Daring Woman Pilot Loves Warmth of Bengaluru Skies

Published: 18th February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

WOMENH

QUEEN’S ROAD: When Radka Machova was 15, she decided she wanted to fly. Now 66, she leads the Flying Bulls (Czech Republic), one of the world’s leading aerobatics team.

“I have been flying for more than 40 years, from 1971. At 15, I did my first parachute skydive. But I knew then that I didn’t want to fall from a parachute. I wanted to control a machine. I wanted to fly like a bird,” Radka told City Express.

Her four-member team consists of Jiri Saller (62), Jirí Veprek (55) and Miroslav Krejci (58); and they will be performing their stunt duties at Aero India in Bengaluru on February 21 and 22.

The original Flying Bulls team was formed way back in 1960, and was then called the Box Trener. “But with the new century came our association with Red Bulls and since then we call ourselves the Flying Bulls Aerobatics team. In 2002, after more than 40 years, the former leader Tlusty finished active flying. In the same year, I began my formation flying as the new leader for the team,” says Radka.

When asked what drew her to aerobatics flying, Radka is contemplative and says, “It connects the beauty of flying to the freedom of the human mind. For example, for our flying displays, we use the smoke system. The audience can see beautiful white smoke trails against the blue skies, and it’s an exhilarating experience for them.”

The team currently flies the Zlin 50LX. “It is a very good Czech-made aerobatics airplane. I feel it is the best for formation flying. The machine has a wide range of safety speeds for aerobatics manoeuvres and is very pilot-friendly. I have been flying Zlin 50LX from my solo aerobatics flying days,” says Radka.

Team coordination is key to aerobatics flying. And hours of practice. A 15-minute practice session can tire a pilot out. So it’s a slow learning curve. And yet, Radka prefers aerobatics to commercial flying. “Commercial flying may be a good job with a good salary. Aerobatics, however, is a more expressive style of flying. But it’s also more than that. It teaches you how to handle an aircraft extremely safely and it gives you control over the machine like nothing else does,” she explains.

The team has visited Bengaluru twice, in 2011, and again in 2013. “Flying conditions in Bengaluru are very different from those in Europe. Here, we love the elevation of the airport, hot air, and plenty of big birds in the sky, and most importantly, a very, very encouraging audience,” says Radka.

This weekend, audiences will be treated to their full display sequence which includes the famous mirror flight, the invert loop and their signature apache roll.

Visit https://www.aeroindia.in/GeneralVisitorExhibitionRegistration.aspx for registration and tickets.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp