A glider pilot has updated a popular YouTube video on his channel with a cautionary tale of how a little flattery can turn into a seven-month certificate suspension and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Bruno Vassel was showing off his ASW27 high-performance glider on the ramp at an air and car show at Spanish Fork Airport in Utah last August when one of the organizers asked him if he’d like to show the crowd what the soaring plane could do. “Why not? What could I do in the ASW27 that would be interesting and wouldn’t likely kill me?” he mused in his original post of the cockpit video from what became his impromptu airshow performance.
After a series of loops and low passes from a 3,000 foot tow, while keeping out of the way of a sightseeing helicopter operating from the field, Vassel was pretty pleased with himself and the reaction from the crowd. “What a random and interesting experience!” He was also proud of the fact that the video gathered 200,000 views in four days but he didn’t know the FAA was among those clicks. Vassel has no training or credentials for airshow performances and the agency takes a pretty dim view of those who flout those regulations. The end result was seven months on the ground looking up. “I was told I was very lucky to not lose my license over this,” he wrote in the epilogue to his video, which now has 650,000 views. “I hope this will help other pilots to not have to go through what I have over the last 10 months.”