Aerobatic Pilot & Red Bull Athlete Patrick ‘Pat ‘ Davidsion claimed first prize at the SA Sport Aerobatics Club Nationals hosted at the Phalaborwa Airport from the 18th to 21st August to become the 2021 South African Unlimited Aerobatic Champion. A total of 37 pilots took part in the Nationals across different classes which were presided over by 7 judges, 4 of which were international judges.
” I’m super chuffed! It’s difficult to explain, when you land and you don’t remember what has just happened in the flight, that generally means you had a good one, that you were in the zone – I was just very very lucky that it was my weekend and I got to win it” said Davidson on his performance.
Davidson flew in the competition in his 2 seater Gamebird GB1 plane & secured honors in both the Unlimited Class (1st) and the Freestyle Class (2nd). Speaking on the Unlimited class said “There’s quite a few restrictions with regards to Unlimited, the physical capability, the mental capacity to handle it and obviously the aeroplane as well – the aircraft makes a big difference, not all aircraft can do the Unlimited sequences. There’s a lot potential guys coming through the ranks, which is great to see”.
- Patrick Davidson had his first taste of aerobatic success winning his first aerobatic contest with a safety pilot at the age of twelve. He continued flying aerobatics in a Yak52 until he was able to do his license in a T6 Harvard. He competed solo for the first time on his 17th birthday and by 25 years of age, became South Africa’s youngest aerobatic champion, securing a spot in his first FAI World Aerobatic Championship.
- Since then, Davidson has taken a number of national aerobatic titles, winning both the SA Advanced Championship four times and the Unlimited title four times. He has achieved three top ten finishes at the Advanced World Level, including a third overall. He was second at the Sky GP in 2014, and won the Sky GP World title in 2016. He came fourth in his first unknown at the 2017 WAC (Unlimited) with a 13th place overall, and was twice named Aero Club South Africa’s pilot of the year, further earning the organisation’s award for most meritorious feat of 2018.
- In 2018, Davidson began his Red Bull Air Race career in the World Championship’s feeder category, the Challenger Class. As a newcomer to the Red Bull Air Race, Davidson claimed his first qualifying win and second place podium finish in only his third race in Kazan, Russia. He subsequently captured another pole and third place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – all promising results for a first-year competitor.
- In 2019 Davidson achieved a podium in Russia and Hungary.
Patrick not just competes around the world but also has a passion for sharing his flying knowledge and attends various training camps assisting pilots and growing the sport of aerobatics.
- Patrick is currently preparing for the 2022 air race circuit where he will be 1 of 12 pilots selected to compete in the 2022 World Championship Airrace.