I don’t know if cliff diving from planes is a ‘thing’ but I’m very into it.
When I say into it, I don’t mean approving. Just immersed. Involved.
Some guy, some punter who dares to dream and then some, has gone viral after flying a small plane off a mountain in Swan Valley in Idaho, USA.
They say flying an airplane is fairly easy. At it’s most basic level, straight and level flight, it’s all about learning to move with a third axis – up and down. You can learn the basics of flying in around 5 to 10 hours. From then on out it’s communications, navigations, and safety.
Looks like this guy did it in 2 hours:
A few years ago, when I was travelling to Los Angeles from London, I managed to pull off a similar stunt.
Around seven hours into the journey, a bit groggy and disorientated, I noticed an air stewardess walking out of the cockpit rather gingerly. She must have said something because people around me began rustling about and pacing their hands through their hair.
Not to sound like an asshole, but I was watching Taken and nearing the infamous phone call scene when all of this kicked off. It wasn’t half distracting. Eventually, there was no other option but to hit pause and remove my headphones. ‘What does a guy have to do to get a bit of peace and quiet round here?’ I said.
‘Listen buddy, there’s more pressing matters right now,’ a fellow passenger said to me. ‘I didn’t get to give my wife a proper goodbye.’
‘You got a one way ticket or something?’ I asked.
‘You idiot!’ he yelled.
Confused, I looked down to the air stewardess who said, walking up the aisle, ‘I can’t stress this enough: does anyone know how to fly a plane?’
‘Fly a plane?’ I said. ‘What the hell has happened?’
‘Both our pilots got sick from food poisoning and have passed out,’ the air stewardess said.
‘Been there!’ I said. ‘Plane food, right?’
‘This is no time for jokes!’ someone shouted.
It was at this stage that I deemed it conducive to arise from my seat and make it known I could fly a plane. The mood didn’t alter. In fact, it got worse. No-one on that thing wanted me anywhere near a cockpit in any capacity, let alone in such trying times.
Making a case would’ve taken too long, so I immediately paced to the cockpit, stuck on one of the pilots’ headsets and told air traffic control: ‘Fellas, captain speaking here, just wanna let you know everything is gonna be OK. I’m gonna need you as much as you need me. Well, maybe I don’t need you as much but you get what I mean.’
‘Who is this?’ they said.
‘You don’t know me now but you will.’
In retrospect, wasting time blowing smoke up my ass was a bad idea. It was touch-and-go. Time was precious.
Using every muscle in my body I managed to steer the plane from a certain explosion into the Grand Canyon and along the face of the North Rim. From the window, I could tourists fleeing in terror. ‘Captain,’ air traffic control said. ‘Land that plane immediately.’
‘No,’ I said. ‘These people need to get to California and by God I’m gonna get them there.’ Echoing the daredevil you saw in the above video, I dropped into the Phantom Ranch, whiskers from the water, before calmly zipping through the natural wonders that come with the Lava Falls Rapid, Pearce Ferry and Lake Mead.
I grabbed the V.O. microphone.
‘Ladies and gentlemen if you look out of your window you’ll see that we have successfully avoided blowing up in a disastrous inferno. We should be nearing California in around 30 minutes. Apologies for the turbulence.’ I could hear cheers erupting from the passengers.
I ascended back up to 35,000 feet and the rest, as they say, is bollocks. The whole story’s bollocks.
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