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 Team participating in the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship, Moscow. The youngest ever pilot to participate at that high level. He won second place in his class.
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.
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 take place at Drakino Airfield, Russia, from 22 to 26 August 2012.
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.
If you added up the number of miles this world champion aviatrix has covered during her thirty-year career in hang gliding and paragliding, the total would stretch several times around the equator. With multiple world records and gold medals to her name, Judy has built a world-wide reputation for her skill, fearless determination and passion for free flight.
Charles Cazaux (FRA), FAI World Paragliding (cross country) Champion 2011, and FAI World Record holder (speed over FAI triangle, 25km and 50km).
Born in France in 1978, Charles started to fly at 15 years old and took part in his first international competition in 1996 as wind technician. He says: "Since I was 10 years old, when I used fly kites, flying was my dream. I used to watch these big butterflies in the sky in the Morzine valley for many years, and finally had the opportunity to join the dance".
José Luis Aresti Aguirre (1917-2003) is a true legend in the world of aerobatics.
Born in Bilbao, Spain, Aresti became a flyer in the 1930s in time to get involved in the Civil War where he served as a pilot for the Republican Government; he was assigned the Polikarpov 1-16 Rata low-wing monoplane and within six months he found himself flying demonstrations for his military chiefs. After the war, Aresti became a test pilot for the Air Ministry Flight Test Centre in Madrid and founded several civilian pilot training schools in Spain while flying air shows around Europe.