TURKEY — Some pilots focus on flying high, but Dario Costa’s success at flying low has landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 41-year-old Italian stunt pilot on Saturday successfully maneuvered a custom-modified Zivko Edge 540 race plane through the twin Çatalca tunnels along the Northern Marmara Highway in Turkey.
In total, Costa set five records with his feat: longest tunnel flew through with an airplane, first airplane flight through a tunnel, longest flight under a solid obstacle, first airplane flight through two tunnels, and first airplane takeoff from a tunnel. Only the first was officially recognized with a certificate from Guinness.
It took more than a year to prepare for the 43.44-second flight. Costa and his mentor, Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei, worked alongside 40 team members at Red Bull in order to pull off the flight. Everything, from the time of day to the exact measurement of the wings, was carefully planned. On September 4, Costa took off at 6:43 a.m. in order to have the early-morning sunlight behind him for ideal visibility.
According to Guinness, the total distance covered by Costa was 2.26 km (1.4) miles.