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£2,750 ticket to ride: Seats in aerobatic jet planes on offer

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ISLANDERS are being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly over Jersey with the Breitling Jet Team during this week’s Air Display.

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Twelve places are available to people who want to go up in one of the Aero L-39 Albatros jets, which when flying in formation are about three metres apart, travelling at up to 435mph.

Deputy Mike Higgins, the event’s organiser, described the opportunity as ‘unique’ and said that the idea would help to fund the display.

‘People can experience what it is like to fly in an aerobatic team – it is an experience unlike anything you can get. It is brilliant and just totally unreal,’ he said.

‘Each place will cost £2,750 and that money will go to the team, less some money that will go to the display, and those in the jets will probably do some formation flying around the Island – it will depend on air traffic control and the weather.

‘Anyone taking part will be paying the same amount as if they went to Dijon [the Breitling Jet’s home base], so it will save on transport and accommodation costs.’

In October, it was announced that the Red Arrows would not be able to take part in the 2019 display, as they had been booked to take part in a diplomatic tour of the USA and Canada.

Deputy Higgins said he stood by comments he made in April, when he said that the Breitling Jets were as good as their British counterparts.

‘I stand by that. Jacques Bothelin, the leader, has got more formation time than any military pilot – probably more than any pilot altogether,’ he said.

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‘He has been with the Breitling Jets for 17 years – when it was Team Kalifa and Patrouille Adecco and he also flew for the Patrouille de France before that.

‘I have never seen two aeroplanes fly in formation like they did – it was almost as if they were glued together. The guys have got tremendous skill and they are some of the best pilots in the world.’

Anyone interested in securing a seat in one of the jets should visit bookitbee.com and search for ‘Jersey International Air Display – Fly a Jet with the Breitling Jet Team’.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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