A major disaster was averted at the Aero India 2015 airshow, when two planes from the Flying Bulls stunt team clipped wings while performing acrobatic stunts. Although each aircraft experienced damage, both pilots managed to land their planes safely and no one was injured. While this was an unusual accident, Radka Machova, the pilot of one of the planes, is used to living a life full of thrill and danger.
Radka is a sixty-six year old woman from the Czech Republic. She is described by the Flying Bulls website as “a diminutive woman who becomes a giant in the air.” Since 2002, Radka has lead the Flying Bulls, taking the reigns only one year after joining the team. Before her tenure with the stunt team, she was also a member of the Czech National Aerobatics Team and a Professional Jet Pilot. Radka’s lifetime experiences as a pilot, incomparable skill in the cockpit and cool in high pressure situations undoubtedly played a big role in avoiding tragedy at the airshow.
It’s this type of quick reaction, calm and skill that makes Radka the perfect leader for the Flying Bulls. Under Radka’s leadership the team has amazed audiences all over the world and has received international acclaim. On a typical day with the Bulls, she has to be able to not only execute her moves with precision, but also be able to keep an eye on and give instructions to the other members of her team, often while flying only inches from each other. This is all the more incredible when you consider that her team is constantly performing aces upside down, while experiencing intense G-forces.
Radka is quickly on her way to becoming an aviation legend, but for her it’s not always about intense and amazing aerobatics. Radka likes to stay fit for flight with cross-country skiing, scuba diving and cycling, and although she sounds like a super woman, like many of us, she generally prefers to pass on the gym. To unwind, she likes to spend time with her husband and two sons and enjoys jazz and classical music. High flying speed and thrills, however, will always be her passion, even if The Flying Bulls will likely not participate in the rest of the Aero India show this year.