Helicopter pilot Thomas Morgenstern has finished in bronze medal position in the FAI World Air Games Parallel Slalom and Fender competition here in Dubai. The final to decide the gold and silver medallists will take place tomorrow (December 10).
But when former Olympic gold medal winner Morgenstern, flying here with his teammate Stefan Seer, crashed during a ski jump at the start of 2014, it looked like his career as a professional athlete was over.
Even among the large crowds at the FAI World Air Games, it's hard to miss Quentin Smith. The flamboyant British helicopter pilot wears a Union Jack jacket, and has been flying, he says, since the age of five.
Since then his flying achievements include helicoptering around the world. The 51 year old has recently completed an expedition to all three North Poles; magnetic north, true north, and the pole inaccessibility, which is the furthest point from land.
Tony Iberler qualified as an Helicopter Pilot in Germany on his 17th birthday, one year before he can legally drive a car.
In 2012, still aged 17, he was selected as a member of the German National Team participating in the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship, Moscow. The youngest ever pilot to participate at that high level. He won second place in his class.
Although Maxim Sotnikov learned to fly helicopters only 6 years ago, he is already one of the world’s best pilots and will be one to watch at the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship that will take place at Drakino Airfield, Russia, from 22 to 26 August 2012.