06 Mar 2024

Aero Club of Czech Republic’s best athletes honoured in gala ceremony

Every year, the Aero Club of Czech Republic organises a gathering to announce the best air sports athletes of the previous year. This year, the 2023 athletes were honoured by some very special guests – including Petr Pavel, the President of the Czech Republic – in a glittering ceremony on 24 February broadcast on live television.

FAI President David Monks attended the event, to recognise the significant achievements made by the Czech air sports teams in 2023.

Petr PAVEL President of the Czech Republic and FAI David MONKS
L: Mr Petr Pavel, President of the Czech Republic, R: Mr David Monks, President of FAI

Winners announced

Alena Netušilová, a champion glider pilot (also recently awarded FAI Gliding Commission's 2023 Glider Pilot of the Year), was voted by the jury for the title of Aeronautical Athlete of the Year 2023. Her name was chosen by secret ballot from a shortlist of nominees, who were all put forward by their air sport club following their success in the year’s FAI European or World championships, or other international/national competitions.

The second place was taken by the team of aerobatic gliders, Tomáš Michálek, Jan Adam and Marek Veselý. Skydivers Lenka Buršová, Daniela Macichová, Blanka Vojtková, Michaela Mynářová, Andrea Novotná and Andrea Funková took third place. 

Name Club Air Sport
Alena NETUŠILOVÁ  Aero Club CR Gliding

Tomáš MICHÁLEK                    



Aero Club CR Aerobatic Gliding






Aero Club CR Skydiving


Aero Club CR Precision Flying / Rally Flying
Jan SEDLÁČEK Aeromodelling union Aeromodelling Pylon Racing
Marek VELÁT LAA CR Ultra Light 



Vladislav URBAN


Aeromodelling union Aeromodelling F1B
Vlastimil KLICNAR  LAA CR Paragliding
Milan KLEMENT LAA CR Paramotor
Marek PLICHTA Aeromodelling union Aeromodelling
Trainer of the Year    
Petr KREJČIŘÍK   Aero Club CR   Gliding         

Alena Netušilová - IGC Champion Pilot of the Year 2023
Alena Netušilová - Czech Air Sports Athlete of the year 2023

Putting air sports in the spotlight

After an air display to showcase Czech air sports, athletes and pilots rubbed shoulders with performers, politicians and air sports/aviation leaders at the gala in the North Bohemian Theater in Ústí nad Labem, organised by the historic aero club.

Interviewed at the air display, FAI President David Monks remarked upon the importance of the Czech Republic to the air sports community.

"There are five world air sports championships being held (in the Czech Republic) this year, and 18 category 2 events, and that just shows the level of activity going on in the country. Quite impressive, and it’s a great thing to be part of. For such a small country your levels of achievement are quite incredible.”

FAI President David Monks interview

The presence of President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel was warmly welcomed by attendees. His enthusiastic recognition of his nation's recent achievements in aeronautics was a major highlight for organisers and competitors alike, helping to put air sports in the spotlight.

President Pavel addressed the audience, stating:

"I promised the president of the Aero Club of Czech Republic that I would personally participate in this announcement and thereby give air sports not only visibility, but also seriousness. And promises must be fulfilled.

Our aeronautical athletes made me very happy with their results in 2023. The organisers also did, by taking me on airplanes and gliders, so that I had the possibility to parachute jump from the An-2 aeroplane after years, just like when I was 15 years old, when I started."

Vlastimil Dvořák, President of the Aeroclub of the Czech Republic was delighted by the national prominence of this year’s event:

"For me, everything that happened here tonight is a very emotional matter, I have been working on such an idea for presenting aeronautical sports since 2006… Today we gathered in such a beautiful space… and with the help of Mr. President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel… we could announce the best aeronautical athlete of the Czech Republic for the year 2023."


About the Aero Club of Czech Republic (AeČR)

The non-profit national organisation was founded under the name Czech Aeroklub on 10 November 1909 in Prague. It was accepted as a member of the FAI in 1920 under the name Czechoslovakian Aviation Club.

The AeČR represents 112 clubs and their members, all related to aeronautical sports and hobby clubs. A member of the Czech Olympic Committee and the Association of Sports Associations of the Czech Republic, it is also a national aero club member of FAI. Together with the above-mentioned organizations, AeČR counts approximately 9.500 individual active members.

Image credits: Jiří Dodal, Vlastimil Dvořák, Karel Pech. Header image shows the winners with President Pavel.