UAE: Pilot Sets New Global Record by Landing Plane on Burj Al Arab Helipad

In a first, Lukasz Czepiela, an airline pilot successfully completed a bullseye landing of a plane on Dubai’s Burj Al Arab helipad. The iconic helipad, just 27m in diameter, witnessed its first plane take off and landing. In a video put up by Visit Dubai on Instagram, Czepiela is seen assessing the situation before making the remarkable landing.

The Red Bull ambassador then successfully makes the landing. Mike Patey, an aviation engineer monitoring the situation on the helipad runs in to hug and congratulate Czepiela. The landing was made without any reference points and at a height of 212 metres, which is the 56th floor of the hotel.

As his flight added another chapter to the storied helipad, Czepiela took a moment to reflect on how this challenge ranked against his previous aviation exploits. The pilot revealed that 13 special modifications were made to the aircraft to decrease the weight as much as possible and ensure that the feat can be accomplished.

Mike Patey made several modifications to the aircraft, including reducing its weight to 400 kilograms, moving the main fuel tank to the rear of the plane for more aggressive braking, and adding nitrous to enhance power for Czepiela’s secondary challenge of taking off from the helipad. Czepiela also said on his Instagram story that 650 attempts were made on the ground to prepare for the big day.

The second challenge of taking off in the limited space the size of a tennis court required Patey to come up with a solution that would afford the plane low weight but a high power output. “To achieve this, we added nitrous tanks, which provided the required power without adding weight to the aircraft. Nitrous fuel speeds up combustion in the engine, which helps the cylinders accelerate more quickly,” explained Patey.


Khaleej Times
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