Sigiriya – Garden City of King Kassyapa – unimaginable- by Harold Gunatillake
Overview: Frightening experience
This film was done 20 years ago.
The desire to fly over the rock and film some captures was my dream.
So, we paid $311 to book a four- seater plane from the Air Force, in Colombo.
After booking, the three of us, self, my wife, and Arun Dias Bandaranaike, drove to Hingurakgoda, to the Air Force base.
The plane and the pilot were waiting for us.
‘The pilot and Arun Dias sat in front, well protected by glass to avoid the breeze,
whilst I was sitting by myself, at the back both sides open and the wind blasting
through me and getting the feeling of blown out.
I was holding the big camcorder on my right shoulder, could not turn to capture the shots of the rock comfortably, as I was frightened to turn thinking that the belt would loosen, fly off 1000 ft. into the thick foliage- elephant infested forest. If I dropped the two sitting in the front comfortably would not have known that I have disappeared, as the wind noise was so blasting and noisy.
I felt extremely uncomfortable, with the wind blowing through me at about 100 miles per hour.
The pilot announced that he will only fly about 500 ft away from the rock, as flying over the rock was prohibited. Very disappointingly, with much difficulty,
managed to capture a few shots.
He did go two rounds and off we went back to the base. The experience was frightening and will not do it again.
Hope you will enjoy the film.