The FAI has recently lost one of its most eminent members: Andre O. Dumas, who presided over the Federation from 1972 to 1974. He died on 17 September 2013 at the age of 90. Dumas’s eventful and busy life was marked by his passion for and devotion to aviation, a world to which he rendered great services for many years within several organisations beside the FAI.
Dumas’ native place was Montreal, Canada, where he was born on 6 April 1923. He was introduced to aviation by his father who brought him to the first airshow to be held in Canada in 1929. The year after, he attended the arrival in Montreal of the British dirigible R-100 which completed a transatlantic flight from England. He was only 13 years old when he made his first flight in 1935. All those experiences as a child fired his interest in aviation.
Enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, he obtained his pilot’s wings in 1943. He then got transferred to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, where he flew Fireflys and Seafires.
After the war he became a flight instructor and strove to promote aviation within the Young Chamber of Commerce and the Air Cadet League, where he was active for 50 years.
In 1963, Dumas got first involved in the FAI when he was chosen by the RCFCA (now Aero Club of Canada) to represent his country from 1963 to 1970, when he became First Vice-President. He was awarded the Tissandier Diploma in 1967 for his service to international aviation.
In 1972 he was elected President of the FAI at the General Conference held in Paris. During his presidency, he succeeded in visiting the countries behind the Iron Curtain in spite of the Cold War. Upon the completion of his term of office, he was appointed an Honorary President, and remained so to his death.
After retiring from the post of FAI President, he was named by the Federation as delegate to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 1987. Thanks to his efforts, FAI retained a prominent place in the minds of the President and leading officials of ICAO, to the benefit of sporting aviators throughout the world. At the General Conference of the FAI in South Africa, in 1995, he received the coveted FAI Bronze Medal, the highest award for achievements as an administrator, and for his devotion to aviation.
The FAI offers its condolences to his family and loved ones. He will be remembered very keenly by all those who have known him within the FAI and its country members.