Greater Victoria pilot takes to the skies to bring pizza to Burning Man

A new pilot at the Victorian Flying Club has been able to accomplish what few pilots of any experience level can say they have – flying pizza for Burning Man.

Brandon Baker achieved the feat during his participation in this year’s festival, which ran from August 28th to September 5th. He is helping to set up an encampment in Black Rock City — a makeshift city created every year for a festival in the Nevada desert that becomes home to tens of thousands of people until it disappears without a trace next year.

“As an engineer and a creative person, I’ve always been interested in building things, and the city went from nothing in a week or two, so I was asked to help come up with a solar solution for our camp ,” Baker said.

Baker’s chance to take to the skies came when he met several other private pilots at the festival, one of whom had a plane he was willing to rent. Luckily, Baker decided to take his driver’s license papers and logbook to the festival just in case he got a chance to fly.

He chartered the plane for 20 hours of flight time, mostly flying sight-seeing tours of the vast city of tents and RVs outside the makeshift dirt airfield known as 88NV. While on a fuel-up trip to nearby Derby Field Airport, Baker stumbled across a pizzeria’s menu and came up with the idea of ​​flying his pizza to his new friend.

“The pizza company was able to send us 10 pizzas to the airport, although they don’t usually deliver to the airport, it was 10 pizzas and it was going to burn people, so they thought it was cool, so they did it for us is an exception,” he said. “We tucked all the pizza into the back of the plane…and shared it between our camp The Empress and our friend’s camp Reverbia.”

Aside from the surprise pizza — and the chance to take a much-needed shower at the airport — Baker says the opportunity to fly out of a very unique airport, less than a year after he started learning to fly, will keep him going go down. a long time.

Flying to a busy airport with fewer air traffic control resources than a typical smaller airport, with dirty runways and frequent dust storms was a unique challenge that taught him a lot about flying, he said. Having the opportunity to conduct emergency landing maneuvers in an environment where he can land almost anywhere if something does go wrong is just icing on the cake.

“I’m glad I had this opportunity. It gave me an experience that I may never have, and I made some friends that I might fly elsewhere…Hopefully made lifelong friends during this experience.”

@J Samansky
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Gourmet Grand Victoria

This summer, Victoria Flying Club member Brandon Baker had the experience of a lifetime flying a borrowed plane around Burning Man, the highlight of which was a surprise airborne pizza delivery. (Courtesy of Brandon Baker)

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