„How it started"

The Federation Aeronautique International (FAI), which represents over 3.5 million aeronautic sportsmen in 11 air disciplines, has been organizing world helicopter championships since 1971 under the CIG (Conseil International de Gyraviation). These large-scale events take place every three years.

For many years the large flying nations, such as USA, Russia (formally USSR), Germany, France and England were the main winners. Austria only participated once during the 1980s in an international competition.

In August 1998 we wanted to show that helicopters also form an important part in rescue operations in Austria and that we have exceptional pilots who can be matched with the best in the world.

Austria participated in the German Open Helicopter Championships in Nördlingen in 1998 with two military and one civilian crew of the Austrian Aeroclub. The result was remarkable : placed 5th, 6th and 25th in the individual scoring.

Who are these newcomers from the little neighbour?

The unexpected success brought enthusiasm and training was intensified, particularly in view of the forthcoming 10th Helicopter World Championships held in 1999 in Germany. More competition experience was gained during the Open Swiss Championships, before the Austrian National Team, consisting of 3 military and one civilian crew, went to the World Helicopter Championships (WHC) in Nördlingen. With places 6th, 10th, 13th and 15th in the individual scoring resulted in the silver medal behind Russia in the national team scoring!

Austria was suddenly one of the major players in helicopter sport – an important prestige success for the Aeroclub and particularly for the Austrian Army!

The success continued in the following years at championships in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The best evidence for this recognition was being given the responsibility for organizing the 11th WHC in 2002.

The venue was at the military air base in Aigen/Ennstal. A good decision, as was clear after the WHC, as the championships went down as being the biggest and best organized in the history of the FAI/CIG.

The standard was set very high for forthcoming world championships.

The direct co-operation in the organizing committee between the Austrian Army, the Austrian Aeroclub, the Federal State of Styria and the Community of Aigen is an example for all, and gave Austria the title of „World Champion Organizer"!


Wolf-Dietrich Tesar, Leader of the Heliteam-Austria

tesar einst jetzt