This was completely unusual underwater photoshooting during safety training with the Red Bull Air Race Challenger pilots. As a professional underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor I never thought that I would ever work with pilots underwater but the opposite happened. Great atmosphere and the perfect conditions for a completely unique photographs.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship Challenger Cup included further rigorous training for the new generation of talented pilots who have been working towards acquiring their “Unrestricted Superlicence”.
The pilots were put through their paces in Poland with a series of underwater emergency escape techniques, known as “Shallow Water Egress Training” (SWET). SWET training enables the pilots to develop specific safety skills and gain valuable experience by practicing underwater escape techniques in a realistic environment. Under the guidance of a specialist team and using a stripped back fuselage submerged in a pool, the pilots carried out a series of drills designed to familiarise them with breathing apparatus, as well as the correct techniques for exiting a fuselage under water and dealing with disorientation.
Safety is at the core of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, and the Challenger Cup provides the eleven pilots from around the world a chance to experience the thrills of this world-renowned motorsport in a safe and moderated environment. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship operates under the strictest safety regulations and is backed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which supports the safety supervision at all races.
Wonderful day with these great pilots underwater because I realised as a photographer and scuba diving instructor that the abilities of these guys are at the top most level. Also it was really good to get to know the guys from the rescue team better too. Most of them are lifetime scuba diving safety instructors. Their abilities can be seen only in conditions that very few ordinary people could imagine. It was a fantastic experience for all of us!