26 Oct 2023

The 2023 FAI Awards Ceremony: Celebrating the Heroes of Air Sports

The 2023 FAI Awards Ceremony, the most prestigious event in the world of air sports, took place last night in Dayton, Ohio, USA. It was hosted by the National Aeronautic Association.

As the international governing body for air sports, the FAI recognised and honoured outstanding individuals for their remarkable contributions and achievements to air sports.

The ceremony marked the beginning of the 2023 FAI General Conference, which gathers Delegates from all over the world representing FAI’s member organisations. 

This year's ceremony was particularly special with the awarding of the first-ever CIAM Legends Diploma, an esteemed recognition for legendary pilots who have won the title of FAI World Champion in any Aeromodelling or Spacemodelling Competition at least three times.

FAI President David Monks presented more than a dozen Medals and Diplomas to the awardees present at the ceremony.

Louis Blériot Medal awardee Klaus Ohlmann said:

"This award means a lot to me as it was a record completed in an electric plane. Achieving this record is not just an individual achievement; it is a culmination of the collective efforts of many people – the countless engineers and pioneers. Without all the engineers including my own inspirations, Otto Lilienthal and the Wright Brothers, this record would not have been possible. My goal is to showcase engineering developments. Electric is the future and it is important that the greater public knows about these new technologies. Ultimately, it is nice to have a prize."


  • Željko OVUKA (SRB) - top picture
    For his many years of energetic commitment to air sports, in which he has not only achieved numerous national records and championship titles in Serbia as a paraglider but has also shown versatile and admirable leadership at administrative and organisational level for the Aeronautical Union of Serbia and the FAI Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission (CIVL).



  • Arne NYLÉN (SWE)
    For his remarkable services to the cause of Aviation and Sporting Aviation.

  • Kristan MAYNARD (USA)
    For his remarkable services to the cause of Aviation and Sporting Aviation, and more particularly to records.


  • Arijan HUCALJUK (CRO)
    Three times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F3J, in 2016,2018,2019

    Three times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F5B, in 2004, 2006, 2012

    Seven times World Champion: Spacemodelling - SM-S1, SM-S3, SM-S9, in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2010, 2014, 2014, 2023

  • Joe WURTS (NZL)
    Three times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F3B, F3J, F3K in 1991, 1998, 2011

  • Alexander ANDRIUKOV (UKR)
    Three times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F1B in 1991, 1993, 1997

    Four times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F1B in 1999, 2001, 2005, 2009

  • Robert BIEDRON (USA)
    Three times World Champion: Spacemodelling - SM-S7, SM-S5 in 1992, 1994, 1998

  • Chris FLANIGAN (USA)
    Four times World Champion: Spacemodelling - SM-S2. SM-S5, SM-S4 in 1980, 1980, 2021, 2023

  • Les MCDONALD (USA) – Representative
    Three times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F2B in 1976, 1980, 1982

  • Daryl PERKINS (USA)
    Five times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F3J, F3B in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2010

  • William WERWAGE (USA)
    Three times World Champion: Aeromodelling - F2B in 1970, 1972, 2004

More information

Photo credit: NAA/www.knackvideophoto.com