Rider in the sky
AN experienced pilot has won an award for his manoeuvres in the sky. Mark Jefferies, owner of Little Gransden airfield, has won the British National Aerobatic Championships which took place at Sywell in Northants. Mark, who has been flying for 26 years, b
AN experienced pilot has won an award for his manoeuvres in the sky.
Mark Jefferies, owner of Little Gransden airfield, has won the British National Aerobatic Championships which took place at Sywell in Northants.
Mark, who has been flying for 26 years, became involved with aerobatic competitions in 1984 and has since won the title three times.
To win the title he had to perform four sequences, including a freestyle sequence and an unknown sequence.
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He said: "I wasn't as prepared as I should have been, but I tend not to suffer under the stress.
"I get through it by concentrating and thinking about what I'm going to be doing and go over the manoeuvres in my head.
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"The hardest thing about the competition was the high negative Gs - upside down manoeuvres with rotations - because I have to do everything in reverse.
"But it's satisfying when I perform them the way they should be done.
"It's relaxing and it enables me to get away from everything and point the aeroplane where I want to go."
Mark became passionate about planes after his father took him flying at the age of seven.
He said: "Flying was a hobby of mine, but I have turned it into a business."
Mark takes part in airshows throughout the world.
He said: "I like doing airshows where the crowd is appreciative because you are bringing a display to people who are not aviation people.
"You give them an air display and they are astounded by what aeroplanes can do."
In November, Mark will be going to Bahrain to compete, and this week he is in Malta taking part in the Aero GP competition, which involves three different disciplines, including air combat and 'bomb' dropping,
"It's very exciting, he said. "Flying gives me the opportunity to travel, have fun and get paid for something I love doing.