Royal Aero Club

Awards & Trophies


Established in 1988 and awarded annually for an outstanding performance by a British aviator in a flying apparatus or device designed and built in the United Kingdom.

1988 K. H. Wallis
1989 No award
1990 D. Cameron & G. Oparin
1991 A. Elson, E. Jones, C. Dewhurst, L. Dickinson
Andrew Elson and Eric Jones along with Chris Dewhurst and Leo Dickinson, flying together in a pair of hot air balloons, made the first balloon flight over Mount Everest in October 1991. They also set records for the highest ever launch and touch-down sites for hot air balloons.
1992-96 No award
1997 Bruce Goldsmith
Bruce Goldsmith heads the team responsible for the series of designs which led up to the Airwave XMX paraglider, equipped with the wing-flex system. This won the FAI World Paragliding Championships in Spain. This win was the rare combination of a British pilot flying a British-designed glider manufactured by a British company.
1998 John Edgley
John Edgley's made original use of new materials and construction methods in the design of his EA9 Optimist glider. This material is Fibrelam, developed by Ciba-Geigy, and was initially used for commercial aircraft floors. John has demonstrated the suitability of this material as a replacement for wood in primary structures, which has facilitated the production of the EA-9 in kit form for home construction. The EA9 has been flown competitively by Derek Piggott.
1999 Don Cameron
Don Cameron has made a very major contribution over many years to the design of hot air balloons. His development of the Rozier hot-air/helium hybrid concept enabled the trans-Atlantic and then round-the-World flights to be achieved. He has also been responsible for the development of commercial balloon operations, including a great variety of special-shape balloons and hot-air airships. He is a very experienced balloon pilot and has flown his own designs in many competitions and record attempts.
2000-02 No award
2003 David Hempleman-Adams.
In September 2003 David Hempleman-Adams achieved the first Atlantic crossing in a balloon with an open wicker basket. The balloon was a British-made Rosiere 90. Starting from New Brunswick, the flight took 83 hours, during which some severe weather including heavy rain and freezing temperatures were encountered, but finished with a safe landing near Blackpool. Earlier in the year he had made a 30 hour flight in USA from Pittsburgh to Boston.
2004 Steve Elkins.
Steve Elkins is a hang glider pilot who has been a member of the British team for nearly 20 years, flying hang gliders made by his own Company in Britain. In 1988, he bought the rights to the Clubman basic design and set up Avian Ltd to manufacture them. This evolved into the Elan and Armour models. Later designs included the Cheetah which pioneered carbon-fibre spar technology. Avian is now the only hang glider manufacturer in the UK. In January 2005, he will again be flying an aircraft of his own design and manufacture at the World Championships.
2005-07 No award
2008 Garth Greyling.
Garth Greyling was piloting a Turbo-Islander at the Army Parachute Championships in Germany. After a successful team exit, the jump-master also exited, leaving Garth alone in the aircraft. Unfortunately the jump-master became entangled in the static line and was trapped trailing from the aircraft. After being alerted to the problem, Garth climbed the aircraft back to a safe height and worked out that he would have to trust the trim to keep the aircraft flying level and leave his seat to cut the static line free. After one dummy run over the DZ, he accomplished this, being out of his seat for several minutes. The jump-master was then able to free himself from the line and use his reserve chute to land safely. Garth's exemplary airmanship saved his life.
2009 No award
2010 David Boxall
David Boxall is a leading balloon designer and has been responsible for many ballooning achievements. These include many special shape balloons and balloons for expeditions. His designs have included Rozière balloons that have flown in the Arctic and the series of Rozières which culminated in the round the world flights by Breitling Orbiter 3 and Steve Fossett . His most recent design was the GB1000 hydrogen balloon flown by David Hempleman-Adams and Simon Carey in the 2010 Gordon Bennett Race. The balloon performed flawlessly from Bristol to a landing in Serbia.
2011 No award



Awarded annually jointly by the Royal Aero Club and the Aero Club de France for achievements in the field of aviation that substantially produces the advantages of rotary winged flight, including VTOL and jet-lift aircraft.

1956 P. Morain
1957 R. Hafner
1958 R. Dorand
1959 Dr J.A.J. Bennett
1960 C. Marchetti
1961 Dr G.S. Hislop
1962 Dr D.A. Griffith
1963 Sir Sydney Camm
1964 F. Le Grand
1965 T.L. Ciastula
1966 J.R. Szydlowski
1967 H.E. Le Sueur
1968 H. Boris
1969 O. L.FitzWilliams
1970-72 No award
1973 Wg.Cdr. K.H Wallis
1974 J. Moine
1975 Miss Gail Absalom
1976 R. Mouille
1977 J.S. Shapiro
1978-79 No award
1980 J. Cameron
1981 No award
1982 Capt. Eric Brown
1983 J. Boulet
1984 A. Bristow
1985 G. Petit
1986 R. Moxam
1987 P.A. Everard
1988 C. Schmitt
1989 No award
1990 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
1991-96 No award
1997 Michael Smith
Michael Smith, with his son, has competed in every World Helicopter Championship since they started. He was involved in the original design of the events and the initiation of the sporting side of helicopter use.
1998-2000 No award
2001 Imogen Asker
At this year’s British Helicopter Championships Imogen Asker was co-pilot and navigator in a two woman crew competing against nine military crews and fifteen other civilian crews. Despite having only 100 hours Imogen’s team won handsomely.
2002-03 No award
2004 Simon Oliphant-Hope.
In June 2004, Simon Oliphant-Hope established a new World Record for a round-the-World flight by a helicopter. He started and finished at Shoreham, and made an East-bound circumnavigation via Russia. He encountered some severe ocean storms and crossed mountains of over 10,000 ft. He completed the flight in 17 days, beating the record by seven days.
2005-06 No award
2007 Jennifer Murray & Colin Bodill.
Between December 2006 and May 2007 Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill set a new FAI World Record by flying round the world via both the South and North Pole in a helicopter. They covered 32,000 nautical miles in the 171-day journey, making over 120 stops and visiting 26 countries. Their success raised a considerable sum for charity. Their achievement was particularly notable because both pilots had suffered serious injuries from crashing into an Antarctic ice shelf on a previous attempt in 2003.
2008-11 No award



Established in 1988 and awarded annually to a young person or group of young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty one, for outstanding work, performance or achievement in connection with any aspect of aerospace activity. Discontinued after 2009.

1988 2078 (Boscobel) Squadron ATC
1989 No award
1990 Alison Syrett
1991 A. Ball
1992-93 No award
1994 A.Holmes
1995 Joseph Turner
Joseph Turner started competitive model flying in 1989 at the age of 12, competing in Senior events as Junior events virtually did not exist then. In 1993, aged 16, he achieved Best Junior Award at the BMPA Nationals, having graduated to International Control Line Class. In 1995 he was 2nd overa ll from 12 in one international competition, 4th of 9 juniors and 16th overall from 48 at the European Championships and 4th overall from 20 in the Spanish International World Cup.
1996 Jay Rebbeck
Jay Rebbeck is 19 years old and already holds the FAI gliding silver and bronze badges, plus his diamond height award tor a flight during which he gained over 5,000 metres after release. He has flown with great success in the Junior British National Championships and Competition Enterprise, and in 1996 flew his 30 year old K6E from Bicester to Sutton Bank and back on a day without brilliant soaring conditions.
1997 Hugh Miller
Hugh Miller won both the first FAI World Air Games Paragliding event in Turkey and the British Paragliding Championship, and contributed to the British team's silver medal win at the 1997 Paragliding World Championship in Spain. He is the youngest-ever winner of the National Championships.
1998 Mark Christy
Mark Christy is 18 years old, and has already had a long record of success in competitive model flying, specialising in radio-controlled helicopters. He started model flying at the age of six, and at age 10, he qualified for a contest and public display licence for helicopters, the youngest person ever to achieve this. Since then, he has been a regular competitor and winner in National and International Contests, including the World Air Games.
1999 Lee Shelley
Lee Shelley started flying radio-controlled models at the age of 7 and passed the BMFA primary and secondary tests within a year. He has gone on to sportsman-class aerobatics, and qualified for Master's grade competition in 1996. Though still only 16, he is a regular and increasingly successful competititor.
2000 Clare McLaughlin
Clare McLaughlin learned to fly and went solo at the age of 17, and has since completed a PPL. She was awarded one of only two RAF University Scholarships. She is currently an undergraduate at Bristol University, and has continued her flying training with the University Air Squadron. She is one of the first girls to be recommended for 'Fast Jets'.
2001 Rachel McLaughlin
Rachel McLaughlin had completed her PPL by the age of 16 but had to wait until her 17th birthday before the CAA/JAA awarded her licence. She funded her own flying lessons and self-studied for the exams, averaging over 90% in the JAA written papers.
2002 Jonathon Gowing
Jonathon Gowing is now 18 years old. He has been actively interested in ballooning since he was 12, and has logged 800 hours airborne time. After leaving school in 2002 he passed his balloon PPL in only 12 weeks.
2003 Jennifer Beesley.
Jenny Beesley is 20 years old. She was a member of 2430 Sqn ATC and became a Flight Sergeant. She achieved a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and a Gliding Scholarship, and at weekends she worked for Fenland Flying Club for four years. She was awarded an Air League Scholarship and gained a PPL in August 2001, and then became an instructor at an ATC Gliding School. She joined the RAF and in 2003 was awarded best Student in Flying on the EFT Course. She has been selected to start fast jet training in 2004.
2004 Matthew Hart.
Matthew Hart is 17 years old, and has been flying control line model aircraft in F2A speed competitions for three years. He has regularly been a member of the UK team at European and World Championships, winning several medals in junior competitions, including European Gold. He also competed in the US Open Nationals in 2004, where he set a World record for his age group of 281 kph, and also an event record for jet-power. He is still at school, and has been accepted for an Engineering degree course at Heriot-Watt university.
2005 Daniel Billam.
Daniel Billam started flying competitions for rubber-powered free-flight models when he was 11. Since 2003 he has been a regular member of the UK international team in this class, and was 9th in the Junior World Championships in 2004. In 2005 he moved up to the senior team and his second-highest placing in the UK team contributed to the team's overall 9th place in the World Championships in Argentina. He also competed in indoor duration flying and won two classes at the European Indoor Championships in 2004.
2006 Christopher Lawrence.
Christopher Lawrence joined Norfolk Gliding Club's Cadet Scheme in 2004, and achieved his first solo on his 16th birthday on Boxing Day 2005. He has since gained a Bronze Badge, 100 km Diploma and two sections of a Silver Badge. He has absorbed himself in the life of the club; he is a very regular volunteer worker at the launch point, and is serving on the Club's Strategy Committee.
2007 Daniel Billam.
Daniel Billam started flying competitions for F1B rubber-powered free-flight models when he was 11. He has been a regular member of the UK international team since 2003. He was previously awarded the Rolex Trophy for 2005, but his subsequent successes in international competition merit a further award. He is still only 17 years old. He achieved the best senior UK placings in the World Cup in France in 2005 and 2006, and in 2006 he won Gold in the Junior World Championship in Germany.
2008 Aislinn & Eilidh Price.
Aislinn and Eilidh Price are sisters aged 14 and 17. They have been helping with the organisation of Model-flying combat competitions for over three years and have become renowned for their skill at scoring the competitions. They have worked at several BMFA regional competitions and the last three British Nationals. Their reputation resulted in invitations to be scorers at the 2007 European Championships at Belgrade, and the 2008 World Cup and World Championships in France, which involved eight days work.
2009 No award
2010 Discontinued & replaced

Established in 2010 and awarded annually to a young person or group of young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty one, for outstanding work, performance or achievement in connection with any aspect of aerospace activity.
2010 Ben Alford
Ben Alford is 14 years old and has been flying radio controlled model hot air balloons for three years. Apart from flying, he always has a complete spares and repair kit and can solve most people's problems on site. He also makes excellent quality baskets and envelopes for customers in the UK and abroad. His best achievement so far was winning a Bronze Medal at the European Model Balloon Championships in Germany last year. Ben promotes hot air ballooning by giving talks and demonstrations. He is also a competent crew member for full-size balloons, including crewing at this year's British National Championships.
2011 Yateley School
In 2009, Yateley School won a bid to build a kit aircraft, sponsored by Boeings and the Royal Aeronautical Society. The team consisted of Jake Bland, Chris Draper, Chris Hill, Luke Morgan, Grace Roaf, Connor Simpson and Oliver Vass> They were involved in all stages of the construction. They have shown real dedication and have learned a variety of engineering skills. As well as the weekly building sessions, they have taken part in a variety of other aviation-related activities. They exhibited the part-built aircraft at several air shows, including Farnborough. Some of them have gone on to work experience at airfields and with British Airways.


Established in 2010 for runners-up to the President's Breitling Trophy. Awarded annually to a young person or group of young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty one, for outstanding work, performance or achievement in connection with any aspect of aerospace activity.
2010 James Griffin
Jamie Griffin is a junior member of Novocastria Model Aircraft Club. He has shown outstanding progress in F2D Combat since his first competition in 2008. He has been a regular competitor in regional competitions, and has been well placed in the national F2D leagues against senior opponents. This led to selection for the 2010 British team for the World Championships, at the age of 15.
2010 Craig Attwood and Sophie Gallimore
Craig Attwood and Sophie Gallimore were two of a group of 36 students who constructed a kit aircraft under the Light Aircraft Association Build-a-Plane educational project, supervised by members of the Devon Strut. They started by helping build one wing in North Devon and then continued to travel to Exeter once a week for 20 months to help complete the aircraft. They have since supported the completed aircraft at many public events, including Farnborough, RIAT and Aero Expo. Usually this involved helping to transport and rig the aircraft as well as helping exhibit it.
2011 Billy Elliston
Billy Elliston is now 21 and has been paragliding since he was 14 years old. He is a trainee Instructor with the Green Dragons Aerosports School. He has been a keen competitor in accuracy competitions and in 2011 he became the UK individual and team Champion, and was in the UK team at the World Championships.
2011 Simon Sykes
Simon Sykes is now 21 and has been parascending and paragliding for several years, He is a trainee Instructor with the Green Dragons Aerosports School and with the Scouts. He has committed many weekends to introducing younger scouts to the sport and has served for two years on the BHPA Accuracy Panel. He has been a keen competitor in paragliding accuracy competitions, and was in the UK team at the 2010 European Championships in Turkey. In 2011, he was runner up in the UK nationals and was in the winning team in the European Parascending Accuracy Grand Prix.



Established in 1997 and awarded annually to a person aged 65 or over who flies or who has only ceased flying in the previous year, and who has been conspicuously involved in aviation and sport aviation in particular, for their work, initiative, devotion or in other ways.

1997 Peggy Follis
Peggy Follis gained her PPL at the age of 79, the oldest lady to do so. Now aged 86, she gained her IMC rating a year later and is at present campaigning to get partially deaf pilots accepted by the CAA. She is interested in all aspects of aviation and flies whenever the weather permits.
1998 Wing Commander Gerry Turnbull
Gerry Turnbill is still regularly flying balloons at the age of 81. His involvement started with the RAF at Cardington in the 1940's and he commanded the RAF's balloon flying activity until the 1960's. He regularly flew gas balloons. He was the first British pilot to fly the modern-style hot air balloons and he contributed to the British pre-eminence in this field. He was also a parachutist and commanded the Parachute school at Abingdon. After leaving the RAF, he became a director of GQ Parachute Company. His recent flying has included aerial work with hot-air airships, and sport flying in gas balloons.
1999 Bert Miles
Bert Miles learned to fly in Canada in 1944, and returned to civilian flying in 1956. He started a long involvement with Air Racing in 1967. He has taken part in every National Air Race for the last 15 years, and has twice been the British Air Racing Champion. At the age of 75, he is one of the most consistently successful racing pilots.
2000 John Houlder
John Houlder has been the operator of Elstree Airfield since 1952. He qualified for a PPL before the war and is still a very active pilot, despite suffering a damaged arm in 1942. He has over 15,000 hours in his logbooks and has owned an Aero Commander twin for 30 years. In the last few years he has undertaken some very long trips in it: to Zanzibar in 1995, to Pakistan in 1997, and across the Atlantic and round the USA, Alaska and Canada in 2000. He is 84 years old.
2001 Peter Thorn
Pete Thorn joined the Royal Air Force in 1953 flying Meteors and Javelins. He became an instructor in 1967 and later flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Pete left the RAF in 1988 and joined Oxford Air Training School as an Instructor, where he still instructs part time. He trained the Diamond Nine Tiger Moth Team for many years, and is a Council Member of the Historic Aircraft Association. For many years Pete has been involved with the RIAT Flying Scholarships for the Disabled, serving on the selection board and instructing.
2002 Beryl Thorp
Beryl Thorp is now 71 years old, and has a share in a Cherokee. She has been successful in several competitions, including winning the Dawn-to-Dusk in 1999. She has raised money through sponsorship for the BWPA Scholarship Fund and the Air Ambulance. She is actively involved with the Shobdon Aero Club, where she mans the radio and is social events organiser. She is a member of the BWPA, the PFA, and the Guild of Aviation Artists.
2003 Derek Piggott.
Derek Piggott is 81. He learned to fly with the RAF 61 years ago and is still flying. Post-war he established UK height records for single and two-seat gliders. For many years he was the chief gliding instructor at Lasham. He still instructs there and took part in the 2003 UK Club Class Championships. As well as gliding, he flew replica vintage aircraft in a number of films, including "Those Magnificent Men" and "Blue Max".
2004 David Cahill.
David Cahill is 72 years old. He has been flying for over 30 years and owns a quarter-share in a Cherokee Arrow. He has held a PPL for over 30 years and has over 2000 hours in the logbook. He has been a regular competitor in Air Rallies at home and at several Mediterranean venues, and has achieved several victories in navigation and arrival time competitions. Though he has recently given up because of the cost, he was also a regular racing pilot.
2005 Rita Boniface.
Rita Boniface is now 73 years old, and still flying. She started in 1970, and was a part-time instructor at Southend for eight years. She was particularly interested in aerial photography, including airborne archaeology. She has promoted flying by giving numerous talks to youth organisations and clubs such as the WI and Rotary. She has been a member of BWPA for over 30 years and served on its committee in several roles, currently chairing the Awards and Scholarships sub-committee. She also helps out with Air League and RAeC functions and is also an active member of the European Women Pilots' Association. She has recently regained her pilots licence after accident injuries four years ago.
2006 Harry Mason.
Harry Mason was 87 years old on 23rd April. He joined the RAF in 1938 and served as an aircraft fitter until 1946. He was too good at his job and his requests for aircrew training were repeatedly refused. Eventually he won a scholarship to learn to fly at Yeadon in 1955. He started flying aerobatics in 1997 and in 2000 entered his first competition, flying a Pitts Special, aged 80! He is still flying in competitions and beating people 40 years his junior, including 3rd place in the 2006 Tiger Trophy.
2007 Jim O'Donnell.
Jim started flying with the Scottish Gliding Union in 1955 and became an Instructor. He also instructed for the Air Training Corps until 1967, and then for the Air Scouts. From 1972 until 1976 he was CFI at Portmoak. He became involved with aircraft preservation at East Fortune Aircraft Museum in 1973, and since 1986 he has organised the ‘Tuesday Group’ of elderly glider pilots who work there. He promoted gliding by giving many aerobatic displays around Scotland in the 1970s and 80s,. Since its inception he has supported the ‘Walking On Air' charity for disabled glider pilots, both as an instructor and tug pilot. He is now 84, but continues to fly the tug and gliders at Portmoak and to tour the country in a motor glider.
2008 Roger Dickson.
Roger Dickson is 82. He made his first flight with Alan Cobham's Circus in 1932. He has over 8,000 hours in aircraft and gliders in his logbooks. As an exhibition organiser, he has attended every SBAC Air Show, starting at Radlett in 1947. A road accident in 1995 resulted in amputation of his right forearm, but he has continued flying with a special prosthetic. He flies his CAP-10, including aerobatics, from Gamston and also maintains a current Instrument Rating. He is actively involved with the British Disabled Pilots Association.
2009 Derry Moore.
Derry Moore gained his private pilot's licence for balloons in the 1970's and in 1989 his commercial balloon licence. He became a BBAC Inspector in 1979, a BBAC Instructor in 1986 and recently a balloon instructor of the Irish Aviation Authority. Derry was the Chairman of the Balloons and Airships Group of Europe Airsports for nearly 20 years and represented the BBAC on the Royal Aero Club Parliamentary Committee, the BBAC Flying and Technical Committees and NATMAC. Now 86 years old, Derry is still a very active balloonist showing few signs of slowing down and happily no signs of stopping.
2010 Doug Gregory
Doug Gregory flew operationally in WW-2 and is still flying today. He learned to fly with the RAF in 1941. He flew two tours on Beaufighters and Mosquitos on bomber escort. He shot down two Ju-88s and was awarded a DFC. He then became a test pilot at a Maintenance Unit in India. After the war he became a schoolteacher. In the 1960s, encouraged by a neighbour, Des Biggs, he returned to flying; initially gliding and then powered flying. He and Des constructed a pair of scale-replica SE-5A aircraft, home-built under the Popular Flying Association, which were completed in 1987. Doug and Des formed an airshow display act for over 20 years, appearing more than 100 times. Doug, now aged 87, is still flying and maintaining his own aircraft, and still has a Display Authorisation.
2011 Ernest Horsfall
Ernie Horsfall was born in 1918 and learned to fly in the mid 1960's. He joined the PFA (now the LAA) in 1967, and soon became established as an expert on Jodel aircraft. His sought out Jodels for sale around Europe, and flew or trailered them back to his base at Blackpool. Some were resold quickly, but several were subject to high quality rebuilds, eventually handling about 40 aircraft. He became a PFA Engineering Inspector in 1971 and also became an Inspector for the Icelandic CAA. He served on the PFA Executive committee for several years and was awarded an RAeC Bronze medal for 1997. He had to give up flying last year when his insurers would not cover him because of age, but he is still serving as a volunteer Inspector supervising several LAA aircraft, and last summer he drove 500 miles each way to attend the RSA French national Rally, at the age of age 93.



Established in 1997 and awarded annually to the journalist, producer or author of the outstanding media item on sporting and recreational aviation during the previous year.

1997 Dean Squire & Mark McCauley
Dean Squire and Mark McCauley produced a masterly BBC News 24 TV programme on learning to glide, which effectively captured the delights, challenges and satisfactions of the sport by making good use of on-board mini-cameras, while being made unobtrusively with the Ulster Gliding Club.
1998 No award
1999 David Wootton
David Wootton learned paragliding in 1988. He has taken a lead in promoting hang gliding and paragliding in the media. He has provided high quality photographs to newspapers and magazines, and has had articles published in over 40 magazines in the last two years. He has an increasing involvement in television programmes, recently including ITV's Don't Try This At Home, C4's Scrapheap, and BBC's Essential Guide To Weather, while full half-hour features are under negotiation. He was responsible for a virtual hang-gliding simulator which has been a very popular feature at several exhibitions.
2000 Lesley Gale
Lesley Gale has been parachuting for 16 years and has made over 2300 jumps, including winning medals in international competitions. In 1995 she became Editor of BPA's Skydive magazine. She turned it round so that it became profitable, while its quality is recognised world-wide. In 2000 she launched a major initiative aimed at retaining beginners in the sport after their initial jumps. This is a publication called the Skydive Starter Mag, which is distributed free to all UK parachute clubs to give to their students. It is playing a valuable role in sustaining their interest and encouraging them to progress within the sport.
2001 John Christopher
John Christopher has recently retired as Editor of The Aerostat, a post he held from 1989. He has, in the past year, written two books on ballooning and has published articles in many journals and newspapers. John was also the founding Editor of Dirigible, the Journal of the Airship Heritage Trust.
2002 Mungo Amyatt-Leir
Mungo Amyatt-Leir is the Managing Director of Just Flight Ltd and PC Pilot magazine, which has a monthly readership of about 40,000. He has taken the lead in promoting computer-simulated flying in Britain. The FAI has recognised the importance of simulated flying, including competitions, as a step towards real flight. He is actively involved in the RAeC Trust Flying For Youth initiative, and has donated a bursary to help convert from simulated flight to real flight.
2003 The Skywings Team.
Skywings is the house-magazine of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. Joe Schofield took over as Editor in December 1992 and was joined three months later by Colin Fargher as Designer - both are also experienced hang-glider pilots. They initially worked to an established format, but in 1998 they launched a major new image for the magazine, and have continued to evolve its style to keep it fresh, lately moving to full colour.
2004 No award
2005 Neil Lawson.
Neil Lawson was a professional photographer and glider pilot. He linked these two subjects and built up a library of gliding and other aviation pictures spanning 30 years. He formed the White Planes Picture Company in 1999, to exploit this, using the internet. He continued to take excellent pictures of gliders, including providing the cover picture for almost every issue of Sailplane & Gliding magazine. Neil was unfortunately killed in an accident while photographing the Junior World Gliding Championships in 2005, and the award was made posthumously.
2006 No award
2007 Michael Bird.
Michael Bird is known to generations of Sailplane & Gliding readers as the columnist Platypus. This emerged in 1969 eight years after Michael first began writing for the magazine, and nearly 40 years later still appears in every issue The column is both funny and insightful, ranging from witty one-liners about the baser aspects of gliding life to the complexities of the theory of flight. For many readers it is the first page they turn to and the reason they buy the magazine. A collection of his Platypus writings was published as a book in 2000.
2008 No award
2009 Brain Hope.
Brian Hope has been Editor of the Popular Flying Association's magazine, Popular Flying, since 2001, as a part-time task. Following the renaming of the PFA to the Light Aircraft Association, the magazine was renamed as Light Aviation. He has dramatically transformed a staid bimonthly journal into a vibrant, stylish, high quality monthly magazine eagerly awaited by members. Brian is an enthusiastic private pilot who flies his Jodel all over Europe attending many fly-ins, and regularly visits major American events. His great knowledge allows him to spot new developments and the most interesting improvements. His reports are of outstanding quality, well supported by excellent photographs and fine examples of the articles that have so transformed the magazine.
2010-11 No award



Established in 1998 and awarded in recognition of the vital help provided to British air sport by those organisations who support its member organisations by means of sponsorship or the provision of facilities for national teams or otherwise.

1998 Shepway District Council.
This is in recognition of their sponsorship of the Royal Aero Club participation in the "Flying Start" event held at Folkestone in September 1998. Seven RAeC member organisations took part in this, and it was a great success in generating public interest. It is hoped that this will be repeated at Folkestone, and serve as a model for similar collaborations with other local government authorities.
1999 Breitling Swiss Chronographs.
The Breitling Company has been manufacturing aircraft instruments and pilots' watches since the earliest days of aviation. They have been major sponsors of many aviation events, including display teams, international competitions, and three attempts to fly round the world by balloon, culminating in the success by Breitling Orbiter 3 in March 1999. They have also been regular sponsors of the Royal Aero Club's presentation evening.
1999 Tony Hines and Lord Trefgarne.
Tony Hines and David Trefgarne have been responsible for securing substantial funding for the Popular Flying Association's Pilot Coaching Scheme. This has enabled the Scheme to develop continuation training to match the new requirements of JAA internationally harmonised PPLs.
2000 Tony Holden.
Tony Holden was the catalyst behind establishing the Royal Aero Club Internet Website in 1999. He managed the setting up of the site and donated the registration of the domain name. He has continued to host the site and to look after the loading of updated material. He has recently also provided a home for the web-site for the RAeC Trust. These web-sites make a major contribution to public awareness of the Club and Trust.
2001 No award
2002 David Bryan.
David Bryan is Managing Director of Sonic Communications International, which provides specialist communications equipment. Since 1992 he has supported the RAeC Records, Racing and Rally Association by providing advanced communications equipment, including air-to-ground links and a control centre, to provide the public with a commentary at air racing events.
2003 Peter Elliott.
Peter Elliott is Head of the Department for Research and Information Service at the RAF Museum, Hendon. This includes responsibility for the archive of books, albums, paintings and other memorabilia owned by the RAeC. He has been of great help to the RAeC and the RAeC Trust in their work to conserve these relics, including obtaining professional help in assessing them and applying for grants for conservation work.
2003 Yvonne Jukes.
Yvonne Jukes ran the Airsports Insurance Bureau for Reggie Spooner when he set it up in 1976. It was initially to provide specialist cover for Hang Gliding but expanded to include coverage for several other air sports. Reggie Spooner gave the AIB to the BHGA when he retired in 1992, and it has continued to be managed very successfully and profitably by Yvonne. She has become renowned for arranging special cover at short notice and for arranging help for her customers who have had accidents abroad.
2003 Victoria Osborne.
Victoria Osborne is Marketing and PR Manager of TWG Distribution Ltd, the UK agents for Breitling Chronographs. They have sponsored the RAeC Awards Ceremony programme brochure for several years, and she has been responsible for arranging the quality artwork, typesetting and printing to meet the requirements of the occasion, and to enable the Club to use extra copies for publicity and PR.
2004 Stewart Luck.
Stewart Luck is a commercial pilot and has been a member of the PFA EC for six years. He has a passionate interest in youth involvement and education. He originated and initially funded the "UK Build-a-plane" project, involving groups of Air Cadets and Air Scouts across the country in the construction of an aircraft, with each group building a part of it. This has enabled hundreds of children to be involved. They will see their handiwork fly, and several of them will fly in it when it is completed.
2005-06 No award
2007 Richard Crabtree.
Richard Crabtree has been the Administrator of the Royal Aero Club Trust for several years. He joined the Trust as a volunteer and focussed on developing the Flying Bursary scheme for young people. This has enabled them to improve their proficiency in a variety of air sports. He subsequently became a Trustee and his background and experience have been of considerable assistance to the Trust. His involvement with classic cars helped to spread awareness of the unique items in the RAeC Collection, particularly the albums which belonged to the Hon. C S Rolls. This resulted in many donations, enabling these albums to be restored for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations as well as their contents being made available to Rolls-Royce enthusiasts, world-wide.
2008 Dick Richardson.
Dick Richardson served with the RAF as an engineer, working on aircraft ranging from Vulcans to the BBMF Lancaster, for which he was Chief Engineer. He went on to manage two major collections of historic aircraft at Strathallan and Shuttleworth. He was then appointed to the collection being gathered by Charles Church at Popham, but this was unfortunately curtailed in 1989 by the death of Mr. Church. Dick stayed on at Popham as Airfield Operations Manager. He has developed it into one of the most popular and friendly light aircraft airfields in Britain, including a programme of themed fly-ins throughout the summer. Long-established highlights include the big annual Microlight Trade Fair, and the Starlight Foundation Charity Air-day where hundreds of terminally ill children have been given rides in a variety of aircraft.
2009 Charles Crawley.
Charles Crawley made a huge contribution to the conservation of the Royal Aero Club's archive collection at the RAF Museum. Charles served with the RAF and was a Friend of the RAF Museum where he was well known and much loved. Due to Charles' enthusiasm he became a ready volunteer when teams were put together in 2003 to stabilise the RAeC's archives. Full details of Charles' work entitled 'Pins and Needles...' are on the Trust website. In a lovely historical twist, Charles found his own certificate application from the early post-war years among the archives. Tragically Charles and his wife were killed in a motoring accident in late 2009 and this award is made posthumously. They will be greatly missed by everyone at the RAeC, the Trust and the RAF Museum.
2009 Hayward Aviation Ltd.
Hayward Aviation, the largest UK aviation insurance broker, has been the principal sponsor of the British Helicopter Championships every year since 2003. This provided for the first time a fully committed backing which made it possible for the British Team to gain experience, skills and confidence. As a result the British Team gained the Ladies World Championship 2005 title and finished with six crews in the top fifteen places. At the 2008 World Championships in Germany the British Team won the FAI Bronze Medal, its highest position ever. Hayward Aviation continues to support the British Team throughout 2010, preparing for the World Championships in 2011.
2009 Graeme Fudge of Mazda UK Ltd.
Graeme Fudge is PR Director of Mazda UK Ltd and a competitor in British aerobatics. In 2007, when the UK was successful in its bid to host the 2009 World Aerobatic Championships (WAC), Graeme stepped forward and Mazda UK became the biggest sponsor, providing funding and a fleet of 39 vehicles. Mazda's support enabled the BAeA to contract with QinetiQ for an electro-optical tracking system to monitor aircraft position, an unprecedented innovation that established a completely objective precision system for height and box penalties. Without Mazda UK, driven by Graeme's determination, the WAC would not have been anything like the huge success that it turned out to be.
2009 The RAF Museum.
When the Royal Aero Club ceased to have its own premises in the 1970s, the RAF Museum agreed the RAeC archives could be stored at the Museum and cared for by its staff. Secure storage has been provided for around 1,000 boxes of unique archive material, albums, paintings, books, a variety of memorabilia and numerous trophies. Space and assistance is also provided for the work of the volunteers who are restoring and stabilising the collection. The Director of the RAF Museum, Dr Michael Fopp, was also instrumental in acquiring equipment to scan and caption the collection, and banners to illustrate the work of the Royal Aero Club Trust.
2010 John David Jones
Dave Jones was a member of Southport MAC. He flew free flight scale models until the late 1980’s when he had to give up due to an industrial injury. He is a talented artist and a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists and the American Society of Aviation Artists. He has had paintings hung at the RAF Museum, Fleet Air Arm Museum, and the Shuttleworth Collection. Over the years Dave has kindly presented more than 20 original paintings as prizes for the North West Area BMFA Woodvale Rally and for the BMFA magazine.
2010 46F (Kensington) Squadron, Air Training Corps
46(F) (Kensington) Squadron, Air Training Corps has over many years given invaluable support to the Royal Aero Club in the discharge of its annual ceremonial duties. This has forged a link between those starting out in an aviation-related career and those honoured for their achievements in sporting and recreational aviation.
2011 Lucy Smeaton
Lucy Smeaton has recently retired after several years as volunteer webmaster of the Royal Aero Club Trust website. She has developed the content of the site, expanding the information on the Trust's activities. These include the Bursary scheme, particularly covering the personal achievements of the recipients; also information on the conservation work organised by the Trust on the Royal Aero Club archives, illustrating the results achieved.
2011 NADFAS Volunteers
The archives of the Royal Aero Club had been stored in nearly 1000 boxes at the RAF Museum at Hendon since the 1970's. One of the major objectives of the RAeC Trust was to arrange for conservation, indexing and photographing, to enable research access and selective display of this unique and historically important collection. This included thousands of documents and photographs, along with art-works, trophies and other items. The work started in 2004, staffed by volunteer experts from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS). Twenty people have been involved, under the leadership of Andrew Dawrant and Tony Woollard. The work is still continuing, but the fruits of thousands of hours of work can now be seen on the collection's own website.
2011 David Cowden
David Cowden set up the British Aerobatic Foundation in 2005. The objective is to raise funds for training young aerobatic pilots, and for members of the UK team for the World and European Championships. The Foundation has provided training for novices who have gone on to win Standard and Intermediate competitions, and has enabled the UK team to appear regularly in the top five in Championships, including Bronze in the Europeans.



Established in 2005. To acknowledge people making a major contribution to flying instruction benefitting the BGA, BMAA, and BHPA. Normally there is one award each year, but for its first year, awards were made for each of these three organisations.

2005 Charlie Kovac.
Charlie Kovac started gliding in Yugoslavia in 1940. After the war, he settled in England and returned to gliding, becoming an Instructor at Lasham in 1965. He has taught many hundreds of pilots to fly, and more recently he has coached and developed the skills of numerous instructors from many other clubs. He has also qualified for an FAI Gold Badge. His inspiration and hard work for others was recognised by election as a Life Member of the Lasham Gliding Society, and is further acknowledged by the Ann Welch Award.
2005 Mark Shaw.
Mark Shaw began paragliding in 1990 and trained as an instructor in 1996. After further experience overseas, he qualified as a Senior Instructor in 2002. He became CFI of the new Peak Airsports in early 2003, training 30 students a year, and concentrating on high-quality training in small groups. He was seriously injured flying in the Alps in 2004, but has recovered to fly again and continues to run the school full time. His former students can be readily identified by their exemplary technique and safety.
2005 Gerry Breen.
Gerry Breen started gliding at the age of 13 and became an RAF gliding instructor when he was 17. On leaving the RAF in 1974, he set up a hang-glider manufacturing company and opened the Welsh Hang Gliding Centres, which became Britain's most successful schools. He co-authored the first book on hang-gliding with Ann Welch. In 1976, he pioneered powered hang-gliding, operating successfully at Enstone until 1984. As well as instructing, he set many records and was involved in several expeditions and films. In 1985, he set up a flying school in the Algarve, instructing on weight-shift and three-axis microlights. He is a CAA Flying Instructor Examiner, a BMAA and PFA Inspector, and Britain's only authorised Seaplane Microlight Instructor and Examiner.
2006 John Henry.
John Henry started gliding as an ATC Cadet in 1948 and joined the Scottish Gliding Union in 1951. He became an instructor in 1959 and has continued to instruct at various Scottish Clubs ever since. He gained a PPL in 1974 and qualified as a motor-glider instructor and tug pilot. He is also a microlight check-pilot and a PFA test pilot. He instructs for the "Walking on Air" disabled pilots scheme. All of this as an unpaid volunteer. He has a good track record of success with students which other instructors have given up.
2007 Graham Phipps.
Graham Phipps started Hang Gliding instructing over twenty years ago in Cornwall. He has made a big contribution to the development of hang gliding in the South West. He now includes training utilising towing, which has made tuition more available and controlled, and he also provides paragliding tuition. This has broadened access for the less physically able and for all ages. His school operates with low numbers to ensure good progress. He has had notable success in producing pilots who stay in the sport. and he continues coaching ex-students after their formal training. He flies at top competition level as a member of the British Hang Gliding Team.
2008 Les Merritt.
Les Merritt started gliding in 1971 with the Southdown Gliding Club, at Firle and then Parham. He gained a silver badge and advanced rapidly through the ratings to become their CFI. He was also instrumental in achieving the club's M3 engineering licence. His job moved and he joined the Buckminster Gliding Club at Saltby, and in 1997 he became its full-time CFI and Manager. Under his leadership, the club's facilities have expanded greatly. He has qualified as a motor-glider instructor and examiner, and a tug-pilot examiner. His enthusiasm and knowledge is allied to an ability to encourage pilots at all levels.
2009 Mark Dann.
Mark Dann became a pioneer of the fledgling sport of paragliding in 1987. By the early 90's he was competing in worldwide competitions, becoming an Instructor in 1992 and a Dual Paragliding Pilot and Senior Instructor in 1994. Mark started his own paragliding and paramotoring school, Beyond Extreme, in 1998 with the help of the Prince's Trust. Mark has trained thousands of students and given hundreds of people from all backgrounds the unforgettable thrill of a tandem paragliding flight. Mark is a member of the British Accuracy Team and led the first British paragliding expedition to Aconcagua in 2008.
2010 John Jeffries
John Jeffries started gliding with the London Gliding Club at Dunstable in 1949. During National Service at RAF Lyneham he became an instructor with their gliding club, which was the start of his lifetime career. In 1966 he became the Manager and CFI at Dunstable. Their fortunes were improved by becoming agents for Schleicher gliders, and he started evening courses. He recognised the need for early solo pilots to get cross-country experience and started lead-and-follow courses, which other clubs copied and still use today. He continued as Manager and CFI until 2010, retiring because of insurance age limitations. He had flown over 80 types of glider. During these 60 years he has sent over 600 pilots solo and made more than 120,000 instructional flights.
2011 Tim Cox
Tim Cox became a hang-gliding instructor in the late 1980's at the Sussex College of Hang Gliding near Lewes. Following retirement of the owner, he took over the business, and has progressively built up its activities and reputation. He has added Paragliding to their curriculum, moved to new premises, and employed an increasing team of Instructors. It is now regarded at the pre-eminent school in the UK, launching a constant flow of newly qualified pilots.



Established in 2008. Intended to recognise adventurous endeavours, this trophy is awarded to aviators undertaking outstanding feats of courage, tenacity and imagination unrelated to traditional sporting events.

2008 Miles Hilton-Barber, Richard Meredith-Hardy & Brian Milton.
Miles Hilton-Barber is a blind pilot who flew from England to Australia in a Pegasus weight-shift microlight. He spent four years planning the flight and arranging sponsorship from the Standard-Chartered Bank "Seeing is Believing" charity scheme. At short notice, his planned sighted companion withdrew, and so he contacted Brian Milton, who had been the first man to fly a microlight round the world, and Richard Meredith-Hardy who had flown a microlight over Everest. Brian agreed to accompany him to Cyprus and then Richard would take over to complete the journey. Miles was always keen to take control, guided by an audio system, whenever circumstances allowed. They set out from Biggin Hill and fought through bad weather, long water crossings and climbing to over 13,000 feet across mountains. But they kept to a tight schedule and eventually successfully arrived in Sydney.
2009 No award
2010 Dr David and Patrick Joyce
David Joyce built a Europa and has flown it extensively throughout Europe. His son Patrick suffers from Motor Neurone Disease. In 2010 David undertook three Tiger Club Dawn-to-Dusk challenges. On two of them he was accompanied by Patrick, who participated fully in the projects. The first was a flight from Gloucester via Cork and Londonderry to photograph each lighthouse on the Irish west coast. The second, which David flew solo, was a flight to each of Wellington’s battlefields in one day, firstly over Waterloo and then to Spain and Portugal. Lastly together they flew over each of the islands around the coast of Great Britain depicted on the 1/2 mil aeronautical chart. David and Patrick raised over £8,000 from sponsorship for MND research through these three flights.
2011 Patrick & Linda Elliot
Patrick Elliott was a Captain with British Airways. He built a Rutan Long-Ez from plans, taking 16 years. When he retired, he and his wife Linda set off on a round-the-world tour. They started via India and Malaysia to Australia, taking two months. They then continued via Indonesia and the Philippines to Taiwan. They were refused permission to fly via Russia, so they shipped the aircraft to Vancouver. They continued across Canada and America, including visiting the EAA Convention at Oshkosh, and eventually returned home via Greenland and Iceland. They arrived home a year and a day after their departure. This award acknowledges their adventurous spirit, tenacity in the face of bureaucracy, their airmanship and navigation.



This was a special award for 2011 of a vintage trophy from the RAeC Collection, which was made by Tiffany's in 1906; it was once presented to CS Rolls.

2011 David Bareford
David Bareford has achieved over 30 years of success at the top level of Ballooning competition. He has competed in nearly all of the World and European Championships since 1977, and has rarely been outside the top ten. He has been World Champion twice and European Champion three times. He has also been British Champion several times and has achieved successes in many other international competitions around the world. He is one of the few people in the World, and the first from Britain, to have gained a Gold Badge flying only hot air balloons. He has received awards from the BBAC and the FIA Ballooning Commission, and a RAeC Gold Medal in 1996. This award is to recognise his lifetime of victories and his continued successes in recent years.


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