Want to experience something unbelievably cool while you’re visiting Sydney? Something that will make your blood flow and test your limits? Well, no matter if you’re a tourist who wants to make sure their trip to Australia is an unforgettable one or simply a local looking for something new and exciting to do, booking a day with Red Baron is the right move to make, especially if you like flying. But be aware, though, that this is not just a scenic ride over Sydney – oh no, there are plenty of aerobatics involved, and you get to choose the type of plane you’re in, too! Naturally, this was an experience I couldn’t afford to miss, so here’s a first-hand account of how it all went down. Read on!
GETTING THERE AND GETTING STARTED
In the days leading up to my flight, my excitement gradually grew. I had been aiming to do something like this for a long time, so when the opportunity presented itself I was more than happy to take it. The location where this was all happening was Bankstown Airport, which means everything unfolds over the city and you get a spectacular view of the city’s skyline. If you’re spending more than one day in Sydney, especially if you’re coming from somewhere far away, do consider doing something like this because it is something truly unique that will leave a lasting impression.
Once there, they sat me down on a sofa from which I could watch examples of previous flights and prepare myself mentally for all the tricks and turns my plane would be making. This is all accompanied by a small cafe, so you can get really comfortable and sip on a drink while watching. I must say that the people there were super nice, especially Taylor, one of the pilots who greeted me, and Amir, who was going to be my pilot for the day. Amir is actually a life coach, which turned out to be quite helpful because he knew exactly how to ease my tensions before the flight and help me relax and enjoy the experience.
Anyway, I suited up as I was waiting for the flight before me to end, and after that, I got a short briefing on what to expect when we are in the air. The whole process lasts for about half an hour, but you also get to take some pictures before you board the plane, a really great photo-op if you ask me. After all is said and done, you climb aboard the plane.
INTO THE SKIES
Once I strapped myself into my seat, the plane started cruising towards the runway and final checks were made. Here Amir told me how to behave when I encounter high G-forces, which were sure to come during the ride, courtesy of the tricks and turns that we would be doing. Listen carefully so that you can make the most of your ride, but the pilot will also regularly check on you to see how you’re feeling and whether they have to stop with the tricks for a bit. Amir was incredibly careful with me and he would announce every trick before he’d start executing it to give me time to prepare. I’m very grateful to him for that.
The start was deceivingly innocent, as we cruised away from the airport for about five or six minutes, and I was able to enjoy the magnificent view of the city from above. Soon enough, however, the madness started.
The first few tricks weren’t very demanding – they were just there to give me an idea of how the G-force would impact me. But soon enough we started doing some serious aerobatics. For example, at one point, after climbing for a while, Amir simply turned off the engine! Sure, he’d announced that beforehand and asked me if I was OK with that, but the feeling is still quite incredible. Yes, you actually take a nose dive, a free fall in a spinning plane! I can’t even begin to describe the feeling you get there – obviously, Amir turned the engines back on later and stabilized the plane – because the sight of the ground getting closer and closer so quickly is such an amazing adrenaline rush.
On the plane’s wing was a small rope which can help you tell which way you’re going. At one point we started climbing vertically and Amir told me to keep an eye on that rope. Suddenly, the rope changed position and I realized that we were going in reverse! Again, the plane started to plunge for a while before the pilot took command again, and by now I was completely overwhelmed with adrenaline. After that, we did some more incredible stunts, with the force impacting me moving between negative 3.5 Gs all the way to 8 Gs at one point, but those two situations left the biggest impression on me. An incredible feeling, especially since you have to kind of tense yourself up at some point really tight if you don’t want to pass out.
A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
The whole thing lasted for about 25 minutes, but seeing how I was handling all of that very well, Amir gave me a few extra tricks to enjoy. And while 25 minutes may not seem like much, you will very quickly lose track of time and eventually leave the plane with memories that will last a lifetime.
Simply, it is a profound feeling when you are completely powerless so high above the ground and the engine simply stops running. Even if you don’t like flying, you should consider booking a flight here because one ride is all it takes to lose the fear.
Once we had landed, Amir told me that he as a life coach always recommends this to his clients. It helps them free themselves and enjoy life to the fullest. After riding with him, I know exactly what he means. He was exceptionally kind and patient with me, which only added to my delight. There was a feeling of deep happiness in me after going through all of that, and I now readily recommend this adventure to everyone.
PLENTY TO CHOOSE FROM
Mind you, you are not limited to just one plane and just one type of ride when booking a flight with Red Baron. There are actually three tiers of the intensity you can choose from, and each of those has several different experiences. You can even fly in a formation! Depending on the experience you choose, you will fly in different planes which range from an old-fashioned open cockpit bi-plane to the Red Bull Extra designed for some quick maneuvers. Speed, altitude and the amount of Gs you will experience also differ from package to package, so if you want to tone things down a bit you can do so easily.
Personally, I went for the most extreme tier and flew in the Extra 330LX. Now, when it comes to planes, think of this as a Ferrari of the flying world. Simply, this incredible machine is at the very top and a fantastic feat of engineering. The package also included various loops, figures and all that other good stuff as well as feeling the pressure of 8Gs. That being said, I completely understand if you feel like that is too much for you – just opt for a lower-intensity package and you will enjoy as much as I did.
The service you get and the whole product in general is worth every last cent! Just keep in mind that each plane can accommodate only one passenger, but if you want to go flying with a friend you can book a real dog fight in two different planes. Now, how’s that for a day out? Spectacular!
IN THE END
To conclude, flying with Red Baron was a day I will never forget. The experience of your plane nosediving from thousands of feet in the air only to eventually turn on its engines and regain altitude and balance is simply indescribable, and I certainly hope that I have managed to convey at least a tiny part of the thrill this sensation causes. Not to mention the G-force doing its thing as your pilot does all sorts of crazy stuff up there.
The skill Amir and his friends have is really impressive and you will enjoy every second of it. At this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that Amir also participates in aerobatics competitions on a regular basis.
As an added bonus, you get to enjoy a spectacular view before the whole thing starts because it will take the plane some time to move away to a suitable area. Come to think of it, because of the contrast of the serenity at the start of the ride and the mayhem that comes after it, the view is kind of more pronounced and sticks with you long after the ride is over.
Finally, I have to mention the staff working there. Everyone was super nice, from the people who greeted me to Amir who was, simply put, a great person aside from being a terrific pilot. It was a real pleasure riding with him.
So, if you want to surprise your friend for their birthday, for example, or you just want something very special for yourself while you’re visiting Sydney (or if you’re a local looking for something new), book a ride with Red Baron and choose one of their packages. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!