Royal Aero Club

Awards & Trophies


Presented in 1976 by the President, HRH The Prince of Wales, for annual award for the most meritorious performance, feat or event by a team or group during the preceding year.

1976 British Gliding Team
1977 Popular Flying Association
1978 British Hang Gliding Team
1979 British 4-Man Parachuting Team
1980 Joint Services Canopy R-W Team
1981 British Gliding Team
1982 No award
1983 The Kettering Group
for theie work of Kettering Boys School on radio monitoring of space craft and satellites.
1984 The British Hang Gliding Team
for winning six team gold and two silver medals plus five individual gold medals in international championships during the year.
1985 Royal Marines Free Fall Team
1986 Royal Marines Free Fall Team
1987 British Gliding Team
1988 British Hang Gliding Team
1989 British Gliding Team
1990 British 8-way Relative Work Team
1991 No award
1992 U.K. F4C Model Team
1993 British Microlight Team
1994 U.K. F2A Model World Championship Team
1995 No award
1996 British Microlight Team
In the twelve years of international microlight competitions, Great Britain won the best overall team in the first event, lost in 1986, but since then has never lost the team event again. In South Africa in 1996, despite the tragic death of a member, the team decided to continue with the World Championship and won individual gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as the team trophy.
1997 British Hot Air Balloon Team
The successful British Hot Air Balloon Team at the World Air Games were David Bareford, Lindsay Muir and Crispin Williams who compete regularly as a team, and were joined at the Air Games by Tom Sage.
1998 No award
1999 British Women's Standard-class Gliding Team
At the 1999 FAI Women's European Gliding Championships at Leszno in Poland, the British team of Sarah Harland, Gill Spreckley and Lucy Withall took the individual Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and the team Gold. This was the first time a national team has achieved a clean sweep of the podium places in any FAI International gliding competition.
2000 V-Max Parachute Team
V-max is an all-female 4-way formation skydiving team. Since their formation in 1998, they have achieved some major successes. They were 2nd in the UK Nationals and won the first ever Women's World Cup in 1999. They improved their score in the 2000 UK nationals, and will represent Britain in the 2001 World Air Games.
2001 British Gliding Team
In 2001 the British Gliding Team achieved their best performance ever winning 5 individual World Championship Gold Medals, two World Championship team awards and two Silver Medals.
2002 UK F2A Model Flying Team
The 2002 UK F2A Team comprised Peter Halman, Ken Morrissey, Gordon Isles and Matthew Hart. At the 2002 FAI Control Line Model Flying World Championships at Sebnitz, they won four medals: Individual Silver and Bronze, Junior Silver and Team Gold, in a competition against teams from 18 countries.
2003 The British Gliding Team 2003.
The British Gliding Team achieved outstanding results at the 2003 World and World Junior Championships. Andy Davis won Gold in the Standard Class, Steve and Phil Jones took Silver and Bronze in the 18m Class with Dave Watt and Peter Harvey also highly placed - the British team led the Medals Table. The World Junior Championships saw a Gold for Jez Hood and a Silver for Luke Rebbeck, and high placings from John Tanner, Leigh Wells, Matt Cook and Andy Perkins.
2004 The Red Devils Display Team.
The Red Devils are the official free-fall display team for the Parachute Regiment and the Army. In 2004 they conducted 70 displays at events throughout the UK and Europe, ranging from air shows and sports events to the 60th anniversary commemorations of Normandy and Arnhem, where veterans made tandem drops onto the original DZ. Their spectacular display programme has promoted parachuting as a safe discipline, combining skill and courage with the controlled capacity to thrill. They have also been involved with overseas military training programmes and development trials. They are the current UK Armed Forces Parachute Champions.
2005 The British Gliding Team 2005.
The British Gliding Team had a very successful year in major international competitions. This has been characterised by professionalism and mutual support among the team members. The Junior World Championships at Husbands Bosworth produced Gold for Mark Parker, Silver for Jon Meyer and Bronze for Andy May in the Standard Class. The Women's World Championships in Germany resulted in British Silver and Bronze medals. The European Championships in Finland and Slovakia resulted in a Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze Medal in three classes.
2006 Team Airkix.
Team Airkix are the British 4-Way Women’s Formation Skydiving Team. The members are: Claire Scott, Amanda Kemp, Emma Beyer and Julia Foxwell, with Andrew Wright as Camera Flyer. The team was formed two years ago, led by Claire Scott. Claire had previously been part of the Gold-medal-winning Team V-Max, but the others had little international experience. At the 2006 World Championships in Germany, they won the Gold Medal, beating some full-time and state funded teams, and also achieved a World Record in one of the rounds.
2007 The British Women's Gliding Team.
At the 2007 Women’s World Gliding Championships in France, the British Women’s Gliding Team achieved two Gold medals and the overall Team Cup. Gold medals were won by Gill Spreckley in the Club Class and Sarah Kelman in the Standard Class. Three other pilots also only narrowly missed medals and the team's combined placings gave them overall victory. This success owed much to Brian Spreckley as Team Captain and had its foundations in the British Gliding Association Coaching initiative.
2008 Team Bodyflight Storm.
Team Bodyflight Storm is the British women's four-way formation skydiving team. Its members are Hannah Betts, Claire Scott, Sarah Smith, and Kate Stephens with photographer Gary Wainwright. They undertook 18 months of intensive training including over 1500 team jumps. They won the British National Championships and then went on to the 2008 World Parachute Championships. Here the team achieved a best-ever British performance. They won the Championships, beating the USA and France, and also achieved a new world best score for this event.
2009 Gliding Team GB.
The British Gliding Team overcame strong opposition in the 2009 European Championships at Nitra, Slovakia to win the overall team championship. Peter Harvey became Open Class European Champion for the third time, with Steve Jones taking Bronze. Russell Cheetham is the new 18m European Champion, with Mike Young taking Silver. Combined with good results from other team members, these won the Team Gold Medal for the British Gliding Team, captained by Philip Sturley.
2010 British Microlight Team
The British Team for the 2010 European Microlight Championships at Sywell was expertly led by David Daniel. Individual Gold medals were won by Richard Rawes, Robert Grimwood and John Waite; Silver Medals by David Broom and Chris Levings, and Bronze Medals by Paul Welsh and Richard Proctor. The other team members were well placed and contributed to winning the Overall Team Prize by a large margin against a field of 100 competitors from 12 nations.
2011 F4C Scale Model World Championship Team
The F4C Radio-controlled Scale Model competition requires competitors both to have built their own models, which are judged on accuracy, complexity and realism, and to fly sequences of precision manoeuvres. The British team has won medals at 18 of the 20 biennial FAI World Championships. The current team of Peter McDermott with a DH9A, Mick Henderson with a DH9 and Dave Knott with a Hurricane won the Gold Medal at the 2010 World Championships.



Established in 1984 and awarded to those who have served the Royal Aero Club, Sporting Aviation or Aviation in general by their meritorious endeavours.

1984 The RAF Cadet Movement - Air Training Corps & Combined Cadet Force (RAF).
for exceptional work in providing gliding and flying training for cadets prior to entering the Armed Services. Over 13,000 have received flying scholarships. There are currently 47,000 cadets.
1985 The Royal Observer Corps.
1986 Derek Piggott.
1987 Sir Thomas Sopwith.
1988 No award
1989 The Tiger Club.
1990 Jim Crocker.
1991-93 No award
1994 Sir George Edwards.
1995 Allan Bramson.
Allan "Bunny" Bramson has made a very major contribution to aviation training and safety. Author of 22 books, many in conjunction with the late Neville Birch, he was a member, and later Chairman, of the CAA Panel of Examiners until he retired in 1983.
1996 No award
1997 British Microlight Team.
Despite appalling weather conditions at home that reduced practice opportunities and difficulties in obtaining major sponsorship, the BMAA sent a team of 17 microlight flyers to the World Air Games in Turkey. Their total of two gold medals, one silver and two bronze led to their winning the team prize.
1998 John Meacock.
John Meacock has been parachuting for 35 years. He was British Champion for five years and served for ten years on the BPA Council, including three years as Chairman. He started the Peterborough Parachute Club in 1971 and has developed it so that it is among the leading civilian clubs in the country, regularly hosting the National Championships.
1999 The Breitling Balloon Construction Team.
The Breitling Orbiter 3 construction team was made up of staff from Cameron Balloons Ltd along with several outside specialists. The primary problems were to manage the complex structure of the balloon, to provide temperature control of the lifting gases, and to provide a life support system for the crew, all with an endurance of at least 20 days. This award is in recognition of their many technical innovations which made it possible to achieve the round-the-World record flight.
2000 The British 15m Gliding Team.
The team won the European Championships against 12 other nations. Steve Jones took 1st place, Dave Watt 2nd and Alistair Kay 5th place in a field of 40 individual competitors. This was the best ever performance at a top-rank FAI Gliding Championships. The team had trained together and worked closely with the Team Manager and ground crew.
2001 Polly Vacher.
Polly Vacher was the first woman to fly solo around the world in a single engined aircraft via Australia and the Pacific. In so doing she raised funds and the profile of RIAT Flying Scholarships for the Disabled world wide.
2002 Ronnie O'Brien.
Ronnie O'Brien has been a sport parachutist for nearly 40 years. He is an Advanced Instructor and Instructor Examiner. He is currently Chief Instructor at Peterborough Parachute Centre, where he has helped thousands of students to jump. Some years ago he was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for the mid-air rescue of a jumper who got into difficulties while on a film sortie. Ronnie's enthusiasm, strong inter-personal skills and patience marks him out as a natural instructor.
2003 The Trans-Atlantic Balloon Team.
David Hempleman-Adams has made a series of epic balloon flights since 1998. In all of these flights he has been supported by an unpaid volunteer back-up crew who made these missions possible and made a huge contribution to their success. These were David Owen, Bert Padelt, Tim Cole, Lorne White, Steve Phillips, Kevin Stass, Luc Trullemans and David Dehenauw.The flights included the first flight across the Andes, a flight across the North West Passage in the Arctic, a 132 hour flight to the North Pole and back, and in 2003 the first ever trans-Atlantic balloon flight in an open wicker basket.
2004 Roger Coote.
Roger Coote has been Development Officer for the BGA since 1994. He is an experienced glider pilot, but his professional background was in estate management. His main roles have been to give the BGA a more structured basis and to help individual clubs with development and site security. His administrative and personal skills have resulted in a good working relationship with the CAA, the Department of Trade and the Lottery Fund. He was instrumental in setting up the Annual Chairmen's Conference which has helped draw clubs together and develop BGA strategy. He has led the way in enabling UK air sports to demonstrate effective self-regulation in discussion with European regulation authorities.
2005 Robert Pooley.
Bob Pooley's name is synonymous with his pilots' supplies company and particularly his Airfield Guides. He has given more than 40 years support and backing to many RAeC member organisations, including the HCGB, for which he serves as RAeC Council Member, and also the BBAC, RRRA, PFA and BPPA. He has sponsored many aviation events including air races and major fly-ins, and supported the Tiger Club Dawn-To-Dusk Competition. He has attended international competitions to ensure that British Teams are well supported and equipped. Since the 1970's, he administered the RAeC Pilot Proficiency Scheme and carried all of the costs of setting up the scheme. He has encouraged individuals, Air Training Corps and other youth organisations to participate in flying. Bob Pooley continues to be Britain’s best sporting ambassador in the world of aviation.
2006 Rob Colpus and Darryl Moran.
Rob Colpus and Darryl Moran have both been successful team captains for over 20 years in international parachute competitions, particularly 16-way free-fall. They combined to organise the British Record 100-way skydive in 1999. More recently they have been co-captains of the British sector at a number of parachute record attempts. They have trained and managed a team of 38, paying special detail to safety planning in mass jumps. Their team participated in the World Record 400-way freefall link-up, and in a series of mass jumps culminating in 960 in Thailand in 2006.
2007 Jack Harrison.
Jack Harrison is well known as Weatherjack. He flew with the RAF and then as an airline pilot for over 40 years, retiring in 1998 with over 18,000 hours. He started gliding in 1955 and has three diamonds. For seven years, he has provided specially tailored daily weather forecasts for glider and hang-glider pilots on his Weatherjack website, and also provided localised forecasts for competition organisers. As new technology is overtaking the need for such a service, he is now retiring. He has produced a series of articles to help make the most of the latest weather forecasting information.
2008 Marilyn Hood.
Marilyn Hood has served for eight years as volunteer Chairman of the Communications and Marketing Committee of the British Gliding Association. She has led a team of volunteers and part-time staff in delivering a successful strategy, which has raised the profile of Gliding and increased the flow of people taking up the sport. She has developed the BGA website and introduced e-mail newsletters to members, also organised marketing seminars for clubs. She led the development of a gliding simulator for training which has been exceptionally successful. She crews for her husband in national competitions, while both her sons are medal winners in international competitions.
2009 Laurie Shaw.
Laurie Shaw was an engineer with BOAC and its successor British Airways, and was one of the team to see the Boeing 747 into service. Laurie learned to fly in 1957, joined the Popular Flying Association in 1964 and constructed a Tipsy Nipper aerobatic aircraft. He started a local branch of the Association in Berkshire and was soon co-opted onto the PFA's Executive Committee, initially as Events Coordinator, and then its Treasurer and Company Secretary, posts he held for 27 years. He has remained an active member of the Association's Executive Committee and is currently its Vice President.
2009 John Thorpe.
John Thorpe's career started in flight research at Bristol, then in 1970 became a Design Surveyor with the ARB, leading to work in the CAA Safety Data Unit. He launched the General Aviation Safety Information Leaflets (GASIL) and Safety Sense leaflets, masterminded the provision of Club Safety Noticeboards, and implemented Safety Evenings at flying clubs, personally presenting 385. In 1987 he became head of the CAA Safety Promotion Section, and in 1992-98 was Chairman of the Bird Strike Committee. He served on the General Aviation Safety Council (GASCo) for 17 years, and after retiring from CAA, became its Chief Executive, working tirelessly organising safety seminars, implementing its website and promoting its magazine, Flight Safety. John has maintained a unique database of accident statistics, his knowledge is encyclopedic and his style has made him an extremely effective campaigner for improved safety.
2010 Dennis Kenyon
Dennis Kenyon started flying in the RAF in 1952, and has flown 85 aircraft types from Tiger Moths to early military jets. In 1972 he joined Spooner Aviation as a helicopter salesman. He qualified as a Helicopter ATPL, Instructor and Type Rating examiner. He is also a Display Pilot and Evaluator. Dennis has flown 32 types of rotary aircraft. and has amassed over 13,000 flying hours. He has flown in over 1,200 airshows and has appeared in several feature films. He represented Great Britain in four World Helicopter Championships, winning the aerobatic freestyle title in 1992. In 2005 he set up a junior flying scholarship to fund training for a helicopter PPL. He continues to pass on his knowledge by writing articles on helicopter test flights, flight theory and flight safety.
2011 Douglas Jones
Doug Jones joined the Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club after World War Two. He was elected to its Committee in 1952 and became a Director in 1976, a role which he still serves. He became an instructor in 1950 and was CFI from 1975 to 1980. He was the club's chief engineer from 1951-1975, becoming a BGA Inspector and then Senior Inspector in 1956. He was a tug pilot from 1957 to 2009 and a tugging examiner from 1974. As well as his club duties, he served on the BGA Technical Committee from 1959 until 2011, specialising in wood and composite repairs, and became its Chairman from 1985-1991. He eventually retired in 2011 due to failing eyesight. He has given over 60 years of dedication and skilful service to gliding.
2011 F2A Control Line Model Speed European Championship Team
The British Team has won all of the F2A Control Line Model Speed European and World Championships for the last 14 years. The team of Ken Morrissey, Paul Eisener and Peter Halman won team Gold at the 2011 European Championships with a record aggregate speed of 907.5 kph, the first time that 900 kph has been beaten.
2011 British Hot Air Balloon Team
Six pilots, Richard Parry, Rupert Stanley, David Bareford, David Usill, Neil Gabriel and Rick Vale qualified to be members of the British Hot Air Balloon Team at the 2011 European Championships. They were competing against 77 pilots from 22 countries. Five finished in the top 30, two in the top ten, with David Bareford taking Bronze.

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