On normal days Captain L. (26) is an F-16 pilot • but today he will be part of the aircraft in the Air Force's aerobatic team • "This is a salute to civilians after the corona"
Among the pilots of the Air Force's aerobatic team that will hold the salute demonstration for the citizens of Israel tomorrow will be Captain L., an F-16 pilot ("Barak").
"It is difficult to describe what you experience in the cockpit - the location, the height, the adrenaline, the excitement," L. told Israel Today yesterday.
Like his other three crew members, L. (26) is an instructor at the flight school on a "lark" (Air Force training aircraft).
"I really wanted to be a part of the Air Force's aerobatic team," he says. "As a trainee in a pilot's course, I told myself I wanted to be a member of the team. When I saw the aerobatic team then, I felt powerful and wanted to take part. It is a very unique experience."
The training of the aerobatic crew pilots lasts about three months, and usually, a pilot will not be a member of the aerobatic team of the Air Force for a period of more than a year or two.
"It's unlike any other squadron training. The purpose of flying in an aerobatic crew - more of an aerial demonstration than an operational training - is to literally re-learn a particular profession."
Captain L. has already participated in demonstrations in two pilot courses, and in recent weeks he has been training with his three crew members for the big Independence Day demonstration.
Each of the four crew pilots has a unique role: one is in the lead, two in the wings (L. is the right wing) and a fourth pilot in the rear plane.
"Everyone stays in their job on a regular basis and specializes in it, they don't change roles," says Captain L. "In a flight like this, everyone has to be really focused."
This year the aerobatic team is expected to hold the air show in many places than before, as a salute to the citizens after the corona year.
"The goal is to get to as many places as possible."