This is the incredible moment four planes skim the top of a lake in South Africa. The Flying Lions aerobatic team sent flurries of water behind them during the water skiing stunt.
It was part of the Race for Rhinos 2018 festival held in Sua Pan, Botswana. Captured by a passenger on one of the aircrafts who shared it on Facebook, they closely filmed the mesmerizing scene of the four ‘ships’ gliding on the sunset waters. Each plane then took off from the water in a synchronised fashion as each one lead the other. In 2006, the team first performed their water-skiing stunt with their aircraft in the Klipdrift Dam near Johannesbury.
The pilots flew low over the dam and reduced their altitude until their aircraft’s wheels were about four millimetres into the water, the deepest they could safely go. The stunt was later approved by the South African Aviation Authority and has been recreated ever since. The team consists of renowned pilots Scully Levin, Arnie Meneghelli, Ellis Levin and Sean Thackwray, and has been in operation for almost 20 years.
They fly a four-ship aerobatic display using North American Harvard aircraft. The team, who are sponsored by Puma Energy, also operate fifth aircraft which is only used as a backup. The Flying Lions have been in operation since 1999 when Arnie Meneghelli acquired the Harvard aircraft that the South African Air Force was decommissioning. They participate at many major airshows around South Africa during the airshow season.
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