Last year, in Gidroaviasalon at Geledhzik only the wind prevented me from experiencing what is the flying with the Be-200 – which is currently the world’s biggest operating hydroplane jet – like.
When we landed at the city’s new airport, the weather gave me a sense of foreboding.
We had turbulence during the descend, but it was nothing compared to the wind, which almost blew us after we got off the plane.
Even though the sky was completely clear on the next day, the strong wind lasted. After I saw the huge waves and empty beaches, I started to suspect the cancellation of the flying program.
I took part in the afternoon briefing, where the meteorologist had no good news about the following days’ weather conditions.
Despite this, I showed up next day on time for the flight and boarded the plane, after shaking hands with the captain.
Since this plane is used as a water bomber, there were no regular seats. A crewmember folded down a seat for me form the wall – it was rather like a high stool – and strapped me tightly to it.
I had to pack everything – camera, video recorder, mobile phone – to my bag, which was strapped then too. I expected more comfortable conditions, but it didn’t disturbed me, I was really looking forward to the engine run up.
The waves were still quite big, but it was a borderline-case, so after ten minutes waiting the captain got on a motor boat, to find out if we could fly.
I still hoped that we could take off, however I remembered our flight with the Be-103 two years earlier. Then the sea was calm, even so it was a bumpy ride until we lifted off (it starts at 1:40 at the video).
The captain arrived back and delayed the flight until 4 p.m.
Unfortunately the wind became even stronger, so not just that flight, but my flight back to Saint Petersburg was cancelled too.