Grapevine: No Plane Ride for F1 Drivers in Australia
The build-up to the Australian Grand Prix will be missing one of its annual popular sideshows this year with the Australian air force deciding to cancel its pre-season ride in a plane for one of the top Formula One drivers
The trip has usually been one of the talking points of the paddock prior to the race weekend - with the unlucky victim usually being forced to recall his tale of whether the G-forces of flying upside down over Melbourne caused his stomach to eject its contents.
But after some spectacular stories over recent years, involving stars like Giancarlo Fisichella, Johnny Herbert and Mark Webber, the ride with the Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes display team has had to be cancelled.
A Department of Defence spokesman said that it had no choice but to skip this year's ride because the plane's pilots had clashing training commitments.
Last month, two of Roulettes' pilots collided in mid air while practising for the 2005 display season. One pilot was forced to eject from his PC-9 training aircraft while the other was able to return to land safely.
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