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New FAI Anti-Doping Rules to Come into Force on 1 January 2015

The World Anti-Doping Agency approved a new version of its World Anti-Doping Code during their las...

Executive Board and Liaison Officers in Dubai to Discuss the FAI World Air Games

FAI officials gathered in Dubai this week to get to know the members of the Organising Committee, th...

Air Sports to Open Up The World Games 2017

The Air Sports events have been scheduled at the very beginning of The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, ...

2014 Tochigi Hot Air Balloon International Championship

American pilot Joe Heartsill won the event, followed Yudai Jukita (JPN) and Rhett Heartsill (USA)

Red Bull Air Race Announces 2015 Race Calendar

After a very successful 2014 season which saw the victory of British pilot Nigel Lamb, the Red Bull ...

FAI Head Office closed for Christmas

FAI Head Office closed for Christmas

The FAI Head Office will be closed for Christmas on Wednesday 24 December (afternoon) and on Thursday 25 December (all day) 2014. The office will reopen on Friday 26 December.  We wish you ....

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Eric Bertin Hired to Support FAI Sports Team ahead of the FA....

Eric Bertin Hired to Support FAI Sports Team ahead of the FA....

The FAI is pleased to announce that Eric Bertin has joined the Federation as Sports and Events Manager on 15 December 2014. His focus is on the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 and he is the prime conta....

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Strategic Roadmap for the Future of the Olympic Movement Mad....

Strategic Roadmap for the Future of the Olympic Movement Mad....

The IOC has unveiled the final draft recommendations for Olympic Agenda 2020, which is the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. The FAI, which bears the status of IOC-Recognised ....

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UN Recognises the Autonomy of IOC and Sport

UN Recognises the Autonomy of IOC and Sport

The United Nations General Assembly recently adopted a Resolution on sport entitled "Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace”. It is the first time in its history that t....

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New Mission and Vision for FAI

New Mission and Vision for FAI

After extensive consultation with the Federation’s stakeholders, FAI adopted new Mission and Vision statements to help prioritise strategies and move steadily towards its objectives and goals. The ....

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Interview with Pierre Duval, President of the FAI Environmental Commis....

Interview with Pierre Duval, President of the FAI Environmental Commis....

Frenchman Pierre Duval, 50, is the new President of the FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) since his election by the Delegates during the last annual meeting of the Commission in February 2013. He ....

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Tony Iberler, youngest pilot ever to participate in a world helicopter....

Tony Iberler, youngest pilot ever to participate in a world helicopter....

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 T....

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Interview with John Dickenson, recipient of the FAI Gold Air Medal

Interview with John Dickenson, recipient of the FAI Gold Air Medal

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 developm....

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Maxim Sotnikov (RUS): Helicopter Pilot

Maxim Sotnikov (RUS): Helicopter Pilot

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 t....

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Pál Tákats (HUN): Paragliding Aerobatics Champion

Pál Tákats (HUN): Paragliding Aerobatics Champion

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 Hu....

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Current Events

until 28 December 2014 2014 Nepal National League Pokhara (Nepal)

Upcoming Events

01 January 2015 2015 Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships / Australian National Hang Gliding Championships Forbes (Australia)
02 January 2015 2015 Andes Open Merida (Venezuela)
03 January 2015 2015 FAI Qualifying Sailplane GP Worcester (South Africa)
05 January 2015 2015 Final CNM de Parapente 2014 Escuela Aventura Valle A.C. Valle de Bravo (Mexico)
09 January 2015 2015 Paraski World Cup Series, 39th Austrian Nationals Paraski & 3rd ÖHSV Championship St. Johann (Austria)
10 January 2015 14th FAI World Paragliding Championship Roldanillo (Colombia)
24 January 2015 2015 FAI Qualifying Sailplane GP Vitacura (Chile)
24 January 2015 2015 Hombres Pajaro Colombia Santa Elena (Colombia)
24 January 2015 2015 Skydive Dubai - DISL Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
27 January 2015 2015 Open FAI II Roldanillo Colombia Roldanillo (Colombia)
30 January 2015 2015 New Zealand Paragliding Championship - PG Open - Wanaka Wanaka (New Zealand)
07 February 2015 2015 Bright Open Mystic, Bright (Australia)
09 February 2015 2015 Open Trujillo Torococco (Venezuela)
13 February 2015 2015 Abu Dhabi - Red Bull Air Race World Championship Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
15 February 2015 2015 The Corryong Open Corryong (Australia)
More events

 

Latest FAI World Record Claims

15 November 2015 Parachuting : Longest sequence : 23 formations
17 December 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 950.00 km/h Robert S. Mckenney (USA)
13 December 2014 Rotorcraft : Speed over a recognised course : 240.52 km/h Raymond Pearson (AUS)
13 December 2014 Gliding : Speed over an out-and-return course of 500 km : 185.00 km/h Guy Bechtold (LUX)
13 December 2014 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 750 km : 167.12 km/h Bostjan Pristavec (SLO)
12 December 2014 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 100 km : 167.7 km/h Margherita Acquaderni (ITA)
11 December 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 880.00 km/h John A. McGrath (USA)
11 December 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance to a declared goal : 581.00 km Scott Barrett (AUS)
11 December 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance : 378.00 km Garth Simon Camac (AUS)
11 December 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance to a declared goal : 581 km Scott Barrett (AUS)
11 December 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Free distance using up to 3 turn points : 391 km Garth Simon Camac (AUS)
08 December 2014 Experimental / New Technologies : Duration : 80h 2min 28 sec Peter LeHew (USA)
05 December 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 680.00 km/h Earl T. Leonard III (USA)
03 December 2014 Parachuting : Exit altitude : 10'650 m
03 December 2014 Parachuting : Freefall distance : 9'480 m
More records

12th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Brussels (BEL) 1923

Start: Brussels, September 23rd, 4 p.m.        

From the Book: Die Gordon Bennett Ballon Rennen
(The Gordon Bennett Races) by Ulrich Hohmann Sr

This will be the race, in which the attendant circumstances were to be more reported than about the flight itself. If this would have been the third victory in a series for Belgium (without the interruption by Switzerland in 1921), the 1923 Gordon Bennett Race could have been the last one. Who would have tried to set it up again, if five competitors had met death in the previous race?

Until 1998 no Gordon-Bennett-Race was cancelled or even postponed because of weather conditions. Snowstorms and rain often have struck the pilots with a lot of stress. It also often took days, until the first signs of life reached the championship organisation after landing and, let's remember 1908, sometimes it was believed, that some competitors had not survived the flight. But it had always ended well. 1923 became the most tragic of all competitions.

21 balloons were inflated in bright sunshine on the already known Solbosch plain near Bruxelles. The stands and places for spectators were well crowded, it is told, more than 100.000 people had been there. The wind wasn't very strong in the beginning, but quite gusty. Launch preparations were on the run, when the sky darkened and a heavy thunderstorm came up. Lightening flashed through the clouds, soon rain clattered down in heavy drops, followed by hail. Three teams from Italy and one from Poland (entered for the first time) declared, not to launch under these circumstances. Looking back, they made the right decision.

At about 4 p.m. PICARDIE launched first, flown by the Belgium Veenstra, who had been the second man in the basket of Demuyter the year before. It was the same balloon that had won the race for France with Bienaime in 1912. The Spanish balloon DURO followed with Guillen/Sierra. At the take-off of the third balloon, the first misfortune happened. U.S. ARMY S.6 was not exactly balanced, did not get enough altitude at the right time and hit VILLE DE BRUXELLES with its basket. The basket got caught in the net and tore it from the equator up to the vent. So the Belgium Labrousse also stayed on the ground, the year before he had been fourth. But that was not all of the mishaps at the launch. The balloon of the "eternal second" Honeywell, US ARMY was obviously filled too full. At about 5 p.m., a gust of wind shook the balloon so strongly, that it burst still on the ground. Honeywell, already in the basket, said afterwards: "This should have been my sixth Gordon Bennett Race, but fate said no".

With this wind it might have been very difficult for the launch crews to level out the balloons. Overall, all lifted only slowly and then had to dump a lot of ballast immediately to prevent them from crashing against the nearby houses. In the rush, whole sandbags flew overboard. It is a miracle, that no spectator, who stayed there in spite of the thunderstorm, got hurt. They did not see anything from the disasters that followed now for the balloons had already gone out of sight. First it met the Spanish balloon POLAR. After half an hour of flight he was above Heist op den Berg, when a flash of lightening struck its envelope, set the gas on fire and sent him burning back to earth. Co-pilot Penaranda did not survive the fall, Gomez was lucky, he survived, both legs broken. 40 minutes later a flash of lightening struck the Swiss balloon GENF with the pilots von Grüningen and Wehren. Both met death when the burning balloon sank to earth at Moll. The same happened to the Americans Olmstead and Choptaw, killed by lightening near Moerdyck.

There was no radio on board in those days. The other competitors got no news of the tragic occurrences if they had not seen them by themselves. They had to deal with the awful weather alone and landed very soon after short flights between 50 and 300 kilometres, mostly in the Netherlands, where the Spanish Magdalena/Baselga destroyed a high tension power line, but stood unhurt. Only four balloons reached longer distances. The Englishmen Spencer and Berry with their balloon MARGARET were pulled out of the sea 20 miles north of Skagen/Denmark. Swiss Armbruster with Dr.Bachmann in the basket of HELVETIA landed at Flensburg, close to the Baltic Sea. The Belgian balloons PICARDIE and BELGICA crossed the Sund flew deep into Sweden. Demuyter and his co-pilot Coeckelbergh still 150 kilometres more than Veenstra and Quersin. Demuyter had gained his third victory! Let us read his report:

report Demuyter

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2014 FAI Young Artists Contest

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This year's theme is "Flying to save lives". Give free rein to your imagination – you might earn one of the Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals!

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Find out more about the FAI Anti-Doping Programme.

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Browse the list of the FAI Awards recipients.

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