British Aerobatic Association Presented Leon Biancotto Diploma

At last night's opening of the FAI General Conference, the British Aerobatic Association was presented the Leon Biancotto Diploma. The Diploma is awarded for outstanding contributions to the sport of aerobatics in the last year. The citation for the award reads as follows: "The British Aerobatic Association’s most notable achievement in 2009 was the organization of the 25th World Aerobatic Championships in Silverstone, United Kingdom. It is widely regarded as the best organized WAC in FAI’s history. The BAeA, under the leadership of Chairman Alan Cassidy, has been able to attract a wide array of talent to its organization and their skills were on display in every operational area of the WAC. Its Contest Director, Steve Green, worked tirelessly for the last two years to make every detail perfect. BAeA member Graham Hill served as Chief Judge of the event. Alan Cassidy was its Flight Director. Nick Buckenham has authored a superb software package for FAI Aerobatic Championships worldwide and it was BAeA members that worked on the new “FairPlay System” that is the heart of the software. Aside from the WAC, BAeA organizes a full calendar of domestic competitions and training camps that would be the envy of organizations one-hundred times its size. They have contributed immeasurably to the promotion of aerobatics in the true spirit of FAI." Alan and Angela Cassidy, Nick and Jen Buckenham, and Steve Green were present in Dublin for the presentation. They are pictured below with CIVA President Mike Heuer (right). Jen and Angela provided administrative support to the event for many months leading up to the WAC and during the event. Left to right: Jen and Nick Buckenham, Alan Cassidy, Steve Green, Angela Cassidy, and Mike Heuer

Renaud Ecalle and Family Lost in Aircraft Accident

Renaud Ecalle, the current World Aerobatic Champion, European Aerobatic Champion, French National Champion and World Air Games Aerobatic Champion in Power lost his life in an aircraft accident on Sunday, the 3rd of October, that also claimed the lives of his wife and two children. The family was returning to Salon on Sunday night after a presentation near Montpelier. Search and rescue personnel found the wreckage on Monday afternoon. The funeral was held today in Salon de Provence at the Air Base Chapel. This is a tremendous loss to the air sports world and the aerobatic community. Renaud was one of the finest aerobatic pilots of all time -- perhaps the greatest. At the recent European Aerobatic Championships, he took the Gold Medal in all flight programmes. CIVA's condolences are extended to the family and the many friends of the Ecalle's. The French Team has lost a wonderful colleague and teammate and our sympathies are extended to them and the coach of the French Team, Coco Bessiere, who worked with Renaud for years to perfect his skills. Renaud Ecalle

CIVA Known Proposals for 2011 Published

The deadline for the submission of Known/Q sequence proposals for the 2011 competition year has now passed. Five countries submitted proposals to CIVA. These proposals will be considered at the upcoming CIVA plenary meeting in Oberhausen, Germany on 6-7 November 2010. Delegates will also review the various recommendations submitted by CIVA Known/Q Analysis Working Groups which are made up of respected pilots in the sport. Known sequences will be chosen for Advanced Power, Unlimited Power, YAK 52, Glider Advanced, and Glider Unlimited. The aerobatic community is encouraged to submit comments to your national Delegate whose names can be found on these webpages. The Known/Q proposals are available for download at the link immediately below.

EAC Closes in Touzim

The closing ceremonies and awards-giving for the 17th European Aerobatic Championships were held tonight at the Hotel Klaster Tepla in the Czech Republic. Renaud Ecalle of France is the new European Aerobatic Champion and Elena Klimovich of Russia is the European Women's Aerobatic Champion. Team results were Russia, France, and Great Britain, respectively. Programme 4 (the Final Freestyle) was not held. Full results can be found at www.civa-results.com.

Accident Report Released

The United Kingdom's AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch) released its report today on the accident which occurred on 22 August 2009 at the World Aerobatic Championships in Silverstone, UK. The accident claimed the life of US Aerobatic Team pilot Vicki Cruse. The report has been long awaited in the aerobatic community. The accident was the first fatality to occur in a World Aerobatic Championships in power aerobatics since Leon Biancotto lost his life in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in practice just prior to the first WAC in 1960. Ms. Cruse was a leader in the sport and had won the title of US National Aerobatic Champion in previous years and had won a spot on the US Team on three previous occasions. She was also President of the IAC, the American aerobatic association based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She was highly regarded in the aerobatic world not only as a pilot but as a energetic promoter of the sport. The AAIB Bulletin can be downloaded below.

EAC Free Programme Results Final

The results of the Free Programme became final and official as of 17.05 today, Monday, 6 September. Renaud Ecalle continues his sweep of the EAC, winning the Gold in the Free. He was followed by Svetlana Kapanina of Russia and Mikhail Mamistov of Russia. Full results can be found at www.civa-results.com.

EAC Programme Q finishes -- Ecalle in First

Programme Q at the EAC in Touzim finished this afternoon just before 16.00. 48 pilots flew the sequence. Results were immediately processed and posted before 17.00. The protest period has expired and the results are now official. Renaud EcalleRenaud Ecalle of France was in first place flying the Extra 330SC. In second, Oleg Shpolyansky of Russia in the Sukhoi 26. Third place was Svetlana Kapanina of Russia, also flying the Sukhoi. Results are at www.civa-results.com. Not to waste any time, the warm-up pilot was airborne shortly after 17.00 for Programme 1, the Free, and it is expected that 10 pilots will fly tonight. Teams presented their figures for the Free Unknown on Saturday night, 4 September, during a meeting at the airport at 19.30. The deadline for submission of Free Unknown sequences to the organizers is 10.00 on Sunday, 5 September. The Jury will then check and review all sequences and publish as soon as possible. Once publication is complete, the flying of this programme can start 24 hours later.

EAC 2010 News from Touzim, Czech Republic

Be sure to read CIVA President Mike Heuer's daily updates on the 17th European Aerobatic Championships in Touzim at www.fai.org/aerobatics/PresidentPage.

Teams and Officials Arriving in Touzim, Czech Republic

Though the weather has been uncooperative and the airfield wet from heavy rain, the 17th European Aerobatic Championships is coming together in Touzim, Czech Republic. Today, practice flying was scheduled but has not been possible due to the wet condition of the runway. The Judges Briefing, conducted by Chief Judge Nick Buckenham, is now underway with all Judges and Assistants in attendance. Problem areas have been reviewed, interpretations standardized, and the study course sent to all Judges has been reviewed. Opening ceremonies are set for tomorrow, Thursday, 2nd of September. 52 pilots from 12 countries are registered. Two countries have sent "independent" or "hors concours" entries.

Alejandro MacLean Lost in Practice Accident

Former Spanish Team member Alejandro "Alex" MacLean was killed on Tuesday, the 17th of August, in an aerobatic practice accident in Casarrubios del Monte, in the province of Toledo (central Spain). He was flying his Edge 540 in preparation for an upcoming airshow. Alex had a distinguished career in aerobatic competition before shifting his talents and efforts to the Red Bull Air Race a few years ago, where he was deeply respected and liked. He was 41 years old and leaves behind a wife and two sons, age 7 and 12. Our condolences to his family and many friends and colleagues in the aerobatic community.

WAAC Finishes -- Vignes Captures World Title

The 9th FAI World Advanced Aerobatic Championships was completed on Saturday, the 14th of August, in Radom, Poland with Baptiste Vignes winning the title of World Advanced Aerobatic Champion. Baptiste was flying the CAP 231 (F-GVFF) and was well coached by French Team trainer Coco Bessiere who has trained many French Champions. In second was Nigel Hopkins of South Africa (MX-2) and in third, Julian Ehrhard to France (CAP 231). The French also captured the FAI Team Gold Medals as well with excellent performances by Vignes' team-mates, Julian Ehrhard and Simon De La Breteche. In second was South Africa and third Russia. The competition was the largest in the history of the Advanced category, attracting 83 pilots from 25 nations and though delayed by bad weather at the beginning, all flight programmes were ultimately completed. Full results are at www.civa-results.com.