A pilot who loves the freedom of flying and defying the laws

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Nigel Hopkins is a perfect example of someone who is doing what he loves as a job.Nigel is from Pretoria and he was one of the 10 pilots competing in the KZN Regional Aerobatic Championships that were held right here at the Ladysmith aerodrome.The Ladysmith Gazette caught up with him to ask a few questions.Nigel has been flying for 27 years, 14 of those years in aerobatics.“My dad loved flying and I got it from him. I was in a plane ever since I was a baby.”One can easily tell how much flying means to him. “For me, it’s all about the feeling of freedom, defying gravity and the thrill of flying, and the advantage is that you don’t get stuck in traffic,” he jokes. Nigel is a four-time South African champion and he came second in the World Aerobatics Championships in France.He is well-known for the incident that occurred in France during the championships when, during his flight, the wing of his aircraft broke off and he was forced to parachute out. However, Nigel chooses to focus on the positives of flying and this incident hasn’t affected his love for the skies at all.He is sponsored by Porsche South Africa, Bose Aviation and many others.When Nigel isn’t flying and doing aerobatics far up above us, he can be found working for South African Airways, where he is head of training for Airbus A320.He is a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, who all support him. “My daughters like the idea of flying, but I don’t think they will follow in my footsteps,” he quips.Nigel enjoyed showing off his skills at the championships and it was an awe-inspiring day indeed.last_img read more