Video: Watch Brendan O’Brien’s Flying Circus set a world record at Old Buckenham Airshow

Brendan O'Brien breaks the world record and lands his aircraft on the back of a moving trailer at the Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture: Denise Bradley Brendan O'Brien breaks the world record and lands his aircraft on the back of a moving trailer at the Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
2:27 PM

As a renowned aviator, Brendan O’Brien holds more than 200 world records ratified by the FAI General Aviation Commission.

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Brendan O'Brien, second left, receives the pump clip from the beer named Record Breaker, brewed for him by Taylor's of Attleborough, presented by Matt Wilkins, second right, manager of Old Buckenham Airfield. With them are Brendan's team, from left, Alex Garmen, Jaap Rademaker, and Tom Turner. Picture: Denise BradleyBrendan O'Brien, second left, receives the pump clip from the beer named Record Breaker, brewed for him by Taylor's of Attleborough, presented by Matt Wilkins, second right, manager of Old Buckenham Airfield. With them are Brendan's team, from left, Alex Garmen, Jaap Rademaker, and Tom Turner. Picture: Denise Bradley

But on Sunday, the daredevil pilot, who runs O’Brien’s Flying Circus, may have pulled off his most audacious trick yet when he landed a Piper Cub aircraft on the back of a 30ft trailer at the Old Buckenham Airshow.

Despite having to negotiate winds in a plane dating back to the second world war and lacking modern laser guided landing software, he successfully touched down on the back of the seven foot wide trailer before taking off again in front of the 5,000 capacity crowd at the airfield.

Matt Wilkins, the airfield’s manager, hoped that the feat would be recognised by Guinness World Records, but said because landing on top of a truck was extremely specialised, it had not been recognised as a world record yet.

However, he added if Guinness did not register the achievement, there was the option of seeing if the FAI would accept it, though they will have to wait to see if their application with Guinness is successful.

Mr O’Brien was in constant contact with his colleague Tom Turner, the team manager at O’Brien’s Flying Circus, who was responsible for driving the car that towed the plane and operating the locks on the trailer.

After making the initial landing, Mr O’Brien rolled the plane forward and into the locks, however the manoeuvre was fraught with risk as the plane’s propeller was only a foot above the trailer and a sudden gust of wind could have pushed the propeller onto the trailer floor.

Having successfully landed, Mr Turner then set off down the runway with the Cub, which flies at 30mph, on the back of the trailer to get to 40mph, enough speed for the plane to take off again and continue with the display.

In Mr O’Brien’s honour, brewery Taylor’s of Attleborough created the beer Record Breaker to acknowledge the feat, which was available at the show and Mr Wilkins presented Mr O’Brien with the Record Breaker beer pump following his performance.

Mr Wilkins said: “We did not get it set up with the world records people beforehand because genuinely we did not think he could make it, but what he achieved was that good, it should not have been possible.”

What did you think of Mr O’Brien’s feat? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

1 comment

  • This is a great a feat, but I personally saw better. At the 2006 Lincoln Nebraska USA airshow, a man landed and took off a Piper Cub from the top off a Chevy Suburban, with a platform that was 2.6 meters long.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    David Van Der Hart

    Friday, August 1, 2014

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