Extraordinary moment Rzeszów pilot lands plane on one of the world's tallest buildings!
A pilot from Rzeszów has made history by becoming the first person to land a plane on top of one of the world’s tallest buildings after docking on Dubai’s famous 210-metre-high Burj Al Arab Hotel helipad.
Nail biting video footage shows acrobat pilot Łukasz Czepiela attempting to land on the 27-metre platform two times before successfully completing the job on his third attempt.
The delighted 39-year-old later said: ”I still don't feel that I have made history. I feel that we have simply done something amazing.”
He added: “The tire tracks that can be seen here are the first such tracks left on this helipad by an airplane. Nobody will repeat it."
To land on the helipad, Czepiela required months of preparation where he completed over 650 practice landings on a circle painted with the exact diameter on the ground before the attempt on top of the 56-storey hotel.
He said: “I am very happy because I have completed the most difficult project in my career. I had to land about seven meters from the edge of the landing pad to avoid hitting the helipad. Realistically, therefore, I only had 20 meters to land safely.”
Already being a world champion in airplane racing and combining the work of an aerobatic and airline pilot, he came up with the idea to use the capabilities of short takeoff & landing aircraft.
Czepiela continued: “The biggest challenge for me, however, was the height and what it entailed.
“Over 200 meters above sea level, where there are no clear reference points around, is completely different from landing on the ground. I had to use a completely different approach technique and trust my skills as much as possible.”
The inspiration for the daredevil stunt came after a similar feat in 2019.
He said: “After landing on the pier in Sopot, I wanted to do something extraordinary on a global scale and use the acquired knowledge to raise the bar even higher.
“The idea for the Burj Al Arab helipad came to my mind quite quickly. This place is very recognizable because many interesting projects took place there.”
To make the feat possible a team of CubCrafters engineers along with renowned American aviation engineer and aircraft builder Mike Patey made a number of modifications to the aircraft, reducing the total weight to only 425 kilograms, moving the main fuel tank to the rear of the plane to allow for more aggressive braking and adding nitrous to enhance power for the takeoff.
Captain of the Airbus A320 on a daily basis, Czepiela had always dreamt of flying and emigrated to England to develop his passion.
“Every day I fly as a passenger airbus captain, but my greatest passion is aerobatics projects that allow me to push the boundaries in aviation,” he told TVP Sport.
In 2017 he flew under three of Warsaw bridges before winning the Red Bull Air Race World Title the following year.