UAE: When I flipped, rolled and saw RAK upside down at 400kmph

KT reporter talks of the soul-freeing experience in the country's first aerobatic flight

by

Waad Barakat

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Fri 26 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 8 Feb 2024, 12:15 PM

It was the ride of my life — being 5,000 feet in the air was such a euphoric feeling. I was offered the opportunity to go on an amazing air adventure with Action Flight — UAE’s first commercial aerobatic flight experience in Ras Al Khaimah; to fly over the emirate's beautiful sky and do some maneuvers on Thursday. And I must say, it was a feeling that was just truly out of this world.

For someone who had never been to RAK, the trip itself was breathtaking. Arriving at the RAK airport, I was greeted by the team members of Action Flight, filled with energy and excitement. The anticipation was building up while they gave me a tour of the hangar, which is a building that houses these aircraft that are known for their power and speed.

While adrenaline was rushing in, worries started creeping in with all the questions. Will I be feeling sick up there? What if I passed out and what if anything wrong happened?

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“You have a microphone so you can talk to me and I can talk to you. I will talk to you through everything so I can be sure you’re fine all the time,” Wayn Jack, director of Flight Operations and chief executive officer/founder of Action Flight, and my designated pilot, reassured me as he gave me the safety instructions and explained everything in a simple language that I could understand.

Wayn Jack (left). Photo: Supplied
Wayn Jack (left). Photo: Supplied

Informed and reassured, I got geared up with my flight suit and the parachute, and we headed to the aircraft. As normal flying itself can be thrilling, the first moment the engine of the aircraft starts, you can feel all the adrenaline rush.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Wayn explained the route of the flight — starting from RAK airport, towards Al Hamara and Marjan islands and then climbing up to 5,000 feet, and positioning ourselves at Marjan island resorts.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

And then, the fun began. Wayn was doing different maneuvers — from looping and rolling around the sky with mountains around us and the water below us. Sometimes, we were facing the water when we flipped the aircraft.

The 20-minute ride was filled with different expressions and an array of emotions — from excitement to shouting whenever the aircraft did a loop and sometimes having a straight face and just admiring the sights around me. It was unbelievable and in that crazy moment, I noticed that I had tears rolling down my eyes — tears of joy.

The best part about this whole experience was that the team behind Action Flight made everything super fun — they were serious, up to work, and fun all the time. As Actions Flight is a business family, Wayne has his daughter Georgie handling the digital media and photography.

And they all share one passion — love for aircrafts and flying. They started in New Zealand and now they’re here in RAK, becoming the first company to get a licence for Aerobatic flights.

“As a photographer, you don’t get to watch something like this, every day is a different experience and different people come in,” said Georgie.

Action Flight are not only flights for adrenaline rush lovers but they also have many other activities like Ballooning where you can get amazing views of the RAK desert, with Skydiving set to be added to their services soon.

Prices of Aerobatic flights is Dh 2,399 per person, as for Ballooning it is Dh799 for an adult and Dh745 for a child.

After the smooth landing, Wayne made sure I was doing fine before he got back to the hangar. As for me, it was soul-freeing to be up there with no thoughts in mind — just adrenaline and beautiful views.

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