Watch Pilot Dario Acosta Set a World Record For Flying Inside This Architectural Marvel

This is going to sound crazy, but nobody has ever flown a plane through a tunnel. Although we’ve seen it a million times in the movies, the death-defying feat has never successfully been performed IRL. Italian pilot Dario Acosta put an end to that lame reality when he set not one, but five world records during his mind-blowing 40-second flight inside Instabul’s Çatalca Tunnels. In case you were wondering, the challenge of flying a plane through a tunnel is best explained by this GIF.

The two Çatalca Tunnels stretch an impressive 1.3 miles with a short open-air gap in between. It was this gap that turned out to be the most dangerous element of the record-setting flight.

With Acosta’s specially modified Zivko Edge 540 race plane traveling at speeds of 158 mph, even the slightest crosswind could spell disaster when reentering a tunnel barely big enough to accommodate Acosta’s massive balls.

The stunt took a 40-man crew an entire year to pull off, which is insane because Acosta makes it look easy. Seeing is believing:

Wow. That’s exactly how we feel when we find one last beer tucked away in the back of the fridge at 3 o’clock in the morning.

To prepare for this flight, Acosta trained at the Red Bull Athlete Performance Center in Salzburg, Austria under the mentorship of aviation guru Péter Besenyei. Using super-advanced simulators which precisely measured the tunnel and aircraft, Acosta spent countless hours honing his reaction times to prepare for the sudden changes in lift and drag throughout the flight.

Then, Acosta raced a car through the tunnel to get a feel for the speed he’d be traveling ahead of his dawn flight when the sun would be at his back and the temperatures outside the tunnel would match that inside. All in all, it was a very sophisticated undertaking with risk management tools set up every step of the way.

Meaning, don’t try this at home.

Hats off to Dario Acosta for being the first person ever to fly a plane through a tunnel, perform a takeoff inside a tunnel, and complete the longest flight underneath a solid obstacle. We can barely get into our car without bumping our heads.

Cover Photo: SOPA Images (Getty Images)

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