Adilson Kindlemann's Red Bull Crash Escape
Adilson Kindlemann's crash during a Red Bull Air Race practice session in Perth, Thursday, was the first in the race's history, but not the first time Kindlemann (or other racers) had found himself upside down strapped to a chair under water. Red Bull Air Race pilots train for emergencies like what Kindlemann experienced in the Swan River, and each one flies with an oxygen bottle in the cockpit. This year, training on how to use the bottle and escape an inverted flooded cockpit was provided at Perth, Australia, prior to the race (Kindlemann's crash race) there. According to Kindlemann's own words, reported Friday by Red Bull, he used the training to stay calm, open the canopy, use the air bottle, and initiate his escape. Red Bull rescue team members reached Kindlemann's inverted plane in less than one minute and were there to help pull him free.
"I used the air bottle and started to escape, opening the canopy about 20 cm," Kindlemann told Red Bull. "Then I started to go out and the guys (divers) are coming towards me like fish." Said Red Bull rescue team member Jeff Williams, "He did a great job inside, which made my job a lot easier." The only snag was literal: "He got hung up a little bit on something, a seat belt strap or something," said Williams. "We figured it out quickly and got out." Red Bull's article on the pilots' safety training was published on April 13, two days prior to Kindlemann's crash. It includes the wording, "It was essential to practice for an emergency ditching even if it is highly unlikely that it will ever happen."
Click for video of the crash.