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Aero Club Annual Awards

The following PASA members received awards at the Aero Club Annual Awards dinner held on 7 November 2009:

National Colours

5th FAI World Cup in Canopy Piloting
South Africa
2 December to 6 December 2009
Dian Kemp
Christopher Teague
Robert Kruger
Selwyn Johnson

Special Awards for International Participation

Freefly World Record
Chicago USA
28 July to 2 August 2009
Timothy Hutchings

British Open Skydiving Nationals
8 to 10 August 2009
Dennis Parker
David Sumter
Vana Parker

Left to right: Vana Parker, Dennis Parker, Steve Hamilton, David Sumter

European Skydiving League Finals
11 to 13 September 2009
David Sumter
Vana Parker
Amy Kirtland
Colin Rothman

World Air Games
Turin, Italy
6 to 14 June 2009
Christopher Teague
Robert Kruger

World Games
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
16 July to 26 July 2009
Robert Kruger

12th FAI World Para-Ski Championships
Donnersbachwald, Austria
11 March to 15 March 2009
Nicolaos Karagiannakis
Oliver Nöthen
Vinca Cox
Tim Mace


Don Tilley Memorial Trophy for the Advancement of Aviation Safety

Earlier this year, members were asked to submit proposals for Aero Club Silver Wings and Aero Club Gold Wings awards. Based on a number of proposals received for Gerry du Plessis, the following citation was submitted to the Aero Club requesting the Gold Wings award for Gerry:

Gerry du Plessis started skydiving in 1987 at the Pietermaritzburg Parachute Club and where he was later made an honorary life member.

Gerry has served the skydiving community continuously for 22 years and has done more than 7000 skydives in that time. He obtained the highest PASA licence, D524, in 1990. In addition, Gerry has held every available PASA rating: jumpmaster, coach, parachute technician, professional exhibition, tandem master, static line instructor and AFF instructor. With his energy focused on instruction and safety rather than competition, Gerry has always maintained a high level of safety and has set a standard among instructors.

Gerry served as the Chief Instructor of the Pietermaritzburg Parachute Club for 15 years. As Chief Instructor, Gerry helped organise, and took responsibility for, many boogies and national skydiving competitions over the years. He was appointed National Safety & Training Officer in 2003. During the year that he held this position, he was instrumental in updating the Manual of Procedures which then formed the basis upon which PASA was granted its Aviation Recreation Organisation status.

Gerry is one of only a handful of instructor evaluators in South Africa and serves as an advisor to National Safety & Training. His commitment to, and passion for, the sport remains unwavering.


After reading this citation, the Aero Club board chose to present Gerry with the prestigious Don Tilley Memorial Trophy for the Advancement of Aviation Safety.