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Flying High at 62: woman pilot's team enthrall many

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Flying Bulls are performing with their fleet in Aero India 2011.

BANGALORE (PTI): Age is no bar for this 62-year-old woman pilot who is still flying high leading the Flying Bulls, the Czech Republic-based aerobatic team that is performing at the ongoing Aero India 2011 show here.

Radka Machova's role in the aerobatic team includes leading the formation into various complex manoeuvres, a vertical loop, a dive or roll on, the manager, Martin said.

A mother of two and an avid photographer, Radka loves her current profile, Martin said.

"It is the adventure, the thrill of the sport and positive mindset that keeps her going," he said.

Surprisingly, the gravitational forces, which could take a toll on the body when flying at those altitudes also do not appear to have impacted Radka.

Radka along with her other team mates, Jiri Saller, Giri Vebrel and Miro Slav Krejci left many speechless as they performed mid-air manoeuvres, displaying amazing precision, agility and alertness of mind.

The Flying Bulls, a part of the Red Bull family, comprise of four pilots (three men and a woman) are known for their acrobatics in the air and they have together logged in around 35,000 flying hours.

The team, comprising lovers of vintage aircraft, have performed in 600 shows in 30 countries and participate in around 50 displays a year. All the group members are above 50 and are veterans in their field.

It's highlights are its 19 manoeuvres, including its signature manoeuvre of the mirror flight where the two planes mirror each other's image in opposite directions while the third loops around them.

Their daredevilry acts in mid-air also include the 'dog fight', a barrel loop, a hammer head, and an inverted G Perfect coordination, timing and precision are the key to all the manoeuvres, said the team.

The Flying Bulls are performing with their fleet of four Zlin 50 LXes.

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