November 1997

In 1996 Nigel Hopkins flew for the first time in a SAPFA Rally Championships together with his navigator Dale de Klerk.

He won some of the Regional Championships in 1996 and for his first attempt at the SA Championships he became SA Champion. With this performance he was selected to be part of the National Team to represent South Africa in the First World Air Games and World Championships that were held in Turkey.

Then in 1997 he also participated in some Precision Flying and Rally Flying Championships, and he always came in the top three places.

At the World Air Games, his first international competition, he came tenth out of 83 pilots, and the SA Team came 4th overall out of 23 countries.

For this performance and outstanding sportsmanship Nigel Hopkins was chosen as Pilot of the Year for 1997.

Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Paul Tissandier Diploma

Johan Swart

Johan Swart has been active in the sport of rally flying since he obtained his private pilot’s license in 1976. He is, for the past 4 years, the Secretary of the South African Power Flying Association and a committee member for 10 years. He is the South African Delegate to FAI-General Aviation Commission, where he also acts as President of the Precision Flying Rules Sub-committee.

He was a competitor in both rally and precision flying World Events, bringing back the experience he has gained to his local flying club in Stellenbosch near Cape Town and also extending that experience to the rest of South Africa’s Rally and Precision pilots – young, old and new.

He is an International Judge for Rally and Precision since 1989 and International Juror for both disciplines since 1995. In his capacity as Judge he officiated at various World Championships and was also Chief Judge for the 2nd European Rally Flying Championships held in the Czech Rep in 1996. He acted as Head of Delegation for the South African Rally Team and as International Judge to the 1st World Air Games in Turkey.

Johan Swart was the main driving force behind the very successful 7th World Rally Flying Championships held in 1991 in Stellenbosch, South Africa where he acted as Deputy Championship Director.