Tennis racquet landing strip: how to pull off a fine landing at Birmingham airport

Landing strip: Birmingham international airport. Photograph: John Dobell A male lighting technician at Birmingham airport has revealed how he saves money and gets himself out of tricky spots by using a tennis racquet to…

Tennis racquet landing strip: how to pull off a fine landing at Birmingham airport

Landing strip: Birmingham international airport. Photograph: John Dobell

A male lighting technician at Birmingham airport has revealed how he saves money and gets himself out of tricky spots by using a tennis racquet to break free from all those metal-framed layers of infrastructure that hide plane landing strips. Ryan Doyle has taken to the skies in his oversized orange tennis racquet, surrounded by a colourful collection of wicker baskets made from Ikea luggage bags, in a mission to play near or inside the landing strips for as long as possible.

From his astonishingly sleek landing at Birmingham airport just before midnight on Sunday, this map, made from Digital Globe satellite photographs, reveals he has achieved almost every goal in this impressive feat of epic aviation engineering.

The Englishman’s guide to landing

About 20 yards from the airport’s berm, the way forward is a long dirt strip with raised ruts for taking off. Find one or two of the reinforced metal ruts close to a hole between the airport fence and the berm – there may even be a slight slope. Use your sharp tennis racquet to smash the metal abutments, breaking the barrier and making the path for aircraft clear.

Runways at Birmingham airport. Photograph: John Dobell

Your next job, Ryan Doyle, is to keep the tennis racquet on the same level as the kerb so that it will stop rolling down over the road. Land your plane on the chosen track, and continue on the course, cutting or ducking away from any obstacles. Turn your racquet around on the descending flight, getting your craft and the shuttle van back on the same flight path.

You will have spent about four hours slaloming your way round the airport, all while using your racquet as a cross-stitch cushion. When you get the plane back, take the shuttle van to a nearby airport or terminal. As the staff loads you on to the vehicle, grab your racquet and get back to playing.

Keep up to date with the progress of your mission by following Ryan Doyle’s Twitter account, @RyanDoyleTennis. He will send updates via his website and you can also track him on YouTube.

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