Be a fighter pilot for a day!

Be a real fighter pilot ! We have started to have some serious fun with our friends in France, offering real air combat experience. Except of course, the shooting is laser guided, and if you shoot right, the smoke system engages and you can see your opponent smoking, just like the plane would if it had been touched by live amo. The experience is amazing and you will feel like a real fighter pilot.

The program lasts a full day. You are welcomed by the team in St Estephe, near Bordeaux. All are fighter pilots, some active, others are early retired from the French Air Force, but all have extensive experience in flying jet fighters. They will brief you in the morning on how to fly an aircraft, but also the basic air combat maneuvers. After lunch, you will be put in situation, with too aircraft taking off, one baddy and yourself. Your mission will be to shoot the aircraft down.

air combat

That’s when the fun starts. You will be in control of the aircraft in the air, but be reassured, there is a real fighter pilot in the back seat. You will engage in air combat and put in practive what you have learned in the morning. There two flights during the afternoon with a debrief in between, to perfect your technique. This is one truly amazing experience, and it is beautifully set in the wine region of Medoc, which makes it a nice weekend destination. For more information, check out Tematis and their website: http://uk.tematis.com/en/182-air-combat-dogfight

 

Two people were killed Friday afternoon when a small, single-engine jet crashed just west of Boulder City Airport, authorities said. According to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor, a Czech-made Aero Vodochody L39 jet crashed for unknown reasons about a half mile from the airport. The plane, built as a high-performance military trainer, went down in a mostly barren desert area near a string of power lines. Local authorities are reporting that both people aboard the plane were killed. The plane crashed about 12:30 p.m. as it was taking off from the airport, Boulder City Police Chief Thomas Finn said. “It landed flat; it pancaked into the desert,” he said.

After the plane crashed, the engine was still running and caught fire, burning the rear end of the aircraft, Finn said. Another L39 jet that took off side-by-side with the other jet circled the airport and landed safely, witnesses said. The two aircraft are believed to have flown in from Southern California, offering rides to customers wanting to experience acrobatics and mock-dogfighting exercises, said Josh Jefferson, an employee at BFE, a fixed base operator at the airport. The aircraft fly in several times in the spring and early summer each year, he said. Jefferson said both planes were fueled and the pilot of the second plane was taking off when he heard the pilot issue a mayday call.

Charles Nevel, a custodian at the airport, said he saw the planes take off in tandem. The jet that crashed peeled off and slowly descended before it went out of sight behind a building, he said. The same plane had safely taken off and landed earlier in the day, he said. According to employees at various businesses at the airport, some of whom monitor aircraft radio chatter, the jet experienced some sort of difficulty when taking off. Moments after a puff of smoke appeared, the pilot radioed “mayday!” before the aircraft crashed. Victor Thomas, who was a pilot in the Air Force for 24 years, sometimes flies out of the Boulder City Airport and was there Friday. He said flying is safer than “driving on the I-15,” but the plane crashed during the most treacherous part of a flight.

“Lift off and the one to two minutes after are the most dangerous,” Thomas said. “That’s when things can go wrong if they’re going to.” Thomas said he did not think there was anything unusual or dangerous about the weather conditions Friday. The L-39 Albatross is a popular model of jet trainer aircraft developed in the former Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. It has a single turbofan jet engine and a top speed of 485 mph, according to Hopper Flight, an L-39 jet enthusiast group. Another website, L-39 Enthusiasts, lists 19 crashes of the aircraft since July 3, 1998, most recently a crash Jan. 20 in Rainbow City, Ala. The Boulder City airport is not controlled, meaning there is no air traffic control tower and pilots announce their intentions on their radios, using a shared frequency.

As German Gen. Erwin Rommel chased British forces across the North African desert, a stray Royal Air Force fighter crashed in the blistering sands of the Egyptian Sahara on June 28, 1942. The pilot was never heard from again. The damaged Kittyhawk P-40 – a couple of hundred miles from civilization – was presumed lost forever. Until now. In what experts consider nothing short of a miracle, a Polish oil company worker recently discovered the plane believed to have been flown by missing Flight Sgt. Dennis Copping. And almost 70 years after the accident, it’s extraordinarily well-preserved. The fighter’s “state of preservation is incredible,” British military historian Andy Saunders told CNN. “The thing just landed there in the desert and the pilot clearly got out. … It is a complete time capsule really (and) an exceptionally rare find. These things just don’t happen.” Copping’s plane — authorities have not confirmed his identity, though it has been widely reported in British newspapers — crashed after the 24-year-old pilot got lost while trying to fly it from one RAF base to another for repairs to its front landing gear, which wouldn’t retract. Copping, part of the RAF’s Egyptian 260 Squadron, was trying to get the American-built plane back in fighting condition in the run-up to what would prove to be the pivotal Battle of El Alamein.

The young pilot, according to Saunders, apparently became disoriented during the flight and headed in the wrong direction. Another RAF pilot flying nearby “tried all sorts of things” to get his attention, but Copping “bizarrely” ignored a series of warnings, Saunders said.
By the time Copping realized his mistake, he was too low on fuel to turn around. Several pieces of evidence at the crash site — including a parachute believed to have been used as shelter from the sun — indicate the strong probability Copping survived the landing. He almost certainly could not, however, survive the blazing Sahara heat for long. Copping “would have stayed by the aircraft initially,” Saunders noted. While the plane’s glass valve radio was likely knocked out of commission by the crash, “the parachute gives him shelter and a means to be identified from the air. The guy also would have had a little silver signaling mirror to attract passing aircraft and a pistol with a limited number of flares.” Why would Copping leave the wreckage? “Maybe he got desperate when he saw nobody was coming for him, and thought (the) only way to survive was to walk out” and look for help, Saunders speculated. RAF pilots in North Africa at that time didn’t have much in terms of rations. Copping’s supply would have been very limited, assuming he had food or water at all. Pilots were “flying with very basic life support systems,” Saunders said. “His chances of survival were not good.”

As Copping’s story becomes known, British authorities are hoping to bring his plane back to the United Kingdom and put it on display at the RAF Museum in London. Museum representatives are working with the British Embassy in Cairo and Britain’s Ministry of Defence on a possible recovery operation. ”It’s an incredible story,” said museum spokesman Michael Creane. “It’s a perfect story in so many ways. It’s incredible the plane sat there in this untouched part of the world for so long. … We’re dedicated to recovering it as fast as we can. This would be a fantastic asset.” Most of the plane’s fuselage, wings, tail and cockpit instruments remain intact. For safety reasons, Egyptian officials have removed its ammunition and guns.

Fly the Fouga Magister in France

If you are travelling to France, there is one experience you should definitely try with us, and it is a reason on its own to travel to France : come and fly the Fouga Magister jet fighter. This aircraft is a beauty, with its recognizable V tail, but most importantly, it is highly maneuverable and with a large glass canopy, it offers incredible views over the landscapes.

We fly the Fouga Magister from Beauvais, near Paris, but also from Abbeville in northern France. It is very easy to access with flights landing directly into Beauvais airport with Ryanair and other low cost airlines, and even when flying into Charles de Gaulle airport. The experience is truly worth the experience as you will share a unique moment with professional fighter pilots, and become one for a day.

Check out the following video to see what it’s like to fly with us!