Mikhail Mamistov wins third gold at FAI World Aerobatic Championships
Mikhail Mamistov reigns supreme at 29th FAI World Aerobatic Championships in South Africa.
Russia’s Mikhail Mamistov has been crowned FAI World Aerobatic Champion for an incredible third time after a hard-fought competition in South Africa.
The legendary Aerobatics pilot won the Gold Medal at the 29th FAI World Aerobatic Championships in Malelane, South Africa, after a competition that lasted a week, from 9 - 17 September 2017.
He came out top ahead of two strong French pilots. Francois Rallet was in second place with French teammate Olivier Masurel in third. The top three pilots were all flying the Extra 330SC, a specialist Aerobatics plane.
Mamistov was leading the competition when he went into his final flight but was not entirely happy when he had finished. “I did not expect the strong crosswind,” he said, “and I had to correct a lot of manoeuvres, but it was not too bad.” In the end though, he had done enough to take the win.
The weather sometimes made things difficult for the pilots over the week. “It has been a very interesting competition,” Mamistov said. “It has been hot weather, with poor visibility – interesting conditions for competing.”
Some 36 pilots from eleven nations took part in the competition, which saw four complete Aerobatic runs, or programmes take place over the course of the week. In Aerobatic competitions, each pilot must complete a ten-minute programme consisting of numerous Aerobatics manoeuvres before the competition moves onto the next round. Medals are awarded for each programme.
Just missing out on the overall podium was Alexandre Orlowski (FRA), who won the first two programmes and was leading the competition. However, he slipped back to fourth place overall after the second two flights. Also experiencing disappointment was Spain’s Castor Fantoba, who went from second overall after three programmes, to finishing seventh following a low-scoring fourth programme.
Winner Mikhail Mamistov is no stranger to the podium in international Aerobatic competitions. He has been FAI World Aerobatic Champion twice before – this is his third time – having won in 2001 and 2011.
He has also been FAI European Aerobatic Champion five times – 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2016.
In the Team results, France took home top honours. Francois Rallet, Olivier Masurel and Alexandre Orlowski all took home FAI gold medals.
Russia was second, with the USA in third.
In the separate, one-day Freestyle World Championship competition, Rob Holland (USA) took gold, with Olivier Masurel (FRA) and Castor Fantoba (ESP) in silver and bronze.
Mikhail Mamistov learnt to fly in 1983 in the then Soviet Union and went on to become one of the most decorated pilots in the history of Aerobatics competition. He is a fulltime aerobatics instructor based in St Petersburg, Russia. He teaches aerobatics at home and abroad.