Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Polish pilot Łukasz Czepiela pulls off bold landing on Europe’s longest pier.
At more than 500 metres, Sopot boasts the longest pier in Europe but it witnessed a first in its near-200-year history as Łukasz Czepiela landed a plane on the wooden structure.
The Polish pilot is renowed for his precision flying but required pinpoint accuracy to guide his aircraft into the tight landing space much to the shock of tourists and early Wednesday morning walkers. Here is all you need to know:
– To mark the start to his flying season on 27 April, Czepiela pulled off the audacious landing.
– When not performing acrobatics, Czepiela is also a captain of a passenger aircraft.
– Despite the 511m long nature of the pier, he effectively just had a 100m strip on which to land, but the even greater challenger was the narrow strip he had in front of him. His plane has a 10.5m wing span, the exact same width of the pier between the barriers.
– He said: “The plane has a very large lateral surface and is very light. A side wind is very common on the pier. We had only one and a half meters of central stock, the margin was also small, but we managed to do everything safely. I put in landing and preparing for it a lot of preparation. I trained at various airports and I’m glad that the project went so well.”
– Czepiela performed the landing in a Carbon Cub EX2, a plane that allows for short distance landings and take-offs as well as the windy conditions he had to encounter on the Polish coastline.
– And bizarrely, so light is the vehicle that the pressure of it landing on the 1827 creation was in fact less impactful than women’s high heels!