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<November 2002> FAI News Archive

FAI represented at the annual Congress of the GAISF
28/11/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 03:09 PM

The annual Congress of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) took place from 21 - 24 November 2002 in Colorado Springs, USA. FAI President Wolfgang Weinreich and Secretary General Max Bishop attended the Congress.


Valuable contacts for the next World Air Games
The annual Congress of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) took place from 21 - 24 November 2002 in Colorado Springs, USA, the location of the US National Olympic Committee. FAI President Wolfgang Weinreich and Secretary General Max Bishop attended the Congress and had several valuable opportunities for meetings with professional event organisers interested in organising the next World Air Games. Useful presentations were given, amongst others, by the Marketing Director of the International Olympic Committee.

New Promotional Material about the World Games
On the same occasion, the Annual General Assembly of the International World Games Association (IWGA) was held. Roland Hilfiker (FAI Olympic Liaison Officer) is Vice President of IWGA and is also responsible for IWGA's communications and public relations. He presented a new promotional video and brochure about The World Games, the four-yearly multi-sport event that includes skydiving as well as water-skiing, roller-skating, dance-sport and some 20 other attractive sports. Following the very successful World Games in Akita, Japan in 2001, plans are now well advanced for the next Games, in Duisburg, Germany in 2005.
The IWGA will shortly open a permanent office in Colorado Springs, thanks to the generosity of a local charitable foundation, the El Pomar Foundation.

FAI Secretary General elected to ARISF Executive Board
The GAISF Congress also saw the announcement of the results of the elections to the Executive Board of the Association of IOC-Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF). The ARISF brings together all the federations that are recognised by the International Olympic Committee, but are not on the Olympic Games programme. The results (18 federations voting) were:

Elected as ARISF Executive Board Members :
Max Bishop (Secretary General, FAI)
Antonio Espinos (President, World Karate Federation)

Elected as ARISF Secretary and Treasurer :
Gerald Koenig (President, International Bowling Federation


Lausanne, 29 November 2002


New World Record Claims
21/11/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 10:11 AM

While cold winds make Northern Hemisphere shiver, the high season for air sports has started in the Southern Hemisphere. FAI has received the three following record claims :

World Record Attempt in Class D (Gliders) / Claim # 7554
Type of record : Speed over a triangular course of 500 km / Sub-class DO – Open Class Gliders
Location : Omarama (NZL) / 15.11.02
Performance : 187.12 km/h
Crew : Steve FOSSETT (USA) and Terrence Raymond DELORE (NZL)
Glider : ASH 25
Current record : 171.10 km/h / 31.12.90 – Hans Werner GROSSE (GER)
Information : New Zealand is experiencing incredible wave conditions this season, probably the best in a decade.
In July 2002, Steve FOSSETT completed the first circumnavigation of the earth in a balloon in the Southern Hemisphere. He is currently working on the Perlan Project, aiming to soar to 100’000 feet using stratospheric mountain waves and a special pressurized high altitude sailplane.


World Record Attempt in Class D (Gliders) / Claim # 7555
Type of record : Free distance using up to 3 turn points / Sub-class DO – Open Class Gliders
Course : Chapelco – Esquel – Domuyo – Tecka - Chapelco (ARG) / 12.11.02
Performance : 2’624 km
Pilot : Klaus OHLMANN (GER)
Glider : Nimbus 4 DM
Current record : 2’463.7 km / 26.11.00 – Klaus OHLMANN (GER)
Information : Klaus OHLMANN is currently holding 7 ratified World Records in Gliding.


World Record Attempt in Class D (Gliders) / Claim # 7556
Type of record : Free out and return / Sub-class DO – Open Class Gliders
Course : Chapelco – Lago Belgrano East - Chapelco (ARG) / 16.11.02
Performance : 1'709.0 km
Pilot : Klaus OHLMANN (GER)
Glider : Nimbus 4 DM
Current record : 1'550.2 km/ 21.11.00 – Klaus OHLMANN (GER) - Stemme VT10
Information : see above.


The details shown above are provisional. When all the evidence required has been received and checked, the exact figures will be established and the records ratified, if appropriate.

The FAI congratulates all pilots on their outstanding performances.

Lausanne, 21 November 2002


95th FAI General Conference (5) - FAI Celebrating its Centenary in 2005
14/11/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 11:40 AM

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FAI was founded on 14 October 1905 in Paris by representatives of aeronautical organisations from Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. The first 100 years of FAI will be celebrated in 2005 with events in Paris, the city that hosted FAI from its foundation until 1998, and in Lausanne, the Olympic Capital and present FAI Headquarters. The 95th FAI General Conference held last month in Dubrovnik was informed about the planned events.

Falling within the scope of new objectives set to promote FAI and air sports, the celebrations of the FAI Centenary will address not only the air sport community, those who practise air sports for competition or as a leisure activity, but also the public in general and young people in particular. Young people of today are the decision makers and “Air Sport Persons” of tomorrow; FAI needs them ! Under this motto, the Centenary will represent an excellent opportunity to show how FAI contributes to young people’s basic aeronautical education, encouraging them to discover the fascination of flight. As several important technological developments in the 20th Century originated from competitive air sports and record-breaking, the aeronautical industry will of course be an integral part of the event.

The 2005 Celebrations will be organised under four distinct headings :

Paris : As FAI was founded in Paris in 1905, the Aéro Club de France will host the official commemoration of the first 100 years of FAI during the FAI General Conference to be held in Paris in October 2005, on the precise anniversary of the foundation.

Lausanne : The Olympic Capital and present location of FAI Headquarters, will focus on air sports as they are practised at the start of the new century. With the support of the Aero Club of Switzerland, the FAI will present air sports to the public and to the international sporting community with an air display and several events disseminated throughout the city and throughout the year. A book about the history of FAI and air sports will be published in 2005.

The Year of Records : The celebration of FAI’s centenary will not be limited to the official events in Europe. FAI would like 2005 to be the Year of Records world-wide, by promoting the spirit of competition on all continents. It is intended that FAI and its Air Sports Commissions will encourage attempts on records by laying down a challenge in each discipline, and by launching new competitions.

Visual Image Project : This aims to give FAI a completely modernised corporate identity. The project, which already started a few weeks ago, will be progressively introduced from the beginning of 2004 and will be accompanied by the renewal of all promotional material, medals, diplomas and Internet pages.

Starting at the end of 2003, a new part of FAI’s Internet site will be dedicated to the Centenary, allowing everybody to keep themselves informed about the progress of the projects described above, and helping to arouse interest in taking an active part in the events.

FAI Centenary will be a unique opportunity for the public, the world of sports and industry to be associated with the strong and unified family that FAI forms, through its national Members and international Commissions, all sharing a common passion, the passion for flight.

Lausanne, 14 November 2002


FAI President Awarded Cross of Merit of the Polish Republic
12/11/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 10:49 AM

During a ceremony organized on 4 November 2002 at the Polish Embassy in Berlin, FAI President Wolfgang Weinreich was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the country's highest distinction available to foreign citizens.

In his laudatory speech, Mr Jan Karpinski, President of the Aeroklub Polski, summarized Mr Weinreich's life as being devoted to aviation : “Everything Mr Weinreich did in aviation has been aligned with Otto Lilienthal's vision of flight being global, free, peaceful and without any borders”.

Mr Karpinski reminded everyone that, when Europe was still divided into two blocs, Mr Weinreich was present with his wife, also an internationally well-known glider pilot, at the Polish Women’s Gliding Championship in Lisie Katy, Poland, in 1978. Ever since then, he had remained faithful to the many links of friendship he struck up on that occasion with members of the Polish gliding and aviation community. When he became President of the German Aero-Club, Mr Weinreich had contributed greatly to a strong and fruitful cooperation between the national aero clubs of Germany and Poland.

29 August 1932, said Mr Karpinski, was a notable landmark in Polish aviation history, the date on which Polish aviators Zwirko and Wigura won the famous “Berlin Challenge”. On that same day seventy years later, Mr Alexander Kwasniewski, the President of the Republic of Poland and patron of the Aeroklub Polski, had agreed to the Aero Club of Poland’s proposal to nominate Mr Wolfgang Weinreich for the Cross of Merit in recognition of the many years of service he had devoted to fostering close relations between the two countries, also in his more recent post as FAI President.

The FAI President W. Weinreich receiving the Cross of Merit from Mr Karpinski's hands.

Mr Weinreich received this high distinction in the presence of HE Jerzy Kranz, Ambassador of Poland, Mrs Angelica Schwall Düren representing the German Bundestag, General Janusz Konieczny representing the Polish Air Force and former Polish Minister and FAI Vice President Dr. Wieslaw Jaszczynski. The FAI itself was represented by Mr Alvaro de Orleans-Borbon, Executive Board Member and Deputy to the FAI President.

In his acceptance speech, acknowledging the great honour that had been bestowed upon him and the pleasure it had given him, the FAI President re-emphasized his firm commitment to ensure that aviation be used as a means of building bridges between all nations and peoples, and thus contribute to world peace.


Lausanne, 12 November 2002


95th FAI General Conference (4) - New FAI Medal : The Sabiha Gökçen Medal
07/11/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 11:17 AM

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Adopting a proposal from the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), the 95th FAI General Conference 2002 held in October approved the creation of a new FAI Medal, the “Sabiha Gökçen Medal”, which will be awarded to women performing the most outstanding achievements in any air sport.

Who was Sabiha Gökçen ?
Sabiha was born in Bursa in 1913 and lost her parents during World War I. While visiting Bursa in 1922, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the President of Turkey, adopted the orphan girl and gave her the surname of “Gökçen”, which means “belonging to the sky”. Starting her glider training at the age of 22, Sabiha got her military pilot’s license in 1937, thus becoming the world’s first female military pilot. She trained for combat, flew Breguet 7 and Curtiss Hawk II aircraft and, in June 1938, she accomplished a six-day solo flight covering four Balkan Countries in a Vultee–V bomber. Mrs Gökçen retired from the aviation training school in 1954 but continued flying until 1975. During her career, she performed a total of 10’000 flight hours on about 15 different types of aircraft and became an inspiration to women pilots. Mrs Sabiha Gökçen died on 22 March 2001.

Mrs Sabiha Gökçen

A FAI Medal Reserved for Women
By approving the creation of a new FAI General Award, the 95th FAI General Conference held in October in Dubrovnik not only recognised a life dedicated to aviation, but also gave FAI its first medal reserved for women performing the most outstanding achievements in any air sport, the Sabiha Gökçen Medal.

FAI Medals and Diplomas
The purpose of FAI Medals and Diplomas is to give public recognition to those who have made outstanding contributions to aeronautics and astronautics, especially in the field of sporting aviation. Including the new Sabiha Gökçen Medal, ten general FAI Medals and Diplomas may be awarded at the discretion of the FAI Vice Presidents. The oldest and most prestigious medals are :

The FAI Gold Air Medal : established in 1924, this medal is reserved for those who have contributed greatly to the development of aeronautics. Among other celebrities, Capt Charles “Chuck” Yeager (USA/1947), Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (GBR/1961) and Mrs Sabiha Gökçen (TUR/1990) received the FAI Gold Air Medal.

The De La Vaulx Medal : created in 1933, this Medal is awarded to all holders of recognised absolute World Records. J. Steven Fossett (USA/1995-1997-1998) is the fifth aviator to enter the exclusive group of people who received three De La Vaulx Medals.

The Louis Bleriot Medal : established in 1936, this Medal is awarded to holders of the highest records for speed, altitude and distance in a straight line by light aircraft. In 2000, the Medal was awarded to Hans Georg Schmid (SUI) for the Around the World flight he completed with his Long-Ez.

Apart from these General Awards, 28 other FAI Medals and Diplomas for Individual Disciplines are at the disposal of Air Sport or Technical Commissions to be awarded in recognition of particular sporting performances or achievements.

For further information, please refer to following links :
- FAI Awards
- Sabiha Gökçen
- Chuck Yeager
- Geoffrey de Havilland
- Louis Blériot or biography in French
- Hans Georg Schmid

Lausanne, 7 November 2002


World Skydiving Record for Distance in Free-Fall Unbroken for 40 Years
01/11/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 09:33 AM

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On 1 November 1962, Eugene ANDREEV jumped from an altitude of 25’458 m over the Soviet city of Volsk. Opening his parachute at 958 m, he covered a record distance of 24’500 m in free-fall. Forty years later, this World Record still remains unbroken.

Eugene ANDREEV was born on 4 September 1926. A Master of Sports in the former USSR, and holder of FAI Sporting Licence #3812, he boarded the Volga balloon on that first day of November 1962 wearing a T-1-3 parachute on his back. Barograph #506 was attached to Andreev’s harness to register his performance (see pictures below). The balloon took off from the city of Volsk (N 52°02’ E 047°20’) at 07.44 (Moscow time) and climbed to an altitude of 25’458 m. After leaving the nacelle, Eugene Andreev covered a distance of 24’500 m in freefall, before opening his parachute at 958 m. Andreev landed safely near the city of Saratov (N 51°48’ E 048° 12’) at 10.21. (FAI Record file #1623)

Barograph #506 and its trace

Will the Record be Broken in 2003 ?
Forty years later, as the “G-1-A : Altitude jumps (freefall distance)” World Record still remains unbroken, at least two teams are trying to break this 40-year-old record. Information available at :
Project of Jean-Michel Fournier
Stratoquest Project of Cheryl Stearns.

Lausanne, 1 November 2002


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