FAI Centennial : Carlos Izquierdo, Philippe Broers, Manfred Ruhmer and Gin Song honoured
One of the roles of FAI is to give recognition to great performances by pilots of all kinds and to exceptional efforts made by individuals to promote and develop sporting aviation. The Centennial Conference in Paris, this October, celebrated the achievement of hang gliding and paragliding pilots Carlos Izquierdo, Philippe Broers and Manfred Ruhmer. Gin Song, who was not present, will receive his award later.
- Carlos Izquierdo The Paul Tissandier Diploma, established by the FAI in 1952, is awarded to those who have served the cause of aviation in general and sporting aviation in particular, by their work, initiative, devotion or in other ways For his contribution to air sports in Spain, it was awarded posthumously to Carlos Izquierdo. Carlos tragically died at the early age of 38 in an accident during the European Paragliding Championship in 2004. He was a pioneer in the development of new air sports in Spain, together with his brother Jaime. He was twice Spanish Champion, and a member of the Spanish Paragliding Team for many years. He helped to develop paragliding activity in Catabria, and was also well known as an aerial photographer. We have lost a good pilot and a great friend. Carlos' father, Jaime Izquierdo, was at the awarding ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of Carlos.
- Philippe Broers The Pepe Lopez Medal was established in February 1993 in memory of Pedro Paulo "Pepe" Lopes of Brazil who was the World Hang Gliding Champion in 1981. His energy and good humour played a big part in developing Brazil as an important centre for international competitions. He died during a hang gliding competition in Japan in 1991. The Medal may be awarded annually, on recommendation by CIVL, for outstanding contributions to sportsmanship or international understanding in the sport of hang gliding and paragliding The Pepe Lopes Hang Gliding Medal was awarded to Philippe Broers, of Belgium, for a selfless act of humanitarian sportsmanship. During a task at the 2004 European Paragliding Championship in Greece, Philippe noticed another paraglider pilot’s canopy collapse. The pilot, Carlos Izquierdo (ESP), lost height rapidly and impacted the ground in difficult mountain terrain. Philippe Broers immediately decided to land close to the crash site, despite the great difficulties of the terrain. He managed to land only 120m from the injured pilot, and reached him only a few minutes after the canopy had collapsed, despite having to remove his own equipment and run uphill over difficult terrain to the impact point. Establishing that Carlos Izquierdo was unconscious and badly injured, he radioed details of the GPS co-ordinates of the casualty, and gave first aid, attempting to resuscitate the pilot. He continued with resuscitation until the arrival of the first emergency response team on foot over an hour later. Although scoring well in the contest, with a chance of winning a medal, Philippe Broers did not hesitate to act when he saw a fellow pilot in trouble. His only concern was to assist that pilot. He did this in the most exemplary manner, following the guidelines for assisting fellow pilots in distress. That Carlos Izquierdo could not be saved was a tragic outcome and in no way due to any omission or lack of effort on his part. Philippe Broer’s lack of regard for either his competition ranking or his own safety while assisting a fellow pilot demonstrates his outstanding sportsmanship. The award was presented by Jaime Izquierdo, father of Carlos. This was a very emotional moment for Mr Izquierdo and Philippe, who had not met before. They both received a standing ovation from the approximately 250 persons who were present at the ceremony.
- Manfred Ruhmer On the actual day of the Centenary, 14th October, the Aero Club of France had succeeded in bringing together in the glittering setting of the Senate (Palais de Luxembourg) an array of prominent personalities from virtually all the areas of activity represented by FAI : the “High Flyers”. All have made significant contributions to aviation. Led by Apollo XI astronaut and moon-walker Buzz Aldrin (USA), Valérie André (FRA), Olivier Aubert (SUI), Mike Blyth (RSA), Jean Boulet (FRA), Audoin Dollfus (FRA), Steve Fossett (USA), Jon Johanson (AUS), Svetlana Kapanina (RUS), Jean-François and Vincent Leys (FRA), Jerzy Makula (POL), Catherine Maunoury (FRA), Klaus Ohlmann (GER), Bertrand Piccard (SUI), Valery Poliakoff (RUS), Cheryl Stearns (USA), Luc Trullemans (BEL), BJ Worth (USA)… … and Manfred Ruhmer (AUT)… … received the Centenary Medal, depicting early Parisian aeronautical exploits and symbolising the century–old link between the FAI and the Aero Club de France.
- Song Gin Seok The Hang gliding and Paragliding Diploma, established by CIVL in 1978, may be awarded every year to an individual "who is considered to have made the most contribution to the development of hang gliding by his initiative, work, leadership or flying achievement". Song Gin Seok was not present in Paris and will receive his Hang gliding and Paragliding Diploma later. Song Gin Seok has a long-standing experience in hang gliding and paragliding, in the teaching and training of younger generation of Koreans as well as in competition around the world. He is the director of the Federation of Korea Aeronautics and helped organise the first Asian paragliding championship. He is also the well-know maker of Gin paragliders.