President's Report

Mike Heuer 2CIVA President Mike Heuer

As we finish the 2011 contest season with our plenary meeting in Krakow, Poland in November, I can report to you another excellent year of FAI Aerobatic Championships.

A successful and safe calendar of aerobatic competitions was possible due to the hard and dedicated work of our corps of volunteers. This includes not only the local people who help organize and run our contests, but the cadre of volunteers who work for CIVA year after year. They can be found on the Jury, in the Scoring Office, on the Boards of Judges, on Technical Commissions, and throughout the contest site.

2011 was a special challenge for the CIVA aerobatic community, as four FAI Aerobatic Championships were held this year and this causes considerable strain on our rather small group of FAI International Officials. Fortunately two of those events were held at the same time and at the same contest site (the FAI World Glider Aerobatic Championships in Torun, Poland) making it easier for officials to participate and the events more financially viable for organizers.

As some competition categories shrink and others grow, combining events might be possible in other Championships as well.

FAI Aerobatic Championships

In 2011, the following events were held:

  • 2nd World Advanced Glider Aerobatic Championships (WAGAC); Torun, Poland
  • 14th World Glider Aerobatic Championships (WGAC); Torun, Poland
  • 26th World Aerobatic Championships (WAC); Foligno, Italy
  • 7th European Advanced Aerobatic Championships (EAAC); Dubnica nad Váhom, Slovak Republic

There were two “special events” sanctioned by FAI in 2011:

  • Desert Challenge; Al Ain, UAE
  • Riga FAI Elite Aerobatic Formula; Riga, Latvia

Here are the details:






26 July – 7 August 2011

Torun, Poland



26 July – 7 August 2011

Torun, Poland



31 August – 12 September 2011

Foligno, Italy



12 – 21 August 2011

Dubnica, Slovakia





Total Competitors









We are seeing decreases in Power Unlimited and Glider Unlimited. WAC in 2009 had 60 pilots and this year 47. WGAC had 34 pilots in 2009 and 23 this year.

Advanced has continued to grow with it now being the largest Championships we have (single category) with last year’s World Advanced Aerobatic Championships (WAAC) being one of the largest FAI Championships ever held. Glider Advanced has also grown. There were 31 Glider Advanced in 2010 and 36 this year. Thus, it falls to CIVA to continue to innovate and derive new categories of competition that are appealing to our constituencies. This is very important for our future.

The competitor numbers above do not include the “hors concours” (H/C) entries as these pilots were not entered by their NAC.

New Continental and World Champions

Mamistov-1Mikhail MamistovThe new World Aerobatic Champion (Unlimited Power) is Mikhail Mamistov of Russia. Mikhail flew the Sukhoi SU-26 in Foligno to capture the world title.

Svetlana Kapanina 2nd prize Womens 29.8.09Svetlana KapaninaWomen’s World Aerobatic Champion is Svetlana Kapanina of Russia. Svetlana has won this championship more times than any other pilot in aerobatic history. 

Team Champions at WAC were: (1) Russia, (2) France, and (3) USA.

World Glider Aerobatic Champion (Advanced) is Benoit Merieau (no photo available) of France flying the Swift S-1.

Jerzy MakulaJerzy MakulaWorld Glider Aerobatic Champion (Unlimited) is Jerzy Makula of Poland flying the MDM-1 Fox. Jerzy has captured this title on several occasions and like Svetlana Kapanina, is one of the finest aerobatic pilots of all time.

Simon FickSimon FickEuropean Advanced Aerobatic Champion is Simon Fick of France flying the CAP 232.

Details on contest results can be found at www.civa-results.com.

Our congratulations to all the individual winners and the Teams. I also congratulate the trainers who did such a fine job of preparing their Team pilots for these Championships and I am pleased FAI is also able to present Medals to them as well.

Coaches like Coco Bessiere and Victor Smolin have been training pilots for a very long time and deserve a great deal of recognition for recruiting new talent and developing their skills. I am also delighted to see so many young pilots winning our Championships and a new generation of pilots coming up through the ranks. Coco and Victor have both been recognized by FAI in the past for their accomplishments with Coco receiving the Leon Biancotto Diploma this year and Victor the FAI Gold Medal a few years ago in Rhodes.

Contest Software and Judging Analysis

This year, only one contest scoring program was in use. ACRO was approved by the Bureau of CIVA for use at FAI Championships in 2008 and was used at all 2011 FAI Aerobatic Championships. Its judging analysis is robust and useful. The overall judging analysis reports for this year’s competitions can be found in the Agenda Packages which are posted here on this website. Each Judge is given a Rank Index (RI) number for each flight. Basically, this shows how that Judge performed in ranking the pilots in relation to the rest of the panel of Judges.

We now have an excellent scoring program in place and the best judging analysis tools we have ever had. This will be of enormous help to us in the future in two areas:

  • Selection of Judges for Championships.
  • Judging training, education, and feedback.

The contest data files (*.ctf format) can be found here:


After downloading the .ctf file for any competition, you can then look at the judging analysis reports. Overall reports are available as well as those broken down by Judge. This data is in the public domain in the interest of openness and transparency, since in my view, pilots and team managers are entitled to all contest data from FAI Championships. By being open with this information, inaccurate rumors about the judging will be squelched and the Teams and pilots fully aware of the performance of the Board of Judges.

Along these lines, it is interesting to note that protests are now rarely received on judging. This is a credit to John Gaillard and the members of the Judging Sub-Committee (JSC) who have worked hard to improve our judges’ performance. ACRO provides the judging analysis they need to resolve problems, identify trends, and to provide feedback to Judges and it is working very well.

Judge Selection

Judge selection for the 2012 season will begin shortly after the plenary as all Rank Index (RI) data is now on hand. The Chairman of the Judging Sub-Committee (JSC) will initiate the invitations based on the Ranking List that he prepares based on the RI data. Judges on the FAI International List of Aerobatic Judges will also be encouraged to submit applications as well.  

The details of how to become a Judge, how Judges are selected, and what is expected of them as well as what CIVA pays for (Travel Allowances and organizer support) will be included in a future CIVA document.

The Chairman of the JSC should be contacted if you have any questions about the CIVA judges program. National CIVA Delegates should also be contacted if you wish to apply to be a Judge on the FAI List.

Contest Results

Results for the 2011 FAI Aerobatic Championships can be found at www.civa-results.com.


This website was created in 2008 in order to host the results as well as the contest data files for these Championships. There are links provided so you can download ACRO and the contest data files. It is all open and transparent.

The site will continue to serve as an archive for contest results forever. These “results” pages are much more complete than the “Results” pages which we offer on the CIVA website. For example, it is possible to view an individual pilot’s score sheets and other information on this website such as collections of Free Programmes and past Unknowns.


Results from past Championships are now available on our new CIVA website as well, after an absence of over three years. In order to find these results, you can do a search at the following: http://www.fai.org/civa-events/civa-events-calendar-and-results. I am delighted to see these results available once again to the air sports community.

CIVA Website

Early this year, FAI experienced a crash of its servers and lost parts of its websites, including CIVA’s. An update had been planned but the crash occurred before it could be implemented. The crash has caused an enormous amount of work on the part of FAI staff and hampered the abilities of some of the FAI Air Sports Commissions to carry out their work.

After months of work, the new websites are now on line, though the work is still in progress in giving them the look, feel, and utility we hope to see.

The President of CIVA will be working with the FAI Communications Manager, Faustine Carrera, in the months ahead to “fine tune” the website. Faustine has been very helpful and cooperative with me since she came on staff and is very skilled with “new media”.

Judges Seminars

Early in the year, the Judging Sub-Committee (JSC) decided to conduct “Judges Seminars” prior to each of our Championships this year. These seminars would be more detailed and lengthier than “briefings” held in the past that are required by our rules. The seminars were to be conducted by the Chief Judges.


This program would require additional expenditure for hotel rooms for Judges and Assistants, who would be expected to arrive earlier at Championships. Transport, meals, and “warm-up pilots” were required as well.

The Chief Judges have reported on these Seminars in their reports to plenary which can be found on this website (www.fai.org/civa-documents) under “Meetings” and “2011 – Krakow”. However, it should be pointed out that this program would not have been possible without the financial support of FAI.

In 2007, the FAI President granted CIVA $10,000 to use for Judges’ education and development. Some of those funds were used to present a seminar at the WAC in Silverstone in 2009. However, more money was required and beyond what CIVA could afford from its own account.

Therefore, I initiated a request to the FAI Executive Board, through the Secretary General, to withdraw funds in support of this program from the World Grand Prix of Aerobatics (WGPA) Reserve Fund that FAI has held for some time. This fund was created using Sanction Fees from WGPA events that were organized by Jean-Louis Monnet. Those events are now defunct but the fund still existed in the amount of about 90,000 CHF early this year.

In the end, the FAI Executive Board agreed to fund the Judging Seminar program in the amount of 10,700€. My thanks to the FAI for their support and I hope we can continue these programs in the future if they prove to be useful and worth the considerable investment.

This year’s budget for the program was prepared by John Gaillard and the total was 26,380€. Including the grant provided by FAI in 2007, a total of 15,700€ was provided by FAI.

My thanks to the Chief Judges who conducted the Seminars; John Gaillard, Chairman of the Judging Sub-Committee; and the contest organizers who offered their full cooperation in supporting these events.


Aresti9I have reported to CIVA in the past on our problems with trophies which have gone missing or been damaged. The trophies we award to the winners of various FAI Championships are some of FAI’s most prized and beautiful. The Aresti Cup has been awarded since 1964 and has traveled all over the world, with the attendant “wear and tear” on the trophy.

The Nesterov Trophy went missing in Paris about ten years ago but was later found in the French Federation’s storage room. The Manfred Stroessenreuther Trophy was lost in 2007 in Spain and has not been seen since.

Obviously, this is a situation we cannot tolerate. Beginning in 2009, I prepared and executed Letters of Agreements with the team managers/winners of FAI trophies. This agreement had to be signed before the trophy was taken home. While not a guarantee of proper treatment, at least the Agreement made it clear that the holder of the trophy was responsible for its care and transport to the next Championships.

For the Aresti Cup, however, I believe there is another solution and with the agreement of the Bureau, I took the initiative this year to change how the trophy will be handled. My goal has been to find a home for it in various aviation museums, on an “on loan” and rotating basis. FAI has always retained ownership of the Aresti Cup. Unfortunately, the FAI Secretary General did not agree earlier this year for the Cup to be displayed in Lausanne. Therefore, I had to make other plans.

I hope to have an announcement by the plenary regarding the disposition of the Aresti Cup. I am also pleased to announce that the Spanish Delegate, Jose Olias, has produced a beautiful replica of the Cup (in smaller size), complete with its own traveling case. This could be carried home by the winner after each Championships. I hope that Mr. Olias will have more news for us in Krakow.   He has also informed me additional replicas can be produced for 3,000€ each if CIVA decides to give each World Champion his own trophy to keep permanently. Perhaps some sponsor would come forward.

For now, the Aresti Cup is with the French Team (EVAA) in Salon de Provence, France and in their care.


Last year, I announced work that had been done on a new website proposal called “TechWatch” and I had hoped for CIVA to develop this idea. Due to various reasons, however, I took the decision to discontinue CIVA involvement with the project. The initiative had its origins in the USA and thanks to the work of Hubie Tolson and Steve Johnson of the IAC, a TechWatch website was produced and put on line and is now available to everyone around the world. The website’s address is:

www.allairplanesbreak.com or www.usnationalaerobatics.org/IACSafetyForum

Contributors of information are needed for the website to be useful.

While it is an American project for the time being, I would point out to everyone in the international aerobatic community that it is no longer 1972, with Americans flying Pitts Specials, Czechs flying Zlins, and Russians flying YAKs. The types we fly today are used by Teams from all over the world. Therefore, sharing of information on aircraft technical problems should be an international priority.

Please visit this website and offer some input.

Guidelines – Bidding for Championships

In order to receive bids for Championships much earlier and to insure those bids were of the quality that we need, I decided to write a “Guidelines for Bidding for FAI Aerobatic Championships” earlier this year. This document went through several drafts and I received some very good input from several people in CIVA as well as other Air Sports Commissions and FAI staff.

This document was then distributed to all CIVA Delegates and a date of 1 October 2011 set for the submission of bids for 2012 Championships and beyond.

This initiative turned out to be immensely successful. At this year’s plenary in Krakow, we will have four bids to consider for next year’s WAAC. Two bids have been received each for WAC 2013 and WGAC 2012 and of excellent quality. I am delighted with these results.

The “Guidelines” document is not a contest organization handbook. But it is meant for organizations and individuals who are preparing bids, so they are made well aware of the many details that go into the preparation and execution of an FAI Aerobatic Championships. With a document guiding bidders in their preparation, it is much more likely that higher quality and more comprehensive bids are received. This will result in even better Championships, a goal we all share.

Contact the CIVA President for a copy (civa-president@fai.org).

Special Events

I mentioned earlier in this report that two “Special Events” were sanctioned by FAI this year in Al Ain and Riga. My thanks to LG Arvidsson and Jurgis Kairys for their considerable work in putting these events together and convincing local organizations and people to support them.

CIVA will consider a new document at our plenary – the “FAI Sporting Code, Section 6, Part 4, FAI Elite Aerobatic Contests”.

Approval of this document is one of the beginning steps we must take to bring these events under the FAI umbrella with full sanction. Sanctioned events cannot run without rules.

Special Events and classical competitions will fit together well, with our classical events providing the platform for pilot selection for the Elite series. One cannot exist without the other.

Further, FAI contest officials, to include judges and liaison officers, will be selected by CIVA. Pilot selection will also involve CIVA Delegates, as it did with the Riga event this year. The regulations have been proven in “test events” we have held, but like all rules, they are open to change and improvement.

Remember that when CIVA first began in 1960, rules documents were just a few pages.  Since then, our regulations have developed into publications containing hundreds of pages and CIVA has done an excellent job of amending, revising, and improving these documents over the last 51 years.

We are at the beginning of the development of new types of FAI competitions and the rules will change as we gain experience. However, the Part 4 that will be presented to you CIVA Delegates in Krakow has been proven already in actual practice, and the feedback provided by people like Quintin Hawthorne and Alan Cassidy will improve them further.

We must work with FAI to create new events that will bring new interest to air sports and aerobatics and a future for the FAI and all of its various disciplines and activities.

A Personal Note

I regret that I was unable to be with many of you in Poland and Italy this year. However, on the 19th of July, my mother was diagnosed with untreatable cancer. She died on the 12th of September, the day I would normally have been returning from WAC. My time during those weeks was spent almost entirely with her and though it was a sad and difficult time for our family, I treasure those days.

I thank Mady Delcroix and Alan Cassidy for assuming my duties as President of the International Jury at WGAC/WAGAC in Torun and WAC in Foligno. They did a fine job and will always be grateful to them for stepping in at the last moment. I also thank Alan for representing CIVA at the FAI General Conference in Belgrade, Serbia this month. I know he did a very good job in representing our Commission. I also thank the many Delegates and friends who kept in contact with me during this difficult time and offered their condolences when my mother passed away. Our family appreciated this very much.

I look forward to serving FAI, CIVA, and aerobatics in the years ahead and appreciate your patience during the time I needed to take away from our sport this year.

Championships logos

WAC 2011 Logo - New - Foligno

WGAC-WAGAC 2011 Logo

EAAC 2011 Logo