NZ pilot lands in Brasilia Army Barracks

8 August

Derek McKee writes

Well there you go, I was flying very low in an area where I did not want to land due to bush and other dangers around. From above I was focused on one thing; to land Luchino's glider safely.

When you are preparing to land in this situation you tend to focus on that nice looking football field in the distance. By the time you get over that field and start to see army trucks and Soldiers moving towards you and then get only 300 feet above to see lots of automatic rifles held in a position for anything could happen here... You then start on final approach to plan your best kiwi welcome. Hands up with a big smile, I'm from New Zealand and pointed to my t shirt. The smile is our international language when you know you're in the crap and about to be detained in a country where you know nothing of how serious this is about to become and most importantly you want to fly the next day or get back to your country one day.

The other spot down the road looked like a prison, not sure but glad I did not land there, life could have changed very quickly. I found out later as we drove by in the other direction the next place down the road was the Federal Police Barracks, quite big and very lucky I did not land there.

Well soon after I was of course searched, the Luitenant came over and she could speak very good english, she was very good at her job and after 5 minutes we were all smiling and taking photos. The Major aslo appeared and checked me out, I decided to try and explain to the major that you should have a training programme in the Brasilian army for young men as this would be great for their confidence as well as silent invasions, I am an instructor, they were very impressed with this, as well as the photos of my trophies I have won back in NZ, it all helped.

At this stage I would like to recommend when travelling to have your passport photo stored on your phone as these details were great to have as I was explaining I'm not James Bond or an American spy.

We all had a laugh after 45 minutes, long story "Top secret " To the Brasilia Army, thank you for treating me with respect, you have made me feel very welcome.

I promise I will not land their again unless you put a big NZ in the middle of the field. I don't think in the history of hang gliding this has ever happened but we do have to land somewhere.

Till tomorrow.

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