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NZ Gliding Features prominently in 2006 FAI Awards

Gliding New Zealand press release 25/10/06

NZ Gliding Features prominently in 2006 FAI Awards

New Zealand glider pilots, administrators and competition organizers have featured prominently at this years FAI Annual General Conference, in Santiago, Chile, October 25-27.

Former GNZ President Peter Thorpe and current President George Rogers both received the Paul Tissander Diploma, while Airsports Limited of Omarama the Honorary Group Diploma.

The Tissander award was established by the FAI in 1952, and is named after Mr. Paul Tissandier, Secretary General of FAI from 1919 to 1945. It is awarded to those who have served the cause of Aviation in general and Sporting Aviation in particular, by their work, initiative and devotion.

Peter Thorpe made his first glider solo in 1960 and has been awarded for his significant contribution to New Zealand gliding through his service on the Gliding New Zealand Executive Committee for 11 years, holding the position of President for five years. During this time as President, Peter Thorpe guided Gliding New Zealand through the process of organisational certification under new CAA rules. He was also instrumental in introducing a revised glider pilot training syllabus.
George Rogers of Gliding New Zealand has been a glider pilot for 38 years. His award recognizes his contribution through his service service as a member of the Gliding New Zealand Executive Committee for 14 years, holding the position of Vice President for four years and is the newly elected Gliding New Zealand President. He has also held the top operational position for Gliding New Zealand, that of National Operations Officer and he is currently Vice President of the New Zealand Aviation Federation. He is further recognized as a major contributor to the success and growth of the Wellington Gliding Club.

Airsports Limited of Omarama have been awarded the Honorary Group Diploma. This Diploma was established in 1965 by the FAI to recognize groups of people (design offices, scientific bodies, aeronautical publications, etc) that have contributed significantly to the progress of Aeronautics and Astronautics during the previous year or years.

Airsports Limited has been awarded the diploma for successfully harnessing modern technology to bring the hitherto unseen spectacle and excitement of entire glider races to the attention of the public. The Airsports methodology uses a combination of advanced real-time 3D animation derived from glider GPS positions, combined with live photography from in-glider video cameras and a helicopter with a state-of-the-art gyro stabilised camera with signals beamed to the ground to enable large screen display and live TV coverage.

Airsports Limited has developed the tools to enable unprecedented publicity for air sports, Grand Prix gliding in particular. In turn, this will undoubtedly lead to significant corporate sponsorship for gliding and help to arrest the current decline in club membership worldwide.

“These are well deserved awards for all concerned. It is good to see the efforts of Kiwis so positively recognized internationally through the FAI,” comments Max Stevens, Gliding New Zealand Executive Officer.


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