During the first weekend in August, the aerodrome in Bielsko-Biala, Poland (EPBA) was the location of the First National Pipistrel Fly-In.
The crews of Pipistrel aircraft that flew in from all corners of Poland were not discouraged by high temperatures over 30*C. All together, 10 Pipistrel aircraft gathered last Saturday in Bielsko, among them several Virus 912 and Virus SW, an Alpha Trainer and a very unique Sinus, which was the first Pipistrel aircraft imported to Poland and was also one of the first Sinuses manufactured (S/N 068).
In the lovely area of Bielsko, which is right next to Beskidy mountains, all the participants had an opportunity to know each other and exchange their experience on the use of their aircraft, all while having a nice barbecue. In Poland there are new pilots every year who start to fly Pipistrel airplanes. Soon the number of Pipistrel aircraft in Poland will reach 40, making Pipistrel one of the most popular brands of ultralight aircraft in the country.
Taking advantage of the beautiful weather and almost windless conditions, a precision landing contest was conducted. The results were very impressive, despite the fact that none of the participants is professional flying contestant. All the crews participating in the contest managed to perform touchdown no further than 10m from the designated landing line! These results were possible due to the skillful use of aircraft-mounted air-brakes.
When the contest was finished, it was time for aircraft hangaring. It was quite a challenge to safely put 10 aircraft in one hangar, but it finished successfully. A dozen pairs of eyes were watching the wingtips carefully and after several minutes all the aircraft fit in the hangar perfectly.
But the day wasn’t over yet and the organizer provided some extra attractions! After hangaring the aircraft, all the participants were taken to a hotel surrounded by Szyndzielnia and Debowiec mountains. At the hotel there was a special lecture prepared, containing useful information on daily aircraft operation procedures and how to get the access to the latest technical documentation. The pilots were taught how to use the spare parts catalogs and how to order the spare parts. This part of the lecture was also attended by mechanics with valid Pipistrel maintenance license – they were sharing their technical knowledge and the pilots had the opportunity to ask them questions concerning repairs and maintenance. When the technical part was completed, we focused on the news about Pipistrel and Skydream companies by sharing the latest achievements and plans for the nearest future.
At the end there was another surprise… a small contest in general knowledge about Pipistrel aircraft and the Flight Manual.
Finally there was a time for probably the nicest part, the prize-giving ceremony in the landing accuracy contest (first place went to pilot who landed 20cm away from the landing line!) and Pipistrel general knowledge contest. Congratulations to all the winners!
The active day ended with an official dinner, during which all the participants had the opportunity to get to know better. All the evening was filled with numerous aviation stories, which our participants seemed to know a countless number!
We would like to thank to everyone who participated in the organization of the fly-in, and of course all the visiting crews!
Krzysztof Bedkowski and the Pipistrel team Poland are already planning a fly-in in 2016.
See you there next year!