Team Xtreme Pilots

Mark Sampson

  • Date of birth: 24 July 1968
  • Team Position: #2 Wingman, Team Media
  • Day Job: Captain B744 / B748F Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong)
  • Total Flying hours: 11,500
  • Number of aircraft rated on: 23 Airplanes & 6 Helicopters
  • Age when he started flying: 20
  • Flying achievements: Advanced World Aerobatics 2010 Poland - 11th place overall, silver medal for Team South Africa. Represented South Africa at Unlimited World Aerobatics 2011 in Italy. Captain on Boeing 747.

Mark Sampson, also known as 'Sammy', grew up in Cape Town, attended boarding school at St Andrew's college in Grahamstown, and A-Levels at Radley college in the UK. His flying career started with a PPL in 1990 before joining the South African Airforce (SAAF) in 1993 where he trained on the Harvard T6 and flew helicopters for 22 Squadron in Cape Town. He joined the Airlines in 1997 to fly the DC9 & MD80 for Sun Air, followed by B737-200 for Nationwide. In 2001 he moved to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific where he has flown the B744 & B777 as First Officer, and is now a Captain on B747-400 and B747-8F.

Mark joined Team Xtreme in 2014 flying the XtremeAir XA42 in China. After buying his own XtremeAir XA41 aircraft the South African Team took shape and is now a regular 4-ship display at South African Airshows. Mark says, "Formation Aerobatics is the ultimate challenge of teamwork, precision flying and aerobatics. It is hugely satisfying and provides great entertainment and inspiration to spectators at airshows.

When not flying aerobatics Mark enjoys helicopter flying and kite surfing at home in Cape Town!

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