Emirati pilot led Etihad's flypast at Abu Dhabi GP
Capt Abdulla Obaid was also the first Emirati to fly the pontiff, in March
The Emirati pilot who flew the Pope home and ferried the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the UAE is celebrating another aerial achievement.
Capt Abdulla Obaid, 45, led the flypast over Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in an Etihad Airways’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The formation also included an Airbus A380 and seven Aermacchi MB-339A Fursan Al Emarat jets, which flew at 400km per hour, 800 feet above track.
Capt Obaid posted a picture of the formation, alongside one of himself with his two fellow copilots with the caption: “I had the privilege of leading the show formation over Yas Marina Circuit aboard Boeing 787 in the final of the Formula One World Championship in Abu Dhabi. Accompanied by Captain Mohammed Tamimi and Captain Henry.”
Capt Obaid's flypast capped off a big year that began in March with the Pope’s historic first visit to the UAE.
It is tradition for the Pope to fly Alitalia, Italy's national airline, to wherever he is visiting, but he always returns on the host country’s national carrier.
Capt Obaid, who was among the first batch of pilots to join Etihad’s Boeing fleet and was the first Emirati to fly the pope, called the opportunity an enormous privilege.
Updated: December 2, 2019 04:10 PM