approaching the hold at 9,000ft.
13th January. Today is the first of two public holidays. We display at 11:15 and 16:30 each of the next two days.
12th January. One finaly dress rehersal of the full show in the morning then its hurry up and wait till 16:30 (bit like UK shows….) Its reported the town was jammed for hours as people went to the venue. This is the opening show for the VIP deligates. We send Chris Heames to brief commentry. We arrive overhead to a raptous roar of approval from the crowd. Tipping on on the new “revsied time”. The 15 mins show bought whoops of joy and cheers. The Chief minister also enjoyed and has expressed interest at seeing us again.
11th January. Today we flew one practice in the morning. The afternoon was press conferance resulting in a 10 mins slot we saw on TV. A couple of pics over the venue. Vijayawada (VOBZ) is opening its new terminal building tomorrow as part of the aviation conferance.
10th January. oh dear, we are a pilot down today. Steve Carver spent the night on the toilet. So, plan B came into play one of my reserve pilots bought along specifically for this eventuality being slotted in. Chris Heames, 12,500 hours TT and formation instructor pilot. He’s flying left wing in my Extra 330SC and I take Steves Extra 260 into box.
9th January. Today we managed to get the 4 ship up in the morning and flew the new sequence. All went well, some small changes to be drawn overnight to conserve energy towards the end of the sequence. By afternoon, we could not fly. It could have been new people in the tower but suddenly after 2 flights we needed a “YA” number. This was applied for but has to come from Delhi, with just 20 minuets before NOTAM time we get the approval so scramble. All goes well. Refuel the plane and check them over before leaving the airport only to be told tomorrow we must practice at the venue, thus first thing its put more fuel on board..
8th January. Pilots in the team visited the venue, an interesting ride through town seeing the colourful Sunday dress. The engineers Hurry up and wait for fuel. When it finally arrives in the afternoon we quickly fuel 2 aircraft with 10 mins to spare before the NOTAM becomes active for us. Both Steve and myself take to the skies fo a shake down flight and some practice. I head out to the venue for a reconnoiter.
7th January. Transport at 08:30, security and we are on the tools again by 09:30. A long hot day again. resulting in all 4 planes built. About 1 lts fuel is all I could muster in the Extra 330SC, which I used to clear the apron of a bit of dust. The issue that stopped engine runs of the other aircraft is NO FUEL…. What I find astounding is the lack of joined up thinking resulting in everything taking an inordinate amount of time.
5th & 6th January. Setting off from LHR for a night flight to India on the 5th arriving at Hyderabad crack of sparrows’oclock then a short break for a local flight to Vijayawada landing 09:15. Security passes were in process as we arrived. I think we were at the containers on the main apron at 10:30 as the temperatures rose hitting 32’c by midday.
Its always nice to open the containers and find no issues, as was the case again.
The first day we planned on being a short one, packing up at 3 pm after fitting the wings to 3 aircraft.