Tamas poses for a picture by his aircraft at the Al Khor airstrip. PICTURE: Aney Mathew
By Aney Mathew/Correspondent
“It wasn’t the weather or poor light conditions that caused the tragic accident of Tamas Nadas. He has performed under such conditions hundreds of times,” said Saad Hakim, director of sales and marketing at Westland Morgan, the company that brought the world champion aerobatic pilot for the performance at the Al Khor airstrip.
Following the death of Tamas in a crash while performing an upside-down stunt on Friday as part of Qatar Racing Club’s Qatar Mile event, Saad said: “What happened is a complete mystery to us, we don’t know how this happened. An upside-down stunt has a huge ‘wow’ factor for us ordinary folk, but for a seasoned performer like Tamas, it is a simple manoeuvre as there is no G-force involved. The aeroplane that Tamas was flying was in perfect condition and Tamas himself was both mentally and physically in ‘top’ condition. It was his third routine for the day, following a test round and one performance round.”
“As a seasoned pilot he would have definitely known if there was something wrong. Having worked with him in the past, I know how particular he is about all details related to safety. Just before he was going to take off for the fateful round, Tamas looked and sounded very confident and was in fact raring to go,” added Saad in a state of complete shock.
Hungary-based Tamas has a very strong fan base in Europe. Referring to the aerobatic pilot’s plans for the future, Saad said: “Tamas had recently purchased a new plane for his performance in the upcoming European championship in July, which incidentally is not the plane he was flying here at Al Khor. As for Tamas’ dream – it was to have a world championship in Qatar, titled the ‘Skymasters World Championship’. He had hoped that it would be the coming together of the ‘masters of the art’.
“The idea was to invite 12 of the top pilots from around the world for the event. This championship was to be conducted in two categories: one would be a regular aerobatic championship with judges and scoring cards, etc. The other category would involve a more exciting concept - the idea was to define virtual air-tracks in the sky; two pilots would then go through this route and be judged based on their speed, style and performance. The whole thing was his idea. As a matter of fact, we had been in conversation with the authorities in Qatar regarding this. We might still go ahead with this idea in Europe – naming it after him. We believe he would have liked it. This was to be the real thing, with no marketing strategy involved.”
Saad said the passing away of Tamas was a huge loss. “His family was not here in Qatar and were not at the venue watching the event. They are in Hungary. We are in touch with them and trying to get all the paperwork done. We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the civil aviation authorities, Qatar Racing Club and all the authorities and officials involved. They have been a tremendous source of support.”
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