Pilot performs death-defying stunt at unnervingly high altitude: ‘Truly extraordinary’

Emerald Pellot
·2 min read

If you’ve ever been amazed by the jaw-dropping stunts of aerobatic aircrafts, you’ll want to watch this dizzying glimpse at how one such pilot trains.

Aerobatics is when an aircraft is flown at unusually high altitudes to do tricks like tail-slides, rolls, loops and hammerheads. It’s sometimes called “stunt flying” and has evolved into an organized sport since it was first introduced to the public in 1913.

Adam Messenheimer is on the U.S. Advanced Aerobatic Team, an elite group of pilots representing the U.S. as part of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC). IAC is the governing body of aerobatics in the U.S., so as you might imagine, this advanced team has some serious pros.

“This discipline takes extreme flying and combines it with finesse and presentation in order to entertain judges and viewers alike,” Messenheimer told Newsflare. “The physical and mental demand on the pilot is what makes this sport truly extraordinary.”

Footage shows Messenheimer in the cockpit of an MSX-RH. He uses the control system to direct the plane as he spins the aircraft upside down. The ground appears above his head and the clouds below during the heart-racing moment he barrel-rolls above the Willis Glider Port in Florida’s West Palm Beach. Impressive.

Messenheimer makes a living flying business jets. However, he has trained most of his life as an aerobatic pilot, graduating from gliders to professional stunt planes.

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