Dolphin Show at the Airport!

Aero L-29 Delfin taxis into place on Brno airport's runway.
Aero L-29 Delfin taxis into place on Brno airport’s runway.

Good Things to Those Who Wait

On December 30, 2013, we saw beautifully clear blue skies over Brno for the first time in a month or more and I wasn’t about to keep myself cooped up in the flat! Thinking that perhaps some members of the local flying club would be seizing the opportunity for some clear weather flying, I hopped on a bus to the city’s airport.

To my surprise, outside of a twin turboprop of some sort which was getting airborne just as I arrived and a microlight, for the first while after I got there the most noise I heard was coming from a pair of pheasants strutting along a nearby section of the runway.

Just as I checked my watch and contemplated walking back to the bus stop, I heard a jet engine roar to life somewhere across the airfield and decided to miss the next bus or two. At first I didn’t see the source of the noise as it was coming from within a group of hardened aircraft shelters left over from the airport’s military days in the 1980s.

Expecting a business jet of some sort, I was delighted to see an Aero L-29 Delfin trainer taxi out from the group of shelters and onto the runway. The L-29 was the Warsaw Pact’s standard jet trainer for many years and has become quite popular in civilian circles as it has been gradually phased out of military service.

Awaiting take off clearance in the late afternoon sun.
Awaiting take off clearance in the late afternoon sun.

OK-AJW: A Popular Performer

Known as OK-AJW on the Czech civil register, the particular Delfin I saw is a well known and popular performer at Czech airshows. It’s also sometimes used to give joy rides to those who can afford it.

Once it was airborne, the pilot put it through a series of loops and rolls for about ten minutes or so and finished with a low pass over the airfield before landing. I suspect, given the presence of two heads visible in the cockpit, that this may well have been a joy ride that someone got for Christmas.

While the aerobatics were just a bit too high up for my camera to get decent shots of, I’m happy to have closed out 2013 with a private little airshow and have defeated Murphy’s Law in the process through deciding to miss a bus!

And away she goes!
And away she goes!

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