17 000 Hours | Yak-52
Etienne Verhellen is an ex-Belgium Air force C-130 pilot now working for British Airways as a pilot on the 747 fleet. Etienne is a Flight Instructor FI(A) and an Aerobatic Instructor (http://www.vliegeniseenkunst.nl/node/224) specializing on the Yak 52, and is also a member of the prestigious British aerobatic team “Yakovlevs” (www.yakovlevs.com) flying as a Yak 2. Etienne started ‘flying’ as a Reserve Officer (National service) in the Belgium Parachute Regiment (completing 35 jumps). He then joined the Belgian Royal Air Force as a pilot on a Short Service Commission (SSC) flying the SIAI Marchetti SF-260M, the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet AJ-1B and the C-130H Hercules. After his time in the Belgium Air Force, Etienne flew as an Air Taxi pilot on a Piper PA-31 Navajo, did some glider towing and some flight instructing before joining European Air Transport as a ‘Freight Dog’ initially flying the Convair CV-580 followed by 5 years as a skipper on the Boeing 727-100 and 200 Series for DHL. In 2007, he joined British Airways flying the ‘Classic’ Boeing 747-100 and 200 Series, but moved on to the more modern and iconic Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet when the Classic fleet was retired. Etienne has had the opportunity to take in the first two Yak World Aerobatic Championships organized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The first FAI Yak WAC was in 2008 in Novosibirsk, Siberia and the second in July 2009 in Rojunai, Lithuania. Etienne is married to the very wonderful and beautiful Véronique who he met when he was still flying in the Air Force. They have two lovely teenage daughters, Saranne and Julyne. They all love flying in ‘Janie’, the family Yak 52. Saranne loves rolling, Julyne is really keen on ‘looping the loop’ while Véronique prefers going places with the Yak straight and level. Odile, the family dog occasionally flies as well… When not flying the 747 or Yaks, Etienne treasures the time he can spend with his family and friends in the Belgian countryside where he lives. He enjoys gardening, but has a real passion for building Russian Datchas for Datchniks friends.
15 000 Hours | Yak-52
To Fernando, the sky represents adventure, freedom and challenge. Fernando is an aerobatic and racing pilot who loves flying and wants to spread his enthusiasm and encourage everyone who dreams of flying. Born in Aveiro, but raised in Alenquer, Portugal, Fernando is the Director of Training, Formation and Race Instructor for the ARC - Air Race Championship. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and earned his pilot wings after attending the Undergraduate Pilot Training in the USAF. In the Air Force Fernando served as a Ground Attack Pilot flying the FIAT G-91 for the 301 Tiger Squadron and as an Advanced and Weapons Instructor flying the ground attack version of the Alpha Jet for the 103 Squadron, the oldest active jet-powered squadron in the Air Force. During his tour he also served as #3 and #5 pilot with the national aerobatic team "Asas de Portugal." After leaving the Air Force, Fernando joined TAP Portugal as a First Officer flying the Airbus A319/A320/321 and A340, before becoming a Captain in 2006. At the moment he enjoys the challenge of being Type Rating Examiner (TRE) and Type Rating Instructor (TRI) on the Airbus A319/320/321. Parallel to his airline career, Fernando is also a Certificated Flight Instructor (FI) and an accomplished aerobatic and display pilot with over 150 airshow performances, flying all kinds of airplanes ranging from Yaks, Pitts Specials, Extras, Vans RV’s, etc. He is also a member of the Yak Aerobatic Team YAKSTARS formed by three Yak 52’s. Fernando has logged over 15,000 flight hours, with more than 2,000 in formation aerobatics and low level aerobatic flying. In 2014, he took part in the inaugural ARC - Air Race Championship in Cascais, Portugal, where he raced a colorful Yak 52 to a third place finish in the Vintage Class. In 2016 Fernando will be racing in a Yak 52 affectionately known as "The Golden Yak".
15 000 Hours | Yak-52
Miguel currently flies as a long haul Captain on the Airbus A330/340 for Iberia Airlines. With over 15,000 flying hours on several Airbus types including the A300, A320, A330 and A340, he is also a Type Rating Examiner (TRE) on the A330/340. Miguel is an accomplished airshow and aerobatic pilot, with participations in several aerobatic competitions having achieved some top positions. The most relevant one was in 2007 during the Evora championship. Miguel also enjoys formation flying and is a member of the "Asociación Jacob 52", the house of the famous "Jacob 52 Aerobatic Team". Passionate for vintage aircraft, Miguel is a member of the "Infante de Orleans" Foundation, a flying museum at Madrid - Cuatro Vientos, where he enjoys flying the Polikarpov Po-2, a soviet biplane rebuilt in 1956. In his spare time Miguel enjoys practicing martial arts (Karate/Kendo/Iaido) and water skiing.
7000 Hours | Yak-52
From Madrid, Nacho Pozo, has logged over 7,000 flying hours. At the young age of 12, Nacho he had the incredible privilege fly with Felipe Aresti in an old Bucker Jungman. After so many years, he can still feel the emotion of his first looping on that memorable day. At the age of 18 Nacho joined the Spanish Air Force Academy and was a graduate of the 40th Promotion. After receiving his pilot wings, Nacho became an operational fighter pilot, flying the French made Dassault Mirage F-1 for 10 years. During this period Nacho logged 1,500 hours in the 462 and 141 Squadrons in what he considers the best part of his life: High g forces environment, flying faster than twice the speed of sound on test flights, air to ground low and fast (600KIAS) missions, air refueling, air combat and great comradery. He graduated from the Tactical Leadership Program and was flying instructor in the Mirage F-1, CASA C-101 and Tamiz. Nacho has also flown F-18, F-4 Phantom, F-5, A-37, Pucara, PC-7, T-34 Mentor, Bonanza with total of 2.100 hours in the Air Force. After being promoted to Major, Nacho left the Air Force and joined the Business Jets Arena flying as captain of a Citation Jet, Citation V, Falcon 20, Falcon 900, Bombardier Global Express, Global 5000 and Global 6000. He has also been involved in several management positions such as Deputy Flight Operations Manager, Flight Safety Manager, Human Factors Expert and Crew Resort Management Instructor (CRMI). At the moment he is Bombardier Global 6000 Captain/TRI for MJet. Nacho is also a member of the Spanish Jacob 52 Aerobatic Team enjoying formation flying and teaching on his Yak 52. Nacho is a rookie in the ARC - Air Race Championship expecting to have fun in this new challenge. Aviation for him means: Passion, freedom, action, effort, challenge, courage, perfection, control, power, no limits, taking decisions..... a dream come true. Friend to his friends. Nacho loves a nice siesta and good chat.
1100 Hours | Yak-52
From Madrid, Patrick, loves everything airborne. Since his childhood that he wanted to be a pilot, making his dream come true in 1996 when he obtained his private SE and ME pilot’s license. For the last 20 years Patrick has tried to acquire as much experience as possible, flying many airplanes like C150, C172, C177RG, C182, C210 Centurion, Beechcraft SR24, Beechcraft Bonanza 33, DA20, DA40, RV7, Piper Arrow, Piper Warrior, Piper Seneca, Piper Aztec, Citation II, Citation V, Yak 52, Extra 300, Extra 330, etc. In 2004 Patrick became addicted to the aerobatic world when he acquired a Yak 52. He then joined the "Asociación Jacob 52" and since then he has been developing his aerobatic skills and was introduced to the fantastic world of formation aerobatics. At the moment Patrick is a full member of the Jacob 52 Aerobatic Team, a formation team formed by 5 Yak 52’s. For many years this team was exclusively flown by former military pilots, but at the moment two non-military pilots fly with the team and Patrick is proud to be one of them. Patrick is also a member of the Repsol Bravo 3 Aerobatic Team, equipped with two Sukhois, working on the team’s technical side. During his flying career Patrick accumulated over 1,100 flight hours, with more than 400 in aerobatic flying. In 2014 Patrick took part in the inaugural 2014 air race in Cascais, Portugal, racing a Yak 52. Patrick was very enthusiastic with his participation in 2014 and is looking forward to racing again in 2016.
20 000 Hours | Yak-52
From Lisbon, Portugal, Pedro has 34 years of flying experience and accumulated over 20,000 flight hours in 128 different aircraft types. Pedro started his flying career in 1982 when he joined the Air Force. He´s first flying experience was with the DHC-1 Chipmunk, followed by the Cessna T-37 and Lockheed T-33. Pedro was assigned as a fighter pilot to the 303 Squadron “Tigres” at Lajes Azores, flying the FIAT G-91. In 1987, Pedro ended his exciting tour in the Air Force and joined TAP Portugal as an airline pilot. Ever since, Pedro has enjoyed a successful career and currently flies an Airbus 330/340 as Captain. Throughout the years he was also type rated on the Boeing B727, Lockheed L1011, Airbus A310 and Airbus A319/320/321. Flying is in his blood, so in his spare times Pedro enjoys flying everything airborne, including several classical and historical airplanes like the Boeing Stearman and Chipmunk. Pedro is also current in many auto-gyros, motorgliders, ultralights, delta-wings, etc, and is an accomplished and dedicated aircraft builder, having completed two airplanes, a Rans S-10 and a Bradley Avenger. He is also an enthusiastic member of the Yak Aerobatic Team YAKSTARS formed by three Yak 52’s. For 10 years, Pedro was also a synthetic simulator instructor FNPT-II in the GAir flying school in Cascais teaching Multi-crew coordination course (MCC) to rookie ATPL pilots. In 2016 ARC - Air Race Championship Pedro will race in the Vintage Class and is very excited with his new challenge. Pedro is the father of a son and two daughters as well as a very proud grandfather of three lovely kids.
7500 Hours | Yak-52
Peter is the only Swiss Sport Class Air Race Pilot in Reno, USA, where he flies a Thunder Mustang, which is a replica of the world famous North American P51 Mustang. Peter enjoyed success air racing in his first year at Reno, placing 3rd in the Sports Gold Class in 2014. In the ARC - Air Race Championship, Peter will fly in the Vintage class with a Yak 52. Peter’s love for flying began with paragliding and skydiving but quickly grew to flying aircrafts. Peter holds a ATPL pilot’s license for both airplanes and helicopters. His experience includes flying business jets, mountain flying in the Himalayas of Nepal and helicopter rescue in the Swiss Alps. He is a Certified Flight Instructor (FI) as well as a Flight Examiner (FE). Peter loves the challenge of flying, though his main concern and priority is always on safety and friendship. Before Peter started flying, he worked as a professional mountain guide, climbing many of the biggest north faces of the Alps, such as the Eiger, Matterhorn and Grande Jorasse. Peter also did multiple expeditions in the Himalayas and Andes. Peter is now managing his companies Scenic Air, Skydive Switzerland, MX Management and Share Plane, which are all based in Interlaken, Switzerland.
1050 Hours | Yak-52
Andrew, from USA, grew up flying in the backcountry of Idaho and loves to share aviation with friends and family. He has raced his entire life, downhill skiing, snowmobiles, motorcycles and air racing. He has raced in Reno for the last three years in the Sport Gold class flying over 350mph each year in his twin turbo Lancair Super Legacy. He won rookie of the year in 2013, the Airmanship award in 2014 and finished 3rd in 2015. His best lap speed was 370mph. His educational background includes a BSME, a MSME, a MBA, and has flown 33 different types of aircraft. He has a background in engine development at BRP (Evinrude) and currently works for STIHL Inc.