The life and times of Ivan van der Schaar

The life and times of Ivan van der Schaar

Ivan started by washing aircraft and today he is an Airline Pilot and has his very own aircraft training school.

Ivan was Born February 1979 and as a teenager Ivan and his friend, Zak du Plessis, used to ride his bicycle to the local Nelspruit Airfield where he washed Aircraft in exchange for one hour flight training a month to obtain an PPL. About two years later Leon van Kraayeburg spotted Ivan’s potential and his passion for flying. Ivan then sold his Business to pay for his CPL and ATPL, today he is a Captain on BA-ComAir.

Ivan with Mark Rochat

Ivan and his Son, Jeandre

Ivan and his son, Jeandre, are also radio controlled aircraft pilots and Jeandre is showing a keen interest to follow in dad’s footsteps.

Early 2014, Ivan also started an aerobatic flight school, giving opportunity to those that want to enter the world of aerobatics or those simple wanting to give it a try! For more information on this contact them at

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American Flying Classics and Accommodation

American Flying Classics and Accommodation

American Flying Classics and Accommodation

Ivan and Sonica now also runs “American Flying Classics and Accommodation” at Brakpan airfield.
The guesthouse has a few self-catering rooms that is perfect for the aviation lover, trainee pilots or the businessman needing to fly into the area to do business, limited hangar space is also available.
Photos below by :André Venter

Also see: The Show must go on with Ivan and other pilots giving him a haling hand at Newcastle airshow 2017! Read more…

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Now, Read Ivan’s very own Aviation Love story

9th of February 1979 was a glorious day for me as this was the day I was born. I grew up in the picturesque Nelspruit and spent most of my youth enjoying the outdoor life only the Lowveld could provide.
My dad used to be a flight instructor at the Lowveld Aero club but by this time other business ventures had unfortunately steered him away from aviation and thus I had not had much access to aviation any longer until one day….
I bumped into Mark Jackson and he invited me to come fly with him. This was a life changing day. I was 11 years old and the dormant disease of Aviation which was hiding inside me woke up abruptly and decided to not let go… That day the decision was made. I will fly!!! No matter what. A decision I am thrilled about till today!
After my flight with Mark I approached him for a holiday job in his AMO. He agreed and there I was in a wonderland. Amongst aircraft and even got to go for a ride every now and then. This was incredible.
Life carried on and it was not long until I was approached by the Lowveld Aero club Chairman at the time, Jeremy Greef,  to keep club aircraft squeaky clean for one flying hour a month. My mate and I,  Zak du Plessis,  jumped at the opportunity.
We both soloed on our 17th birthdays. Zak a month ahead of me. PPL were obtained a couple of months later. I soon joined Leoair Flight Academy with the late Leon van Kraayenburg.
After completing school I obtained my Commercial Pilots license via Leoair flight centre and Danie Terblanche. Here I was flying charters on the C310 and Bonanza. It was incredible to be paid for what I loved doing but I needed to go upside down. Nelspruit did not offer too much in this line at the time.
Nelair charters approached me in 2000 to open and manage a flight school under their license. I snapped the opportunity up and managed Nelair flight academy whilst flying charters in between. Many small twins like Chieftains and Senecas were flown, but what stood out for me at this stage was the Gulfstream I Learjet, Kingair and my all-time favourite, the DC3.
Flying these aircraft presented the opportunity to move to Johannesburg where I met Sonica and subsequently got married.

BA-Comair B737

I heard about an opportunity to join Aquarius Contracts. In 2007 I became a Captain on the Fokker F28. This was not long lived, as I joined Comair Limited in 2008 as First Officer on the B737-200/300/400 and 800 series. Today I am still with Comair Limited as Captain on the Boeing 737-400 and 800 series aircraft, operating local British Airways and Kulula routes.

In 2012. The wreckage of a Boeing Stearman was acquired and so American Flying Classics was born. The Pitts joined a year later.
Both aircraft are seen around the country on the airshow circuit. When I am not at Airshows or flying the airline,  I enjoy instructing mainly in aerobatics or tailwheel flying, using whatever aircraft presents themselves, based at the Brakpan airfield.”

Random Photos of Ivan and his Aircraft

Photo: André Venter

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In the Man’s hanger, Photo from Ivan’s Facebook page.

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Photo from Ivan’s Facebook page.

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