A LOCAL pilot has become the first Brit to win a gold medal in a European aerobatics competition.
Gerald Cooper, who is the managing director of Wickenby Aerodrome, beat 21 of the continent’s best aerobatic pilots to win gold at the European Freestyle Aerobatic Championship in Slovakia.
The air display and competition pilot is the first to win a gold medal in unlimited aerobatics in the history of the sport.
Gerald performed a combination of high-speed, animated gyroscopic figures that seemingly defy the laws of physics and aerodynamics.
His new aircraft, XtremeAir XA41, has a power to weight ratio which is comparable to a Formula One race car.
Gerald said: “For me, this award is recognition of all the hard work on engineering, management and development by the fantastic team we have here at One Sky Aviation at Wickenby Aerodrome without whom competing – and winning – would not be possible.”
The pilot is currently ranked as seventh in the world for competition aerobatics and has been the British Aerobatic Champion at Unlimited level for the past three years.
He has displayed at a number of air shows and private events across the UK and Europe this summer and also features in TV documentaries worldwide.
In his spare time Gerald provides training and coaching at Wickenby Aerodrome for the British Advanced Aerobatic Team as well as many individual pilots looking to progress in aerobatics.