FITA film crew was at the recent Flying Show at Birmingham’s NEC. We were invited by Swift Aircraft .As we wondered the hall, we bumped into Jez Hopkinson, lead pilot of the Yakovlevs display team. They have entertained some 35,000,000 people around the world.

Jez Hopkinson MRAeS, is the owner of the Yakovlevs Display Team and has lead the team for over 12 years. He bought his first Yak 52 in 1995 and with a couple of friends founded the European Yak Club, which quickly grew to include hundreds of members from all over Europe. He first set up the Yakovlevs display team in 1998, after buying a Yak 50. He says the Yakovlevs was a natural next step to take. Jez is also an CAA/JAR Examiner and has his own aerobatic flying school since 1995; now he is very involved with the Air Display world on a formal basis, checking show pilots competency as part of his role as a Display Authorisation Evaluator.

When he is not busy examining or running the team, he likes to spend his free time skydiving, snow skiing and scuba diving, but his real passion is actually cooking, with a glass of good wine in his hand. He has been known to dabble in Russian wine making. Jez sits as a member of GASCo, the General Aviation Safety Council and in April 2010, he was elected as a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

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He’s supported by Bigatmo sunglasses amongst others

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