Perfect fighter-jet landings on US Navy aircraft carriers earn the score of “OK” when pilots stop on the center line, especially under less-than-optimal conditions. Flight decks have four wires that latch onto and help decelerate incoming aircraft. Hitting the third wire is optimal, and the extremely rare score of “OK3” comes from stopping dead-center on that wire.
Hence the name of Nadim Abuhaidar’s multiservice aviation company, OK3 Air, based out of the Heber City Airport (15 miles south of Park City). The former US Navy F-18 aviator offers aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, charters, scenic tours, and aerobatic aviation. Frequently called “sky dancing,” aerobatics is extreme flying—think barrel rolls, loop de loops, dives, inverted flight, and more, all captured on video so that you can relive the thrilling experience more than once—if your heart can take it, that is.
More popular for those slightly less adventurous are local scenic flights. Viewing the Wasatch Back from on high provides a whole new sense of proportion. Or try a low-elevation flight over some of the world’s most spectacular red-rock landscapes in southern Utah. No matter what you choose, every flight is an adventure.
Abuhaidar recalls flying a buddy out to the Burning Man festival in Nevada. Soaring over the pristine and nearly empty Black Rock Desert only to come upon a temporary city in full party mode was “a surreal experience,” he says. And there was the time he took a group deep into the Uinta Mountains. Flying low over a remote alpine lake, they respectfully spread the ashes of a recently departed friend ... a perfect landing, indeed.