August 1999 Issue

Survival at the Edge

Thereís a fine line between the extreme and the reckless. Hereís how one pro manages

A lot of people who attend airshows think of the performers as death- defying daredevils. It may come as a surprise (although I hope not), that itís just not so.

As they race along in brightly painted aircraft, it may seem like theyíre mixing aerial ballet with kamikaze maneuvers, but performers know the risks Ė and know how to minimize them. Airshow flying might be our livelihoods, but itís not worth our lives to take what may be inherently risky flying and make it idiotically dangerous.

First off, itís important to note that regulations donít create safe pilots. For example, I donít think spin training should be required of all pilots, but I think anyone whoís serious about being a s...

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