“People look for the extreme”, explains Gil Barkan, the owner and chief pilot of Extreme On Air, “and in our area free diving is not allowed for security reasons – and hot air balloons even more so”. Ten years ago, Gil, an air force veteran, founded the company that will let you feel like a bird for a moment – riding a two-seater mechanized vehicle, equipped with a large blower, attached to a free-fall parachute – with the pilot sitting in front. “It is an aircraft that flies using the principle of a parachute. Switch the motor off, and nothing happens: we slowly glide down.” The height of flight of these areal ATVs ranges around 500 meters, even though Gil insists that the great beauty is in the low-flights, “whether it is in a ravine or low over the shoreline, shaving the waves early in the morning a meter above the water.”
Extreme On Air’s home base is the Ahihud airfield, on the banks of the Hilazon River. Another airfield the company uses is located in Shomrat. Extreme On Air offers three types of flights: an ordinary 20 minute long flight; a flight of 25-30 minutes, that includes special cameras commemorating the flight; and a flight of 45 minutes to an hour, also documented on camera. A brief and an explanation on the area are guaranteed for everyone. Those of you who choose the photographed routes will receive by mail to their home within a week an edited DVD with a clip of the unforgettable flight.
The company operates five vehicles flown by veteran pilots. When we asked about adapting vehicles to the disabled, Gil pointed out that he himself was injured during his military service, and currently makes it a point to work with organizations of the disabled. “The transition from a wheelchair to the ATV seat is easy, and during the flight a disabled person is just like any other person.” He says.
“Extreme On Air was selected by the newspaper ‘The Marker’ as one of the ten leading sites in Israel in the extreme field, so that if your loved one is celebrating a Bar Mitzvah, enlistment or release from army duty, a wedding, a birthday or an 80th birthday – you can grant him or her a unique extreme winning package.
A lecture of an hour accompanied by a display of photographs, typographic explanations and spicy stories can be ordered as well.