Millions of TV viewers around the world who tuned in to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics in London saw that flying a general aviation airplane is an achievable dream for everyone.
The opening act of the ceremonies included a fly-by by a Tecnam P2006T adapted to put on a pyrotechnic show. The airplane was flown by Lance Corporal Dave Rawlins, a British Army soldier recovering from injuries sustained in Afghanistan, and Tim Orchard, Tecnam’s dealer for the UK, Ireland and Iceland.
Critical to the success of the flight demonstration was the support provided by the UK-based charity Aerobility, Tecnam officials said. Since 1993, Aerobility has offered disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly airplanes.
Aerobility was a critical part of Dave’s rehabilitation and gave him the confidence to achieve his private pilot license last year. The Tecnam P2006T Twin was chosen by Aerobility as the ideal platform for Dave to perform his spectacular Paralympics Opening Ceremony mission, Tecnam officials said with pride.
Aeros Ltd., a UK’s flight training organization and home to Tecnam’s UK, Ireland and Iceland dealership, is the exclusive operator of both glass and analogue cockpit versions of the Tecnam Twin and facilitated Dave’s MEP rating.
The task of converting, flight testing and certifying the provision of LED strip lights to the wings and fuselage of the Tecnam Twin, as well as the addition of pyrotechnic dispensers to its wingtips were achieved through UK-based Gama Engineering Ltd. and Guy Westgate, a display pilot with specialist pyrotechnic expertise.
“We are extremely honored that Aerobility chose Tecnam to be their key partner in this very special project,” said Paolo Pascale, Managing Director, Tecnam. “The Tecnam team pride themselves on making our aeroplanes available to as wide a group of pilots as possible. I offer Dave Rawlins my personal congratulations on a superb flying achievement.”
“The personal challenge of Dave performing (the) spectacular flight over the 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony cannot be underestimated,” said Tim Orchard of Tecnam UK. “The exceptional team work and support provided by Aerobility, Tecnam, Aeros, Guy Westgate and particularly the Gama Engineering team proved to the disabled community the maxim that if I can fly a plane, what else can I do!”
For more information: Tecnam.com