Pilot performs trademark stunt while photobombing other aircraft
A pilot performs one of his signature manoeuvres – while PHOTOBOMBING different aircraft.
Daring Rob Holland, 39, is able to fly upside down directly above other planes while travelling more than 150mph.
Sometimes there is just a matter of inches between Rob and the other plane as he barrels over the pilot in the cockpit below.
In scenes reminiscent of the hit movie Top Gun, Rob has pulled off the split-second roll over the likes of jets and other nimble aircraft.
He performs the spectacular stunts in his custom, all-carbon fibre competition aerobatic plane, known as an MXS-RH
But has also flown a rare, WWII-era fighter P-38 for some of these snaps.
Rob, from Nashua in New Hampshire, USA, flew in his first air show in 2002 and has clocked more than 10,000 hours of flight experience.
The pilot has been crowned U.S. National Aerobatic Champion four times and World Freestyle Champion twice.
He said: “The whole manoeuvre is all about trust and experience. I pick only experienced pilots I trust to fly with and then we all fly exactly as we plan.
“We brief what we fly and fly what we brief. I fly off the photo plane the whole time. Once I roll upside down, I try to stay as level and smooth as I can. It takes years of experience flying in formation to perform manoeuvres like this safely.
“But it’s a lot of fun and also an honour to share the sky with so many incredible planes and pilots. In the end, I hope the images serve to inspire other people to pursue their dreams.
“I never fear – if I was afraid, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t fear this kind of flying, but I respect it.
“By having respect for the dangers inherent in flying, you can manage and minimise the risk. You want these manoeuvres to look dangerous, but actually be safe.”
Photographer Steven Serdikoff, 44, has been photographing the daredevil pilot for two years.
And he is still amazed at the safety precautions which go into each trick.
Steve, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said: “The most difficult aspect of capturing these shots is working to get sharp images from a platform – an aeroplane – constantly in motion.
“You want to use slow shutter speeds so the aircraft propellers are blurred, but that makes it harder to get the planes themselves sharp, especially when the air is rough.
“While these may appear to be stunts they really are carefully coordinated manoeuvres executed by highly trained aviators with years of experience.
“And, of course, sharing the sky with my heroes never gets old.
“I’m glad to be able to share the experiences with everyone through these photos.”