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Grant Timms – A lover of the classics

Grant was introduced to aviation at an early age, as his father worked for an aviation company. His passion grew by building plastic model aircraft with his father, and later flying his own designed line-control aircraft.

Growing up in Valhalla, many aircraft used to fly over his house and soon Grant got to know every make and model off by heart, astounding his three other siblings. Later he and his brother became junior guides at the age of 14 to 18 for the museum at Swartkops.

At the age of seven, Grant had his first flight in a Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, and then on his 11th birthday, Neil Thomas took Grant for his first aerobatic flight in a Harvard. This cemented his love for flying and displaying classic vintage aircraft.

Grant started to fly at the age of 15, flying a C150 at Defence Flying Club, Swartkops, and receiving his PPL at the age of 17. He self-funded many of his flying hours doing menial jobs for neighbours and at the airport, like cleaning aircraft.

The late Martin van Straten introduced Grant to jet aircraft, inviting Grant to fly in sorties and partake in ferrying the L-29 during the days of the Sasol Tigers. He involved himself in air shows, volunteering his time, and often getting rewarded with flying time. He was often asked if he would ferry aircraft and built up his time in these types of aircraft, like the Pitts Special.

Currently, he is a ferry pilot for The Flying Lions Acrobatic Team, flying Harvards, a display pilot for the Classic Flying Collection in the de Havilland Chipmunk and de Havilland Tiger Moth, and also an aerobatic display pilot for Hangar 51 in both the L29 Delfin and the Yak52.

Grant was also operational manager at Mango Airlines for 14 years, as well as five years with Global Aviation.

Like many pilots, Grant owns his own aircraft, presently rebuilding a 1944 Aeronca Champion he bought from a friend.

The 37 year-old aviator is getting to be well-known, flying for Hangar 51, and recently partaking in the Rand Airshow and AAD 2022 at Waterkloof.

To date, Grant is a PPL, and has done around 2700 flying hours, flying an incredible selection of aircraft.

Besides his family, his first love is still classic warbirds.




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