The Global stars team is very pleased to announce we have been invited to fly at the Nigerian Air Force 59th aniversary display in Enugu.
The team departed by C130H from Cambridge direct to Lagos on the 26th April for 2 shows, a twilight pyro show on the 5th and the main airdisplay on the 6th May.
Arunas our “part 66” engineer arrives from Spain the day before we all head to LHR starting out at 07:30. The M25 on a Sunday is plain sailing. We travel BA075 direct to Lagos, this is just a 6:30 flight and operates daily with British Airways.
Simone Maingot meets us and assists greatly with a smooth check in. The 2 hours prior to flight gives an hour to have a comfortable breakfast at Wagamamas.
Arrival in Lagos is “different” The terminal appears to be from the dawn of air travel, in fact it’s very similar to the old international airport we display at in Bugumpet, India. Visas on arrival are sorted and then off to the hotel for a comfortable night.
Up at 5am for a flight from the domestic terminal to Enugu, this is just a 50 mins hope. Hotel and drop bags then to the military side of Enugu airport to meet our Extras.
We are pleased to report they both arrived well and have been handled and stored perfectly by our friends in the C-130 earlier this week.
Another day of assembly tomorrow will see them ready to test fly before on site show practice on Wednesday.
We put in a good days work and have the aircraft looking like an aircraft by 5pm. Time for a beer at the officers mess.
On site at 10am to complete the build. Each day so far the Nigerian Air Force has been practicing their display items.
Today the team completed assembly of both aircraft, unfortunately the fuel has not arrived on site yet so engine running and fuel system checks will take place tomorrow morning before full flight tests in the afternoon.
One of our spare aircraft that is being used for this show was not in our Avionic Watches livery but thanks to Avionic and our engineer / chief sticker applicator ‘Junior’ that has now been addressed
A BBQ and a well earned beer in on the cards this evening
(We don’t want to make a big deal that Mark Jefferies forgot to bring the new printed Nigerian flag stickers with us, so we won’t mention it we absolutely won’t mention they are back home on the kitchen table)
Mark decided it would be a nice touch to add Nigerian flags on our fins along with the UK flag, so last night with the assistance of a local guide and armed guard he headed out into town to find a graphics supplier (as you do). Much to our amazement he returned with said graphics which chief team sticker applicator ‘Junior’ carefully applied this morning.
Post assembly test flights have taken place with two solo flights each, a small brake bleed issue was rectified by the engineers. The show brief also took place today along with the arrival of several other aircraft for the display and a VIP flight.
Tomorrow will see formation practice take place.
Current weather is 35c and 95% humidity which makes for challenging conditions when pulling G with sweat dripping off noses.
That’s all for todays update,,, I don’t think we forgot anything…
Formation test flights have taken place today with Mark and Chris Heames ready for the show, more briefings and meetings and the team also had the honour of meeting the Nigerian Air Force Air Marshall Amao.
Another first saw Mark and Chris flying in formation with an Augusta 109 helicopter trailing a huge Nigerian Flag (it appears they remembered to bring their flag,, sorry we don’t mention Mark forgetting the flags do we ) this flight brings unique challenges to all involved due to the differences in airspeeds and wake turbulence from the rotor wash, not to mention the consideration of a huge flag flying between the two Extras!
Today has been validation day for our display authorisation to be granted, the team performed both day and evening displays in front of the Air Marshall who has approved both displays.
The Air Marshall congratulated the team with ‘a stunning display like he had never seen before!’
Including a WORLD FIRST pyrotechnic formation display in Nigeria, we also understand this is also the first time a pyrotechnic formation display has been a carried out in the whole of Africa!
Tomorrow (6th) we will perform our day time formation display at the Nigerian Air Force 59th anniversary.
Air show day dawned in torrential rain. Briefing at 07:30. Standby for timings.
The rains cleared at 9. Back to plan A. Lifting at 10:00 just before the vice presidents Yemi Osinbajo ac lands.
We take up the hold for 15 mins while greeting formalities take place before we are calling in flying the green white green smokes from the two Extra behind the national flag being carried by the Augusta 109.
Our full display takes place after the fast jets. All flown faultlessly.
We then proceed to witness the final speeches and march past.
That’s a wrap! OR SO WE THOUGHT!
Following yesterday’s displays the team are pleased to announce that we are honoured and privileged to have been requested and invited to perform a second show in Nigeria later this month!
Overnight and early this morning plans have made / changed and adapted in order to deliver a second show later this month with three aircraft. Arrangements have been made to send out a third aircraft from ‘stock’ back home (we always have spare aircraft disassembled in containers and ready to go at a moments notice)
The two aircraft in Nigeria have had dissaembly postponed and have transited today to Lagos,
Mark Jefferies and Chris Heames departed Emene Air Force Base this morning to transit to Lagos. Our two engineers Chris Jones and Arunas Monkevicius followed later by Air Force King Air after loading our support equipment onto a C130 Hercules.
At the time of writing this the team are at Lagos International Airport waiting for a flight home and some well deserved rest. Three weeks from contract sign to show completed has seen some fast paced and dynamic planning, but that’s what we do, and we do it well, Global by name, Global by nature.
Thank you all for following and your support over the last week, more news on the second show coming soon.
A huge thank you to our hosts, our security, everybody involved in Nigeria and back home and also a big thank you to our sponsors and supporters.