Yaocheng Airport, Shanxi, China.

N37.504710, E112.423643 Yaocheng a new GA airport.

Completing our last show at Deyang on the 3rd October we packed the aircraft for road transit to Yaocheng airport on the 4th. This being just 800 nm away and “china airspace is opening up”, but this is not as simple as you imagine,  it’s not as convenient and economic as in Europe. Being used to jumping in a plane and going is just impossible. You need ample time to plan, seeking permissions from the military and CAA. Then come the costs for these approvals….  Such a shame, one day it will change. I hope so.

The team has its first day off since the 21st sept on the 5th (thurs) October. I elect to go to the Doutuan mountains to paraglide while some of the team go to see the panda sanctuary in Chengdu. 

Friday 6th sees the team at Chengdu International for the short flight to Taiyuan arriving 3pm at the hotel. Venue is 1;10hrs away so we elect not to start work and rest for the remainder of the day.

We have 4 aircraft to assemble with 5 persons. By the end of the day (7th) 3 a/c are 99% ready, the 4th is started and completed the following day by mid afternoon. 

Chris and I take the opportunity to check fly the four aircraft. No issues. 

The show validation day is 10th October with show days 11-13th. 

With Chris Burkett still on his mountain travels and Tom Cassells not yet with his visa in hand Chris Heames and I fly practice. A little more aggressive as a 4 ship team is more manoeuvrable than a 5 ship. 

Tom gets his visa and passport at 12am on the day of travel to LHR for a flight at 22:15. Both Tom and Chris arrive at the hotel on the 9th to fly validation on the 10th, talk about cutting it fine! 

Teams are, Global Stars Mark Jefferies leader, Air bandits with Jurgis Kairys leader, Paul Bennett with 3 Pitts, The Raptors with Ryan Beaton, Father and son team Ray & Jay Ekinci and finally Red Baron with Joel Haskie. Local imput is 39 Paramotor team. The team started with 40 however one guy crashed into a wall landing… and finally local and international parachutists.

The ASFC local parachutes are big square fat canopies with very little forwards speed made for “spot landing” contests. The internationals all fly thinner and faster wings coming in at a very fast run with a flared landing. 

Opening day like all other shows, proceedings start with speeches by various dignitaries talking to seated guests on a stage. Precisely on time the show is opened with a bang! and then the fly past teams take off. 

We fly a morning and an afternoon show to a very enthusiastic packed crowd line. Lunch time comes and the crowd line is totally deserted with the audience presumably at looking around the trade fair and food halls.

The afternoon is a repeat however with more parachuting and paramotoring.

In the UK the Civil Aviation Authority rulings would totally prohibit the displaying of 39 paramotorist on economic and the overburdensome paperwork required, shame really as its spectacular and an inspiration for anyone with an interest in taking to the skies.

The Global Stars are now engines inhibited and packed away awaiting the new season, Hyderabad in March and then 2 more in April in China, the wheel keeps turning.  

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