No less than 40 disabled pilots gathered from 17 to 24 July at the Aérodrome de la Gruyère on the occasion of the 4th International Meeting of Disabled Pilots, also called Handiflight, a project which was awarded the “FAI Honorary Group Diploma” in 2010, and which was initiated by Sarah and Daniel Ramseier back in 2007.
Coming from all around the world (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, USA, Sweden, Scotland, England, Belgium, France, Germany Poland and Italy), the pilots shared their experiences and received instruction in glider and power flights.
Personalities such as Brian Jones, Honorary President of the event and co-pilot of Bertrand Piccard in the first non-stop balloon flight around the world, Yves "Jetman" Rossi, famous Swiss aviation pioneer, and Stéphane Desprez, FAI Secretary General, attended the event.
On Friday, a workshop was organised with the participation of Stéphane Desprez, FAI Secretary General, with the aim of discussing the internationalisation of the movement through Handiflight. The outcome of the meeting was very positive, as all participants from the the different international associations of disabled pilots are eager to share their passion, and would be favourable to a rapprochement with the FAI.
“I have met exceptional people here who all stand out by their strong will. Aviation is for them not only a passion but also an activity that has given them renewed hope, and I think that we have a lot to learn from them”, said Stéphane.
More pictures on the FAI Flickr account.