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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

World Advanced Aerobatic Championships Opens in Poland

The 9th FAI World Advanced Aerobatic Championships opened yesterday, the 6th of August, in Radom, Poland. The competition has set new records for attendance in the Advanced category and is the largest ever. 85 pilots from 25 countries are competing. Weather prevented more flying yesterday and only 12 pilots completed their Programme Q but flying resumed today after delays in the morning and afternoon due to weather. The competition will be a challenge to complete with so many pilots and weather delays encountered so far or anticipated. Results can be found at www.civa-results.com. In addition, the WAAC's website is http://awac2010.pl/lang-en/welcome.

Matti Peura

Matti Peura - Finnish Glider Aerobatic Champion in 2005We are sad to report the passing of Matti Peura of Finland last night, on the 26th of July, 2010. Matti was a member of the CIVA Glider Aerobatics Sub-Committee and an enthusiastic supporter and advocate for glider aerobatics for many years. He was particularly involved in initiative to bring the World Advanced Glider Aerobatic Championships to Finland - the first one just having been completed last Saturday, 24 July, in Jämi. Only 48 years old, Matti died of prions disease, a very rare ailment. A glider aerobatic pilot himself, he was several times the Finnish Glider Aerobatic Champion, the first Nordic Glider Aerobatic Champion, and was preparing for the FAI Championships in Jämi when he became ill in May. On the evening of 24 July, at the closing ceremonies for the WAGAC and EGAC in Finland, CIVA President Mike Heuer dedicated the Championships to Matti Peura on behalf of FAI and in tribute to his contributions to glider aerobatics and his role in making that Championships become a reality. The Championships were a success attracting nearly 60 pilots in Advanced and Unlimited categories and particularly noteworthy was the involvement of many new, young pilots in FAI Aerobatic Championship competition. This makes this event an even more fitting tribute to Matti's memory. His last appearance at CIVA was in 2007 in Vilnius when he reported on the European Advanced Aerobatic Championships held in Joensuu, Finland. He was very well regarded by his colleagues at the Commission. Our condolences to his many friends and family.

EGAC Finishes and Piriou Becomes Champion of Europe

Erik PiriouThe 10th European Glider Aerobatic Championships came to a close today in Finland with Erik Piriou capturing the FAI Gold Medal as the Overall Winner. Erik flew a Swift S-1 to victory. In second was Ferenc Toth of Hungary in a Swift S-1 and in third, Dietmar Poll of Austria, also in a Swift. Team winners were (1) Hungary, (2) France, and (3) Poland. 27 pilots flew in the EGAC and one independent. FAI and CIVA Medals and Diplomas will be presented on the evening of the 25th of July in the Jami Areena on the airfield.

Johan Gustafsson Named World Advanced Glider Champion

Johan Gustafsson of Sweden has captured the title of World Advanced Glider Aerobatic Champion at the 1st WAGAC being held in Finland. Johan flies the Pilatus B4. Three programmes were flown, despite many delays due to bad weather, and the contest was declared valid. EGAC final results are still being determined and the new Champion will be announced soon. In second place was Mazen Makari of Great Britain in a MDM-1 Fox and in third Petr Biskup of the Czech Republic in an MDM-1 Fox as well. Team winners were (1) Germany, (2) Sweden, and (3) Czech Republic. See www.civa-results.com for complete information.

EAC Final Plans Underway

The 17th European Aerobatic Championships, to be held in Touzim, Czech Republic on 2-12 September, is shaping up very well and planning and work is well underway. Today the organizers released Bulletin #3 which included a list of participants. Officials, competitors, and team members will come from 17 nations, with three sending pilots from outside the European region. These pilots will enter the contest "hors concours". 54 pilots from the following countries are now registered: Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the USA. In a surprise move, Spain's federation indicated a team from Spain will not be entered. The event will be directed by Tomas Korinek, Contest Director of the last EAC in 2008. Tomas is ably assisted by the Aero Club of Touzim. Chief Judge is Nick Buckenham of the United Kingdom and President of the International Jury is Mike Heuer from the USA. Heuer is also President of CIVA.