EDUCATION – Beau was schooled at Howick Primary School, Halfway House Primary School and Lyttelton Manor High School up to grade 9. After a family move to Durban in 1995 he completed his schooling at Westville Boys High School.
CAREER – Beau joined the Air Force in May 1999. In 2000 he began his Pilot’s Course at the Central Flying School in Langebaanweg and received his wings two years later on 6 December 2001. He was awarded trophies for obtaining the highest overall percentage for the theoretical phase of the course, as well the highest overall percentage for the Pilot’s Course. Beau was streamed for the Helicopter Line and began his Rotary Wing Conversion Course at 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein in January 2002. On completion of the course in August 2002 he was awarded trophies for obtaining the highest percentage for the theoretical and flying phases of the course, as well as the overall highest percentage for the course. As a qualified Oryx Co-pilot, Beau was posted to 15 Squadron in Durban where he completed a Co-pilot tour on the Oryx and Command tours on the BK-117 and the Oryx. In the 7 years spent in Durban he served under Lt Col Graeme Barr, Chris Opperman and Alec Kitley, and was fortunate to have been deployed on many operations in and around Southern Africa. Countries he visited include Uganda, the DRC, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Madagascar, the Camoros Islands and Burundi. In January 2009 Beau was posted back to the Flying School and completed his Instructors Course in October 2009, receiving trophies for highest percentages overall, flying and theoretical as well the Patter (instruction) trophy. Beau has 2200 military flying hours, 1600 of which are on helicopters. He was selected for the Silver Falcons in August 2010 and has flown 15 shows to date.
BACKGROUND – Beau married his high school sweetheart Michelle in September 2002. They have 2 beautiful daughters, Madison (3) and Danica (18 months). Beau considers his family to be the highest priority in his life but where possible enjoys riding his dirt bike and trying to learn the guitar.
GOOD TO KNOW – Beau’s unusual name and surname are both courtesy of his grandfather, who he was named after. The late Beau
Skarda (snr) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and represented his county at Football. He escaped to Britain at the outbreak of WWII, where hejoined the RAF.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS – Beau counts his whole career thus far as a highlight. “To be able to live your dream is the ultimate highlight. I have been blessed with so many awesome experiences, especially in the helicopter line,” he says of his 12 years in the Air Force. He counts the sense of accomplishment and pride gained from “leading a competent crew, on the best equipment in the world, to save a human life”, as the most rewarding career experience. “Being selected for the Silver Falcons marks the realisation of a childhood dream and I’m sure there will be many more highlights to follow”.
AIRCRAFT FLOWN – Pilatus Astra, PC-7 Mkll, Alouette Ill, BK-117, EC-120 , Oryx.
DID YOU KNOW? Beau completed the Comrades Marathon in 2000 alongside good friend and pilots course colleague Nico Frylinck, whom he replaced as the soloist for the team. This ensured that the No. 5 spot (since the team has flown Astras) has always been occupied by a helicopter pilot!