SA pilots in aerial world record victory

2015-08-10 17:10

Durban - A South African father-and-son pilot duo joined the ranks of hundreds of airmen who took to the skies above Devon in the United Kingdom on Saturday.

The duo were part of a world record attempt to launch the most planes from a single airfield in one hour.

The skies were dotted with airframes, reminiscent of the Battle of Britain.

Pilot Sean Bruton Snr and his son, student pilot Sean Bruton Jnr, took part in the record attempt in their Pegasus AX3 Cyclone and were part of the 106 planes that took to the sky.

Some of the many planes that took part in the record-setting event. (Photo from Sean Bruton Snr)

The two hail from Centurion, Pretoria, and now reside in the UK.

Pilots from all over the UK took part in the event, with a mixture of microlights, biplanes, twin-engine and vintage planes launching off terra firma.

Organiser Jim Greenshields said they could have easily reached the figure of 150 had it not been for fog.

"It was unbelievable. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. We thought there was going to be about 150, but a lot of places were fogged in,” he said.

"We could have done so many more, but we just ran out of planes. We could have done 200 easily. All the noise from the engines was reminiscent of the Battle of Britain,” he added.

Each pilot was responsible for their own safe take-off as multiple planes headed down the small runway at the same time.

Greenshields, who went up in a vintage 1942 Boeing Stearman, added: "I was near the back, so I got the most amazing views. I have never seen anything like this. Each pilot just had to do their job and they all did amazingly.”

"Some of the microlight planes were travelling at 40mph and some of the planes were going at around 180mph."

The mass flight world record attempt was in aid of Make a Wish Foundation and bettered the previous record of 87 set in the Netherlands in 2004.

Read more on:    uk  |  aviation

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