Having learnt to fly in 1985 with Horizon Flying at Ipswich Airport, Nigel holds a PPL (Private Pilots Licence), and is a CRI (Class Rating Instructor). Nigel also has an IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) rating, allowing flight in poor weather conditions, in cloud, and instrument approaches into suitably equipped airfields. A Night Rating is also held for flight in the dark. As if this isn't enough, Nigel is also a Civil Aviation Authority approved Flight Test Pilot. Nigel has also done a fair amount of aircraft ferrying (European destinations as well as the UK), and as you can see below, has the experience to fly any type of single engine aircraft. Feel free to contact Nigel if you wish to make use of any of these services.
He has over 2200 hours on a wide variety of aircraft including Tiger Moths, the Cessna and Piper families of aircraft, Aero Commanders, and a few other rare types such as Wassmer, Air Coupe, and even a Spitfire T9. Not forgetting of course, the Yak 52 in which the displays are flown.
Nigel was part of the "Horizon Formation Team" in 1996 - a formation of Cessna 150 aircraft which took part in the Ipswich Air Fairs of that period. Aerobatics, however, has always been in his blood, as well as charity work. This led to a unique and lovely activity in 1999, when Nigel asked local church children to gain sponsorship for their own Teddy Bears to perform aerobatics. Nigel took 47 bears up in a Cessna Aerobat, and raised £750 for the Ipswich Children's Hospice. The event was (amusingly) reported in the Ipswich Evening Star (click here). And so the display aspect of Nigel's flying began!
Nigel has now turned his attention to Aerobatic Display Flying in the Yak 52, and is a familiar name in the local flying community.
Always keen to combine the pleasure of a display with a good cause wherever possible, Nigel repeated the "Teddy" idea in 2002 at the Elmsett Airfield Open Day, this time raising money for the local village schools, and the Ipswich Children's Hospice. Around £2000 was raised. Parachuting Teddies (the Ted Devils!) was the name of the game in 2003 and subsequent years at Elmsett, again raising money for local causes.
In 2007, Nigel, Debs and the Yak took along Pudsey Bear - complete with logbook, photo album and diary wherever they went. This raised money for the BBC Children in Need appeal. For more information, click here.