The extremely popular Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics will return to the skies of Durban on the 16 June 2023 at Virginia Airport, Durban. Get ready for an electrifying event that will leave you on the edge of your seat, it promises to be an aviation extravaganza unlike any other. This will be the third Sky Grand Prix.
The event is a Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and FAI Aerobatics Commission (CIVA) internationally sanctioned event.
The Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics is a competition, which will see eight experienced aerobatic pilots, six from SA and two from abroad, competing against each other in this unique event. The competition requires these highly skilled pilots to perform breath-taking manoeuvres using 25 metre pylons as markers. The pilot's technical manoeuvres will be analysed by a panel of CIVA accredited judges and will ultimately result in a champion being crowned.
The pilots participating are as follows: -
Boeing instructor and professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Johannesburg ∑ Age - 50 Years Old ∑ 2x SA Unlimited Champ ∑ World Air-masters Champion 2011, 2nd World Aerobatic Championship ∑ Sky Grand Prix 2014 & 2016
Business director and professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Port Elizabeth ∑ Age - 40 Years Old ∑ 1x Sky Grand Prix Champ ∑ 4x SA Unlimited Champ ∑ 8th in AWAC Hungary 2012 ∑ Sky Grand Prix 2014 & 2016 ∑ Red Bull Air Race Veteran
Qualified business scientist and business director in IT, professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Johannesburg ∑ Age - 52 ∑ 3x SA Advanced Champ ∑ 30+ Years of Flying ∑ Sky Grand Prix 2014
Eugene Du Preez
Businessman and professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Johannesburg ∑ Age - 50 Years Old ∑ Advanced World Aerobatic Competitor ∑ SA Advanced Champ 2019
Pilot for Air France and professional aerobatic pilot
Resides - France
∑ Age - 40 Years Old ∑ 2015 World Champion ∑ 2013 World & French Champion ∑ 2012 French Champion & World Champion Runner Up ∑ Sky Grand Prix 2016 Competitor
Business owner and professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Johannesburg ∑ Age - 56 Years Old ∑ 1x SA Advanced Aerobatic Champion ∑ Competed at 6x world championships - best place 26th ∑ 30+ Years of Flying ∑ Sky Grand Prix 2014 & 2016 Competitor
Professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Cape Town ∑ Age - ∑ 2x SA Champion ∑ Competed 5x at World Champs, best placing 2nd in 2007 & 2010 ∑ 5th at 2010 China International Air Sports Fiesta ∑ 4th in World Air Masters, China 2011 ∑ Sky Grand Prix 2014 & 2016
Professional aerobatic pilot
∑ Resides - Australia ∑ Age - 38 Years Old ∑ World aerobatic championship 2022 - 7th ∑ Australian Unlimited Aerobatic Champ (current) ∑ Australian Unlimited Freestyle Champ (current) ∑ Australian Advanced Aerobatic Champ (2018) ∑ Red Bull Air Race Veteran
The judging panel comprises: - Quintin Hawthorne (Chief Judge - SA), Guy Auger (France), Laszlo Liszhay (SA) and Johnie Smith (SA). The jury president is Nick Buckingham (UK). The commentator on the day will be well known air show voice and an aerobatic pilot himself, American Mike "Spanky" Galloway. He commentated on the first two events. The sound system is going to be set up by Len Heine.
As added attractions, there will be other displays interspersed between the aerobatics competition flights. These are currently being negotiated.
Whether you're a seasoned aviation enthusiast or a first-time spectator, "The Sky Grand Prix" is an event you don't want to miss. It's a rare opportunity to witness some of the world's top pilots showcasing their skills. So, mark your calendar for the 16th of June 2023 and get ready to experience the ultimate aviation adventure at Virginia Airport in Durban. Book your tickets now!