Growing up I had aircraft models & control-line planes, but it was not until age 17 that I became interested in aircraft and thought it would be super cool to fly military helicopters & jets. A typical schoolboy dream. Not knowing much about military life I applied for the South African Airforce (SAAF).
While waiting for the SAAF to resume pilot training I did my PPL and realised that GA flying wasn’t enough. I needed to fly something more exciting, and I needed to be pushed harder.
At age 24 I was accepted by the SAAF for pilot course. I trained on the T6 Harvard and went on to fly Alouette & Super Puma helicopters in land & sea roles for 6 years. The best decision I ever made!
Airforce budget cuts and down-scaling resulted in less & less flying. I wanted the best aviation career possible, so I switched lanes and joined the airlines where I learnt to fly the DC9, MD80, B737-200, B747-400, B777 and eventually became a B747 captain after 15 years of airline flying.
Long nights spent monitoring an autopilot led me to aerobatics in 2006 when I did an Extra 300 course with advanced spin training. The seed was planted! I soon met Mark Hensman who offered me a share in a new MX2 and began coaching me through to unlimited class aerobatics.
My passion for aerobatics has consumed my life for the past 8 years while training for competitions and more recently formation aerobatics. Like Gary Players says, ‘the harder you practice the luckier you get’. You never stop learning while training for that perfect flight!
Being on a team, representing your country and sharing your passion with your friends is what makes flying aerobatics so special.