Luke Czepiela, a Polish aerobatic performer, landed his aircraft in a “world-first” feat on the Burj Al Arab hotel’s 27-meter-wide helipad in Dubai. Czepiela executed the breathtaking performance by piloting an airplane that had been specially built for the act, for which he had been training for two years.
Czepiela’s plane can be seen approaching the helipad, which is 212 meters high and located on the 56th floor of the Burj Al Arab, in a video posted on Instagram on Tuesday.
To land on the helipad, 27m in diameter, he completed over 650 practice landings before the attempt on top of the 56-story hotel. pic.twitter.com/EpHGIHX2tP
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) March 14, 2023
He is heard shouting, “Yes sweetheart, give it to me,” before making the landing. He almost slipped off the helipad before coming to a complete stop.
“We made it! Watch first-ever plane landing on helipad of iconic Burj Al Arab,” Czepiela later said.
A “world first,” according to Red Bull Motorsports, which also posted the video.
Czepiela “performed nearly 650 practice landings before the attempt,” according to the Dubai Media Office, which also shared images of the flight and landing.
Yet the helipad landing at the Burj Al Arab was his first actual attempt at the trick.
“Landing at the height of 200 meters, with no clear points of reference, is completely different from landing on the ground … I had to fully trust my own skills. On the helipad, there was no room for mistakes,” Czepiela, 39, said in an article on Red Bull’s website.
Czepiela is a former Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class World Champion and an Airbus A320 captain.
He piloted a light aircraft produced by the renowned US company CubCrafters. It measures 7.1 meters in length, 2.54 meters in height, and 10.44 meters in width. It weighs 425 kilograms.
“My greatest passion is aerobatics. I have flown under bridges and landed on piers. But the Burj Al Arab landing was different. It was an 11 out of 10 in difficulty,” Czepiela said. “I am grateful to Dubai and to the people and organizations who helped me achieve my dream. It is an honor to become a part of the Burj Al Arab’s impressive history.”
The helipad at the Burj Al Arab has played witness to a number of incredible antics.
Tennis greats Roger Federer and Andre Agassi engaged in a match on the helipad’s improvised court in 2005. The Dubai Duty-Free Men’s Open was promoted at the event.
According to Red Bull, the stunt had been planned since 2021 and required 650 test landings.
Czepiela is an Airbus A320 pilot by day, but he also has a long list of spectacular flying accomplishments, including taking first place in the 2018 Red Bull Air Race world championship challenger class and successfully landing an aircraft on a wooden pier in Sopot, Poland.