Last night in Paris, Australian pilot, Jon Johanson, received the world's highest aviation award, the GOLD MEDAL of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).
Jon has received the gold medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of aeronautics in sport aviation. The medal was presented at the opening ceremony of the conference celebrating 100 years of the FAI.
The FAI Secretary General, Max Bishop, said " Jon's hard work, meticulous planning, initiative and commitment when building his own small aircraft were supremely demonstrated when he flew it over distances and terrains that would have challenged the most intrepid and skilful aviators in much larger, industrially produced aircraft".
Jon has spent thousands of hours building, modifying and testing his single engine RV-4 sport aircraft, VH-NOJ for
the long distance flights..
Jon holds 48 FAI world records. His record making flights have included:
- Three times around the world (heading east, west and north)
- Over the north pole (part of the third round the world flight)
- Over the south pole. (first solo single engine
Jon said "it is a huge honour to receive this international award". He joins the list of three other celebrated Australians who have been awarded the FAI Gold Medal. They are Bert Hinkler (1928), Sir Donald Anderson (1973) and Peter Lloyd (1989).
Jon will be attending the special "High Flyers" centenary celebrations with the FAI in Paris on Friday
evening see http://www.fai.org/fai_news_11_05
Jon Johanson is 49 years old and lives in Adelaide, South Australia
He built his aircraft, a Van's RV-4, in Darwin in the early '90s. It was extensively re-engineered at Parafield, SA,
for the flight to the South Pole in 2003.
Jon will arrive back in Adelaide from Europe on 21 October 2005.
For further information contact:
Sue Ball 0417 813 699 or Ed Herring 0408 787 018