Published on March 28th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer


AFTA Flypast at Cobh

Cork-based Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) was delighted to take part in a voluntary special sail/fly past in Cork Harbour with Safehaven Marine to lift spirits in Cobh and to show solidarity with frontline workers. The sail/flypast featured AFTA’s Slingsby T-67 Firefly aerobatic aircraft and Safehaven Marine’s Thunderchild II, one of the world’s fastest boats.

In AFTA the Slingsby T-67 Firefly is used to train commercial pilots in advanced upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) and for aerobatic voucher flights.

Captain Matthew O’Donovan, AFTA’s deputy chief flight instructor was joined by Captain Gerry Humphreys, Deputy Head of Training. They descended down to approximately 700 feet above sea level and held a speed at 90mph above the boat. The Slingsby T-67 Firefly soared parallel over the record-breaking ThunderChild II past Cobh’s waterfront briefly, providing a spectacular sight for the people of Cobh to lift spirits. ThunderChild ll was adorned with an Irish flag and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day flag acknowledging the national holiday.

An AFTA Cessna 172 aircraft followed the display, with local Cork aerial photographer Dennis Horgan onboard capturing these images of the combined effort.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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