The airplane entered a "half Cuban eight
" maneuver at an estimated 250 to 260 MPH and "in the middle of the Cuban eight
it went into a spin." The pilot's son estimated the airplane had slowed to 100 to 120 mph, which was "too slow," and lacked the altitude to recover before crashing into the sea.
The 'Super Eights' time trials provided some high drama as the fastest pilots hurtled through the air just metres from the surface of the Arabian Gulf, flicking their aircraft around sixteen 20m-high inflatable obstacles before executing a breathtaking manoeuvre known as a Half Cuban Eight
and tackling the course for a second lap.
After we climbed to altitude, with maximum torque of 1,015-foot pounds set, every over-the-top-aerobatic maneuver (loop, one-half Cuban eight
, and Immelmann) would get slow at the top with rudder shakers.