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Gliding pilot Sebastian Kawa named Athlete of the Month by IWGA

Sebastian Kawa IWGAThe International World Games Association (IWGA) announced the nomination of Polish pilot Sebastian Kawa as the Athlete of the Month for December 2015. 

Kawa has just won the Gliding event of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 and has been keeping himself at the top of Gliding competitions for more than a decade. 

FAI congratulates him on this great news.


First sailplane flight over Dubai



On 7 December 2015 an historic first flight of a sailplane over the skyline of Dubai was performed. The pilots were Klaus Ohlmann and Tilo Holighaus.

Here is Klaus's story of that flight.


After my presentation at the end of the Aeromedical congress, I paid a visit to our gliding friends in the Desert Drop Zone, where they were engaged in the "Gliding Match Race" event. Afterwards, we joined the German team for dinner in their hotel.

As part of the effort to demonstrate our sport in Dubai, Schempp-Hirth had brought a brand new Arcus M , the latest doubleseater of their glider production. Tilo Holighaus proposed to me the idea of making some VIP-Flights with the Arcus. It was his brother Ralf who innocently posed the question of whether the famous skyscrapers of Dubai could produce lift, with an onshore breeze from the Gulf.

I was immediately hooked by that idea. Although late in the night, I looked at the forecast and found, that just two days later a fresh breeze of 20 knots was expected, coming right from the favorable direction.

The next morning we made an appointment with WAG director Helmut Schlecht. He received us with enthusiasm, especially because a lot of other airsport competitions had to be cancelled due to the strong wind.

Susannne Schoedel, Secretary General of FAI and Visa-Matti Leinikki, both passionate glider pilots, gave a green light as well.

The next day (7 December 2015) we had a short briefing. Helmut had thought about everything: airspace clearances, media coverage with helicopter, and ground TV-Team.

We decided to make an aerotow from the Desert Drop Zone, half an hour at 1500 feet behind the Piper tow plane. We released just above the city and swung in front of the row of skyscrapers. It is difficult to imagine how amazed we were, when we felt the firm lift on the windward side of the buildings, even though it was expected. A lot of spectators and TV cameras on the ground followed our silent surf on the beautiful skyline of Dubai. The helicopter with a cameraman on board joined us to capture what was somewhat of a historical moment in history of gliding: the first ever soaring above the skyscrapers of Dubai!

Wolf Hirth, cofounder of Schempp-Hirth, who made an historical flight along the Hudson River above Manhattan in 1931, would have been proud, that once again a glider from Schempp-Hirth was making history amongst the skyscrapers. This time, pilots Klaus Ohlmann and Tilo Holighaus felt fortunate to be able to share in that history.

The following day, the weather was even better and I could give a gliding lesson to a good pilot from the local aviation community for three and a half hours. We flew not only along the skyline but also over the famous Palm Jumeirah under some nice cloudstreets over the sea. He did not know how beautiful gliding is. Now, he will start to dream....

Klaus Ohlmann



FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015

WAG 2015 logo sFrom 1 to 12 December, the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 celebrated air sports from around the world.

875 athletes from 55 countries competed in the biggest air sport event ever organised !

New Gliding Competition Format at the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015

FAI-Gliding-match-racingA new and exciting format of gliding competition will be used for the very first time at the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015: the FAI Gliding Match Racing. Six elite pilots will compete in two identical high performance Discus 18 meter sailplanes. The competitors will race against each of the other pilots in a round robin event for 5 days from 4 to 9 December.


FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 - Gliding Bulletin

WAG 2015 logo sThe Gliding Bulletin for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 is now available for download.

New Sporting Code Documents


The 2015 Edition of Sporting Code Section 3 (Gliding) becomes effective on 1 October 2015.


Sporting Code Section 3 - Edition 2015  (1005.56 kB)30 September 2015
Annex A  (224.83 kB)03 October 2015
Handicaps  (144.50 kB)15 October 2015
Annex B  (201.50 kB)06 October 2015
Annex C  (2.59 MB)22 September 2015
Annex D  (306.44 kB)06 October 2015

Young Talent Maximilian Seis from France Winner of the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship

2015-FAISGP-podiumAfter a week of very exciting competition, French pilot Maximilian Seis, 22, was crowned Champion of the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship yesterday in Varese, Italy. Christophe Ruch, also from France, finished with the silver medal and Sebastian Kawa from Poland with the bronze.


Two French Pilots M. Seis and C. Ruch and Polish pilot S. Kawa on the Podium of the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship

FAI-SGP2015-logoWhat an exciting race with all the elements for a great, thrilling finale. Unfortunately, the pilots came under the influence of deteriorating weather quickly. An incoming front spoiled all the opportunities for a flight back home to Varese-airfield. Just 20 kilometers short of the finish line, the three leading teams had to decide for a safe outlanding. 

As no one will be able to finish the task, the results of the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship stay as after yesterday's flight. The gold medal will go to Maximilian SEIS (France), on second place with the silver-medal Christoph RUCH (France) and with Sebastian KAWA (Poland) taking the bronze medal.

Find the official results on http://www.sgp.aero/final2015.aspx !

6th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Championship in Varese, Italy - Follow the Dramatic Last Hours Live!

FAI-SGP2015-logoIt is the last day of the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship in Varese, Italy and it couldn't be more dramatic! With the current ranking list, anything can happen. Follow the last hours of the competition live online, on Facebook or Twitter and see the pilots fighting for the last kilometres for the podium places!

6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship – Race in full swing!


FAI-SGP2015-logoToday is the sixth competition day and the race is in its full swing in Varese, Italy! Until Saturday, 12 September 2015, 20 of the world’s best glider pilots are competing at the Calcinate del Pesce Airport, where they fight for the Champion title during the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship.


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