First plane landing on Sopot pier

Poland’s Łukasz Ciepiela was the first pilot to land a plane on Europe’s longest wooden pier in Sopot, northern Poland.

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The landing which took place on Wednesday was organised to celebrate the inauguration of the season of the pier, which starts on Saturday, April 27.

Although Mr Ciepiela is an experienced pilot and a Red Bull Air Race World Champion, the approach to the pier was not easy.

“The plane has a very large lateral surface and is very light. A side wind is very common on the pier. We had only one and a half meters of central stock, the margin was also small, but we managed to do everything safely. I put in a lot of preparation to get ready for the landing. I trained at various airports and I'm glad that the project went so well,” he told the Red Bull news service.

Mr Ciepiela is not only an aerobatic pilot; first and foremost he flies commercial passenger airplanes.

The pier in Sopot is the longest wooden construction of its kind in Europe. Its pedestrian part is 511.5m (559 yds) long, including 458m (500 yds) reaching into the Gdańsk Bay. It was opened in 1827.