At the 2012 FAI Awards Ceremony held yesterday in Antalya, Turkey, John Dickenson was presented with the FAI Gold Air Medal by FAI President John Grubbström for his great contribution to the development of aeronautics by inventing the modern hang glider.
The FAI Gold Air Medal is the one of the two most prestigious FAI Awards together with the Gold Space Medal. It is reserved for those who have contributed greatly to the development of aeronautics by their activities, work, achievements, initiative or devotion to the cause of Aviation.
At 16 years old, Pál knew that paragliding was going to be more than just the next new hobby sport for him. Dedicating his time to flying from the day he left school, he and his young and talented Hungarian friends virtually taught themselves how to fly aerobatic manoeuvres. His first competition, just two years later in 2005, meeting the international stars of the sport, gave him tremendous motivation to continue. In 2007 he won the Aerobatics Paragliding World Cup Series, and climbed to the top of the FAI World Pilot Ranking Scheme (WPRS) for PG Aerobatics.
In 2008, and just 21 years old, Milica Bicanin from Serbia became the 1st women’s European champion in paragliding accuracy. Flying on her home ground at Niska Banja, Serbia, Milica flew consistently well over the gruelling 10 round, 6 day competition. She had some tough competition from the 10 other women pilots, and came a creditable 35th overall.