Annual Report to FAI General Conference 2004-2005

The last year has been one of mixed fortunes for the Commission. In some respects we have not been able to achieve the targets which we set ourselves. 2005 is the year in which our World Championship series falls. Previously we accepted a bid from the United Kingdom subject to the verification of several important matters, particularly the final entry fee, insurance and the signing of the Organisers Agreement. This resulted nine months before the scheduled date in a revised offer to Host the event, behind closed doors, with no insurance cover. This was unacceptable to the Commission. The French Helicopter Federation stepped in and offered to Host the 2005 Championship at very short notice for which they should be complimented upon particularly as they had a little under six months to complete their arrangements. The Championship was held at Rouen attracting 43 teams and Judges from seven countries. Three other countries who had provisional entries withdrew due to a lack of funds to participate. Under the Leadership of Jacques Escaffre, Championship Director, a successful Championship was held with all enjoying excellent French hospitality. Our congratulations go to Jacques and his Team for upholding the traditions of FAI in its Centenary Year. Viva La Fédération Française de Giraviation. Last year I reported to Conference our plans for a Centenary Flight from Paris to Lausanne. Due to a number of difficulties, beyond our control, our ambitions and intentions were reduced more particularly due to the huge cost in insurance terms for flying over the lake at Lausanne to salute FAI. Three helicopters took part in this celebration flight to Lausanne with Max Bishop being an honoured guest on board. CIG decided that, from its meagre funds, we would host a reception in Lausanne for City Dignitaries. During the reception I presented, on behalf of the Commission, a gift of an inscribed section of a rotor blade to the City to commemorate the Centenary. I take this opportunity of thanking all who participated and helped in achieving our goal. Helicopters are expensive to run. More and more, as other Commissions know, bureaucracy is clogging up initiative and enterprise whilst insurance costs reach mammoth proportions. Pilots require facilities to train not only for competition. I wonder sometimes whether some of those bureaucrats, caught perhaps in a natural disaster like an earthquake, Tsunami, hurricane or typhoon remember that often it is the helicopter pilot and his crew members who comes to their rescue and risk their lives. To keep the high traditions that the public come to expect they must understand that pilots require to train. The whole of our World Championship flying evolves round search and rescue tasks thus even at FAI events we continue to practice and improve our skills. In respect to World Air Games the Commission is committed, as ever, to participating with media attractive events which I have shown on previous addresses. This year we have not been able to progress further due to the change of Championship venue. We continue to consider new ideas. We have been offered an airfield for a mini media style event I will be having more detailed discussions with my Ballooning and Gliding Colleagues. This will not take place before 2007. The Commission has been informed of 2 bids for the 2008 World Championships from Switzerland and Germany. An indication of serious interest for 2011 has been made. On environmental matters we propose to have informal discussions with the Environmental Commission to see where there could be co-operation between us. I single out over the last year the considerable help, support and advice given by First Vice President Konrad Geissler and Second Vice President Irina Grushina. However the hardest work has been carried out by our Secretary, Chief Championship Judge and Chairman of the Rules Committee, Wolfgang Perplies. He has been outstanding in his contribution to the Commission. His tenacity, dedication and knowledge is an inspiration. In this the Centenary Year the Commission awarded its Gold Medal for only the 3rd time. We do not make an award lightly. After consideration the Commission voted unanimously that Fredi Herbert (Switzerland) be awarded the Medal. During the last year, as I have found in previous years the help, guidance and contribution made to the Commission’s smooth running by Max Bishop and his Colleagues in Lausanne is second to none. Without them we simply would fail to function. Max, please take to your staff our warmest thanks. We remain in awe of all those tasks you manage to achieve so efficiently and with such dedication. David Hamilton President