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.

WAAC Unknown In Progress

Programme 3 (1st Unknown) is now in progress at WAAC and the organizers have announced that flying will stop after pilot #18. Flying will continue tomorrow morning. It is likely that only two groups will complete the programme with 19 pilots to fly tomorrow. An airshow is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Radom and flying will stop before 13.00. The Unknown is available for download as a PDF below.

Free Unknown Completed at WAAC - Vignes in 1st Place Overall

Baptiste VignesPreliminary results for Programme 2, the Free Unknown, were published today at 16.27 local time. As of this writing, Baptiste Vignes of France is in the first place position overall in the Championships. Baptiste is flying the CAP 231 (F-GVFF). Following him in second place is Nigel Hopkins of South Africa, flying an MX-2, and in third Anton Berkulov of Russia in a YAK 55. The 2nd Unknown is now in progress at the airfield and will continue until nearly sunset as the Judges and contest officials work hard to complete this final flight programme before time runs out early tomorrow afternoon. Closing ceremonies and awards givings are scheduled for Saturday evening, September 14th. Complete results are available at www.civa-results.com.

WAAC Free Programme Results Official

Programme 1 -- the Free Programme -- was completed yesterday in Radom and the results are official as the protest period is now expired. Full results can be found at www.civa-results.com. Stano Bajzik, shown in an adjacent photo, and his Assistant, Vladimyr Machula, are doing an excellent job of administering the event and moving the flights along quickly and safely. Today, the "Free Unknown" is in progress with completion likely tomorrow. Stano Bajzik

WAAC Underway and Programme Q is Completed

Plagued by some bad weather, the 9th World Advanced Aerobatic Championships in Radom, Poland has gotten off to a bit of a slow start but now that weather has improved, rapid progress is being made. Programme Q was completed today by the 83 pilots who remain in the competition. There were two withdrawals in recent days. Winner of the Q was Nigel Hopkins of South Africa, flying an MX-2. Alan Cassidy of Great Britain was in second place flying a Pitts S-1T. Flying a CAP 231, Baptiste Vignes captured the CIVA Bronze medal for his flight. The Free Programme started today but thunderstorms prevented more than 8 pilots from flying. Figures for the "Free Unknown" (Programme 3) were selected by Teams today and sequences must be submitted by tomorrow morning. Free Unknown Figure Selection in Radom