The FAI General Conference, starting October the 12th in Paris, will honour Song Jin Seok (South Korea) and Philippe Broers (Belgium) and award them respectively the Hang gliding Diploma and the Pepe Lopez Medal.
Song Jin Seok (South Korea)
Hang gliding Diploma for 2004
Song Jin Seok has a long-standing experience in hang gliding and paragliding, in the teaching and training of younger generation of Koreans as well as in competition around the world. He is the director of the Federation of Korea Aeronautics and helped organise the first Asian paragliding championship. He is also the well-know maker of Gin paragliders.
Philippe Broers (Belgium)
Pepe Lopez Medal for 2004
"Philippe was flying the fifth task of the 2004 European Paragliding Championship in Greece on 9th October 2004 when he noticed a paraglider collapse while gliding toward Turn Point 9. This glider did not re-inflate but continued downward until impacting the ground in difficult mountain terrain north of the village of Tharpa. The pilot was Carlos Izquierdo, a member of the Spanish team.
Philippe immediately changed course and flew to land close to Carlos despite the difficulties of such a landing. His actions were so decisive and prompt that he landed 120m from Carlos just 5 minutes after the glider collapsed and reached Carlos in less than another five minutes despite having to remove his own equipment and run uphill over difficult terrain to the impact point.
He immediately established that Carlos was unconscious and badly injured. He contacted the French team by radio, giving the condition of the pilot and the GPS co-ordinates of the casualty. He gave such first aid as he was able and commenced attempting to resuscitate Carlos. He continued with resuscitation until the arrival of the first emergency response team on foot over an hour later.
Philippe had consistently made goal throughout the championship and was clearly in a position where he was likely to make it again on 9th October, as others did who were in that area at the same time. He was also in a good position to win an FAI medal.
Having seen a fellow pilot in trouble flying was no longer a priority with Philippe and his only concern was to assist that pilot. He did this in the most exemplary manner and followed the guidelines for assisting a fellow pilot in distress fully and effectively; that Carlos could not be saved was a tragic outcome and in no way due to any omission or lack of effort on Philippe’s part.
No pilot in trouble could wish for another to make a better effort on his behalf than that which Philippe Broers made for Carlos Izquierdo. His lack of regard for either his competition ranking or his own safety while assisting a fellow pilot demonstrate his outstanding sportsmanship. The Commission Internationale Vol Libre unreservedly nominates Philippe for the Pepe Lopez Medal.
All timings and distances quoted in this citation are taken from the GPS tracklogs of the pilots involved."