Half way down finals for runway 24 at Fairoaks today I handed back the controls to Alan. "You do it," I said. I just knew I couldn't land the aircraft today, despite the fact the wind was straight down the runway, he had set it up for me perfectly (though I was in the right hand seat) and I really, really want to land a Cessna 172, which is somewhat heavier than my usual steeds, the C150 or C152. But today is different. We got a beautiful morning for our little sortie from Thurrock to Fairoaks, flying at around 2,000ft [...]
But my OTHER blog - holy moly! I did go flying today though. And it was good. That'll have to do for your aeronauticals today.
The first thing you need to know is don't arrive at the airshow shagged out from jetlag, too much travel and partying with friends in town from over the other side of the world. The second thing is that it is almost impossible not to do so. So on to point 3 - remember that almost everyone else is in exactly the same boat. Hence you'll get some singularly good quotes at press conferences. Yesterday saw me make a dozen or so calls on the train from London to Farnborough confirming meetings - at least 50% of which were bound [...]
Working weekends really sucks. Except last Sunday when Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. invited me to sample its demonstrator G450, which has winged its way to Singapore for the Airshow. The aircraft features the Elite interior, an all-new optional package, incorporating elements from the company’s flagship G650. It is also available for G550 aircraft. The day started pretty well. Journalists on the tradeshow daily newspaper circuit generally leave for the show site at horribly-early o’clock. The joy of the lie-in, plus the pleasure of knowing my colleagues were already at hard it in the newsroom set a solid foundation for a good [...]
Sometimes life just sucks ;-) My work day yesterday included the privilege of meeting Embraer's brand ambassador Jackie Chan. He was at the OEM's headquarters in São José dos Campos to take delivery of his new 'baby' as he called it. The delivery ceremony was typically Brazilian - upbeat and fun and incorporating a traditional Capoeira martial arts sequence. Afterwards both Jackie and Frederico Curado - Embraer's CEO - danced to to the podium in a spoof Kung Fu standoff for the official gift exchange. Which is exactly why I love the Brazilians. There's a huge sense of fun and energy complementing [...]
Just had one of the best lunch dates of my life. I got to interview John Travolta over sushi rolls and wasabi as he joined the Bombardier Team as a Business Aircraft Brand Ambassador. We talked about flying, his new Challenger 601, disco dancing and the joy of aviation in general. All of which I'll write about for various outlets in the near future. John Travolta is licensed to fly 11 different types of jet, and has flown iconic planes from the Vampire to the A380. With a busy schedule of filming, publicity and charity work, he also embodies the [...]