The Argentine pilot rescued by the navy off his aeroplane with the name “Maverick” seemed to have timed his skydive very, very carefully after performing a maneuver that was deemed too “un-Pilatus” (Pilatus is his name for the plane he landed on) for the Italian team attempting to succeed him by parachuting.
TV images broadcast at the time, via Sky News, showed the Italian pilot, three F18s and 12 helicopters crowded around Maverick’s Zero Aerobatic Team after failing to catch him on the run-out.
His demotion was also a surprise to the pilots, as Aerobatic Pilot Juan P. Ceccato told Sky News: “We were expecting Maverick to be coming towards us from the other side of the sky, and instead he landed on the opposite plane. That was a surprise. It was a big jump by Maverick, who has never done anything this high.”
Saved in epic fashion! Pilot Maverick jumps into his perfect Aerobatic Plane: https://t.co/4BjKGXvql4 ✈️#Maverick #greatjourney pic.twitter.com/7BIfHC25rY — Pilatus Aero (@Pilatus_Aero) September 29, 2017
Though it appears Maverick had been planning to jump from 211 kph in order to go off the list of failed attempts by the Italian team, it seems he was also trying to post a much-needed last-minute message to his wife: