Our lead pilots are an important part of what makes our air safaris so incredible. With decades of flying experience, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. They are also knowledgeable in-air guides who take pride in showing you their home country. Your only job is to enjoy your unforgettable air safari experience – let our lead pilots take care of the rest!
Marilyn Anderson (Australia)
Marilyn has been flying since 1992 and has logged over xx hours in that time, which includes being a competitive aerobatic pilot flying a Pitts Special.
She is currently working full time with Dick Smith, a well-known Australian entrepreneur where she does flight planning for all his trips, including international flights to Africa, the South Pacific and around-the-world trips.
Downs Aero Club and with CASA, the Australian aviation regulator, where she assisted Dick Smith during his tenure as Chairman of CASA,. At that time she also worked with the General Aviation Task Force set up to review emerging regulations.
When not flying she rides her Irish Sport Horses.
Ian Clarke (Europe)
Ian started his flying career as a glider pilot, soloing after 20 launches in his teens. After an extended break from flying, he returned to get his powered aircraft PPL and CPL certificates from both the FAA and EASA. Additionally he completed MCC training in the UK.
Currently Ian spends most of his time teaching pilots to be instructors for SEP, MEP and IR.
He has over 6,000 hours primarily in Europe, but his flying experience includes a trans-Atlantic ferry trip, IFR training and travelling in the USA and Northern Africa.
Mike Brooker (Canada)
Mike’s first memories of flying were sitting on his father’s lap in a Beech 18 working on his straight and level skills. He too has been flying his whole life and earned his PPL over 40 years ago. Although initial plans to become a commercial airline pilot didn’t materialize, due to the needs of the family business, Mike has earned his CPL, ME, IFR and Night ratings.
Since his retirement from the business world, he has enjoyed getting back into regular flying with the purchase of his Beech 36TC in 2004 and has flown throughout North America and Mexico.
Mike also has a unique perspective in that he was an Air Safaris International customer, having toured with us on the May 2007 Outback & Reef tour in Australia.
A.J. (Jack) Thompson (Australia)
Jack has logged more than 21,000 hours and has flown into every continent and over every ocean. He earned his wings on tiger moths, chipmunks and C-150’s at the Darling Downs Aero Club in the 1960s before moving on to the “big birds.” He worked as a commercial pilot, and later as a training pilot, for Trans Australia Airlines from 1964 to 1989, and later flew for 12 years with an aircraft leasing company based in Hong Kong. Over his career he’s flown many different types of aircraft from single-engines to B767s.
Jack retired from the airlines in 2001 and settled in Toowoomba. He now flies numerous light aircraft on a casual basis as a charter pilot.