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Pilots paint giant snowman in sky


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THINK of the words “snowman” and “sky” and you are likely to conjure up an image of Raymond Briggs’s heartwarming story and its animation, screened each Christmas.

Now two pilots have put their own spin on a festive classic.

Scott Sutton and Carl Meek, colleagues at the Flight Sports Aviation flying school near Lewes, took off into the clouds on Friday morning to “build” their own snowman.

Their cleverly plotted flight plan guided them in long loops and tight turns over the green fields of East Sussex until an hour later, friends following their radar signal trip on flight-tracking software could enjoy their creation: a snowman complete with arms, hat and carrot-shaped nose.

Scott, 43, from Hailsham, told The Argus: “We were feeling extremely festive and we wanted to do something a little bit different and silly.

“Our flight planning took all of 20 minutes with hand-drawn images of different designs of snowmen.

“They were all terrible, we’re not artists, but our rule was you couldn’t take your pencil off the piece of paper.

“Then we transferred that design to our satnav, uploaded it into our aircraft and went and did it.”

The pair undertook their trip in Carl’s four-seater Vans RV-10, which he built himself in a barn.

They took off from Deanland airfield, near Lewes, and climbed to 3,000ft to make sure radar picked up every twist and turn of their flight.

Their 65-minute flight took them over Pevensey in the south west and Hastings in the south east, extending as far north as Maidstone for the snowman’s hat.

The tips of his arms lie over Uckfield and Tenterden.

Carl was in the pilot’s seat with Scott next to him, navigating.

Scott explained: “The hat and the nose had some really tight turns because we were effectively trying to draw a straight line and turn straight back on ourselves.

“So even though I’ve been flying for years it did make me a bit sick.

“We were banking at 60 degrees to make the base of the hat.

“The weather wasn’t great either, but we enjoyed every minute of it.

“Merry Christmas!”

Source: The Argus