It’s not something anyone would necessarily think about when they stand and watch an aerobatic display, but did you ever stop to think just how these teams manage to get their magnificent thoroughbred machines from point A to point B on the world map, and often battle with a whole host of obstacles, in order to perform a twelve minute, perfectly synchronised display?
Pull up a chair and prepare to be amazed at just how much paperwork, effort and critically timed scheduling goes into such an exercise.
Using Mark Jefferies, the UK based Global Stars Team Leader, and the Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS) 2016 as an example of what is required to travel to an international venue, the date line and time lapse video shown below, might go some way and give you an insight as to the enormous amount that goes on behind the scenes.
Mark’s pre-departure check list for any international venue starts as a paper checklist:
The following is the door-to-door timeline of the container shipment for one aircraft to attend BIAS 2016,
Sea Crossing via: English Channel, through the Bay of Biscay, onto the Straits of Gibraltar then aastwards through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to dock at Jebel Ali.
Now multiply the above by 2, 3, 4, 5 and/or 6 aircraft, add time zones, fatigue, temperatures on human and aircraft performance, visas & customs requirements, vaccinations, import/export paperwork, technical issues, delays, the need for language interpreters, public relation demands and let’s not forget that the reality of shipping onto another international destination in time to set up for that venue, is often a very real possibility … now doesn’t that put a whole new twist on what you actually see when you look up and watch these exceptionally talented pilots, and convert those 12 minutes into what you’ve just read!
Bahrain Time Lapse Video