Who will be Britain's aerobatic champions of the future?

Extra NG aerobatics
The two pilots will train on an Extra NG. Photo Jez Poller

How do we bring aerobatic pilots up to the high standard required to win medals at world championships? Not only is the training expensive but it needs to be exacting and in the latest aerobatic aircraft.

British Aerobatics, the national governing body of sport aerobatics in the UK, has a plan called its Advanced Training Scheme. The first two successful candidates to the scheme are Jamie Williams, an investment portfolio manager, and Ben Filer, a commercial pilot and aerobatic CRI.

Jamie Williams British Aerobatics

Jamie Williams, one of the two pilots chosen

Ben Filer aerobatics

Ben Filer will be training with Jamie on the Aerobatics Training Scheme

The Scheme is aimed at accelerating their aerobatic development towards competing at Unlimited level and ultimately representing Team GBR at the world championships.

Both candidates impressed with their commitment to improving their aerobatic skills and advancing through the aerobatic ranks, said a statement from British Aerobatics.

They currently compete at Sports level, the first of four levels, so have an initial target of competing at the 2022 Intermediate championships at Peterborough Conington in early September. They will train with former team member and UK Unlimited champion, Tom Cassells, using the very latest Extra NG.

There are four aerobatic levels which are contested as UK championship titles – Sports, Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited, with each level demanding more complex and challenging flying than the preceding one. The top three levels are contested as world championships once every two years.

“The applications to this initial round of the Scheme were of an exceptionally high standard,” continued the statement. “The selection panel were extremely impressed by the number of young pilots with aerobatic aspirations and decided to award a further four aerobatic bursaries to promising power and glider pilots, to help them continue to develop their talent.”

Follow the pair’s progress at and on British Aerobatics social media.

Steve Todd, British Aerobatics Chairman, said: “We are delighted with the enthusiasm and passion shown by all the applicants to the first round of our scheme and excited to follow the development of the selected pilots as they work their way to competing for gold medals on the world stage.”

British Aerobatics

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