Name: Nigel Hardwick (Callsign: 'Krazee')
Time Flying in DCS: Approximately 2.5 years
Preferred Aircraft: F/A18-C Hornet, AV-8B Night Attack, A-10C Warthog
Reason for applying: DCS is my outlet to fulfil my passion of being a military pilot, albeit simulation. I haven’t done many bombing missions or done much dog fighting yet. Spotting is something I seriously need help with. I’ve been concentrating on flight mainly, with navigation and air to air refuelling. It’s no good going on bombing runs or engaging other aircraft if you can’t handle the plane or find your way to the target area, right? Although I have all modules, I haven’t flown everything yet. I started with the Warthog initially, and then I joined the 229th to get some Huey experience. There is no doubt that joining a squadron helps immensely. Then, with the help of 104th Maverick’s videos, which are excellent, I took on the Harrier. Since the Hornet was released into early access, I have been concentrating on learning to handle its flight characteristics. Case I and now Case III offer new challenges but I’m getting there. Although DCS is a hobby, I get disappointed if I don’t bring the aircraft home so recovery, with my aircraft intact, is something I strive to achieve during every flight and I practice hard to achieve this. At the very least, ejecting so that I stay alive is a key goal for me because always in the back of my mind a voice is saying, “What if this was real?” That’s what I love about DCS, the immersion is intense.
Of course I want to be the best I can be and I believe the 104th can help me achieve that goal. I’ve learned a lot from 104th members YouTube channels and I hope to be able to offer help myself in a similar way. Even to be a trainer in some form would be an honour but until that time, there is no ego, I listen, I learn, I practice, I achieve. I try to fly everyday but it’s not always possible. After nursing my dad until he passed away, I am now caring for my mother and since the heart attack last year, I am trying to attain a level of fitness that will see me enjoying a few more years. Saying that, I mostly get online in the evenings GMT (while mum is watching soaps), for a good three or four hours at a time Monday to Friday and sometimes well into the early mornings (I am a night owl).
Given the opportunity, I know I can be a valuable asset to the 104th; during the year’s cadet training I will give my undivided attention and strive to be ‘the best of the best, with honours’ with 110% and in the years beyond, I will be an ambassador, following in the footsteps of the giants of the 104th but always with Honour, Excellence and Integrity! I believe as a pilot, I am not the best I can be yet but with some guidance, I will be. As far as armaments are concerned I am a relatively blank canvas so shape me as you see fit and I will do you proud.
Background: Since the day my father took me to my first air-show back in 60’s, I’ve had a fascination for flight, whether it be building and collecting models, going for my PPL or extending the fascination with flight simulation. Dad was in the RAF and so it was always expected that I might follow suit. In 1982 (during the Falklands War), I applied for the Royal Marines but my application was rejected due to detection of eyesight anomalies. I was gutted. In 1983, I qualified as an Electronics Engineer so I applied for the Royal Air Force. With the knowledge I gained as an Electronics Engineer and my love for flight and simulation, the ideal job for me was Synthetic Trainer. To work on the trainer simulation domes would have been my dream career. Alas, I didn’t make the cut and so dealing with two military rejections, I re-considered my options. It seemed like the odds for joining the military was against me; I certainly wasn’t going to be a military pilot.
So I continued with flight simulation until the 90’s, when I was fortunate to land employment that payed handsomely so I took lessons for my PPL. Again, misfortune hit and I had to give up the lessons just before my solo flight. Although I have had a few disappointments in real life, I was always able to go back to my trusty flight simulation.
After an unplanned hiatus in the noughties, I re-discovered flight simulation in the form of DCS World and I could instantly see the potential for the biggest military flight simulator to date. There are still a few things I would love to see introduced into DCS, like female characters and pilots and I do hope that someday we will see interconnection of all maps so that you can fly from one area to the next, whether this is via multiple networking computers or bigger maps on multiple SSDs. Maybe after the planned Syria map, we will see Iraq and Kuwait to join up to the Persian Gulf map. Here's hoping.