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Team Xtreme Pilots


Nigel Hopkins


  • Date of birth: 12 February 1973
  • Team Position: #1 Formation Leader, Solo and display narator
  • Day Job: Training Captain for South African Airways (Airbus A320)
  • Total Flying hours: 18,000
  • Number of aircraft rated on: 123
  • Age when he started flying: Officially at the age of 18!
  • Flying achievements: World Rally Flying Champion (2003), Vice World Advanced Aerobatic Champion (2010), 7 time SA Rally Flying Champion, 5 time SA Precision Flying Champion and was SA Aerobatic Champion for 2 consecutive years.

Nigel was born in Port Elizabeth, attended school in Pretoria and currently resides in Centurion with his wife and three daughters. On the rare occasion that he's not flying, you may find Nigel water skiing or playing golf. Nigel's father is a pilot and aviation enthusiast, so Nigel grew up with aviation. His weekends were spent at parachute clubs and air shows. He officially started flight training in 1991 and obtained his PPL in 1992 while working as an Air Traffic Controller. In 1993, he completed his commercial licence with an instructors rating and began flight instruction full time. Whilst flying medical rescue and charter flights he attained his ATPL in 1994, and joined SA Express Airways in 1995. Shortly after that, in 1996, he moved over to SAA where he has flown a B737-200/800, B767, B747, A319/320 and an A340. Nigel is currently the Fleet Training Captain on the A320.Nigel was always in awe of the skill presented at the aerobatic displays at air shows when he was growing up, and in 1995 he took a basic aerobatic course with Scully Levin. That was the start of his aerobatic and display flying career. Since then he has flown for the L29 Sasol Tigers, Pitts Goodyear, Extra 300 Northwest, Team Xtreme MX2 and SAA Harvards aerobatic teams. Nigel owns his own Extra 330SC and has a passion for aerobatics which he believes "is the purest and the freest form of powered flight."



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