BIAS 2018 with the Global Stars

The Bahrain International Airshow took place on 14-17th November. 

5 of the Global Stars team departing the UK on the Gulf Air GF07 out of LHR on the 8th November. Arrival in the evening and to the hotel.

9th Morning, containers dropped near the temporary hangar and work starts assembling 3 of the 4 aircraft. Mostly 2 are completed by the end of the day. just 1.5 hours work remained. 

10th, 2 completed and check flights flown. The 3rd is completed with 4th well on the way by end of the day. However, the skies opened and fell. One of the heaviest storms Bahrain has seen for a while. The runway was flooded, roads impassable and in places as the water receded 10cm of silt had washed onto the runway and trade parking area. 

Team leader arrives to check fly his and my aircraft however the conditions do not permit this. I arrive on the 12th in the morning to check fly and join the team for a practice flight. All goes well and we are soon in the groove

The flying event is organised by the Farnborough team and as such UK rules and procedures apply. This means we have to “validate our show” The Global Stars are flying several acts.



1, The four ship formation,
2, Solos by Tom and Mark for the public and trade displays.
3, The little and large with Chris and Mike.
4, The Global stars evening pyro show.
5, Mark with the paramotor.
6, Global Stars flyby with DHL 767.

So we have rather a lot to fit into the next 2 days. All these flights need to be coordinated with the other acts also validating.

The only other flight not “bread and butter” to the team was the formation with 

767.Basically we held 500ft above the 767 flight profile at 5 nm out, once visual we tipped in and joined. Speed was set at 130 kts, this gave us some overtake and was a good speed to formate at. Importantly we kept clear of passing behind or under where strong vortex could be experienced! 

The evening show had to be carefully timed to meet day VFR rules. Being closer to the equator sunset plus 30 does not apply. Sunset to end of civil twilight was 25 mins. The following pictures by Marina Lystseva  (Марина Лысцева)  from an article posted here.

BIAS booked 4 of the worlds best formation teams. Each one with its specialities. The Russian knights in SU27, From the UAE the Al Fursan, from Italy the Frecce Tricolori and Global Stars. 

From the solos acts 2 inparticulare stand out as exceptional, the solo SU27 Mirage 2000. The F35 just went left/ right at high speed.

The team ended each day with a pyro display. The Global Stars are the worlds only 4 ship aerobatic pyro display team. 

This video reports on the show and out part is at approx 4:30 mins.

As with all international events these are manic from start to finish, nearly always up early, hard work assembling, distractions, early “must attend” briefings with “I’m still John Turner”, then the flying and late travels back to the hotel. 

It would be silly not to take advantage of the exceptional facilities of the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) that we have been flying over for the last few days. So a few of us took to the karting track for R & R! 

Saturday is the last flying day with 3 flights again ending with pyros. The following day we depart the hotel early yet again for the disassembly and packing of 3 of the 4 aircraft but prior to that we prepare the Extra 330SC with Tom on board to fly to Vijayawada, India, some 2060 nm. 

Tom departing Bahrain

Tom arriving Vijayawada

The first stop is Al Ain to overnight, then Karachi and into Ahmadabad on day 2 with the final leg to meet us on the ramp in Vijayawada. This is the second time Tom has flown the Gulf, this time from Al Ain as Muscat has stopped supplying 100LL… 

Al Ain to Karachi at FL110 takes him 3:50 at around 190 kts ground speed.

The team complete the disassemble and packing in 8 hours. We start travels that evening on a flight at 02:55 to Hyderbad. 

Thats 5 international shows done in 2018, the 6th and last is just a few days away. 

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