I didn’t exactly believe them when the Flying Kiwi told me I would be piloting my own stunt plane in Abel Tasman, New Zealand. “You mean I am going to be a passenger and the pilot is going to fly right?” “No, you are actually going to pilot your own plane turning yourself upside down and all around doing aerial acrobats 4000 feet above the ground.”
Okay, if you say so. Dave took off to jump out of a plane while I climbed into my flight suit to fly with U-Fly Extreme.
I won’t tell a lie, my nerves were running high as the pilot Vincent gave me my instructions on how to fly this classic Pitts Special aircraft. This was not only my first flying lesson; it was my first aerial acrobat-flying lesson. We always say “If you are going to try something, don’t try it half assed, go for it 100%.
Run by Vincent and Allison, Pilot A Stunt Plane with U-Fly Extreme is a one of a kind operation for a once in a lifetime opportunity. They are a married couple that have years of experience of flight instruction and aerial acrobats and have yet to find anywhere offering the same service. As you can imagine, it is quite difficult to franchise out a company that takes amateurs into the air to twirl around in the sky.
Vincent says it is the simplest thing for him to teach people how to fly and flip through the air, but it is a very unique niche that is difficult to duplicate.
As soon as the engine starts and we taxi down the runway, I begin to relax. I feel confident in Vincent’s capable hands and once we jut into the sky, he instantly puts me on the controls.
We are climbing straight up into the air and he tells me to gently push the throttle left and right to get a feel of being in control of the plane.
I know that he is there to take over if things go wrong, but he is confident enough to give me as much control as he can throughout the flight. During the video you can regularly see him lifting both hands in the air to prove that it is indeed me rolling the plane. He gives me instructions to keep on pulling right or up to keep the roll or spin going.
It is impossible to explain the feeling, but this video provided and edited by You Fly gives you a great idea of what you can expect.
It is the coolest thing on earth and I am amazed that I don’t feel nauseous. I feel quite comfortable actually and have the time of my life.
After my lesson is complete, Vincent takes over and spins and banks and turns upside down and all around to finish off the thrills. I can’t take the smile off my face and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness. When we fly upside down, I can’t believe it. We’re flying upside down!
I’ve only seen this type of thing in the movies or at the Toronto International Air Show and here I am participating and loving every minute of it.
After the flight I felt ready to take on the art of flying and Vincent set me up for a great photo op. He even made sure that I held on to my head gear like a true professional.
It was an absolutely amazing experience and I think it is New Zealand’s best adventure. While people were jumping out of planes next door, I had my first certified flying lesson and had the opportunity partake in Aerial Acrobats in a Stunt Airplane. How many people do you know that have done that?
U-Fly Extreme is located in the South Island of New Zealand in the Motueka in the Abel Tasman Area. You can find out more at their website http://www.uflyextreme.co.nz/ this Trip was made possible by Flying Kiwi and courtesy of UFlyExtreme.
While the trips were complimentary, we would never endorse anything if we didn’t feel it was a great experience. We would simply leave it out of our blog as we wouldn’t find it blog worthy. So far everything on our Flying Kiwi Experience has indeed been blog worthy.
This post is also a part of the #Blog4NZ effort going on with travel bloggers around the world uniting to show that New Zealand is open for business.