On May 3rd, the IAC Board of Directors agreed to the creation of a new Giles Henderson Trophy to be presented at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships each year. The trophy will be awarded to the new U.S. Sportsman Aerobatic Champion. Giles lost his life in a skydiving accident in December 2017 and had most recently competed at the U.S. Nationals in Oshkosh last September.
Sportsman pilots at Fond du Lac 1970: Giles Henderson is shown kneeling, third from right.
The quintessential, iconic Sportsman pilot, he best represented the "grass roots" pilots in IAC and our mission to bring aerobatics to all pilots in all walks of life. He was the winner of the L. Paul Soucy Aerobatic Award in 1971, 1975, 1986, and 1988 flying his Clipped Wing Cub N6620H which he owned for fifty years. Most recently, he could be found in a cockpit of his Cassutt N429PM, built by his good friend and mentor H. H. "Pete" Myers, a veteran EAA member and airshow pilot and flown by Pete at many EAA fly-ins down through the years.
Inducted into the International Aerobatics Hall of Fame in 2012, Giles was active in competition beginning in 1968 and in the last eleven years of his life flew 35 contests. When he flew that Cub, everyone watched. The airplane looked like it was on rails and he was a master of energy management in lower-powered aircraft.
The U.S. National Aerobatic Championships will return to Oshkosh on September 22-28, 2018 and we look forward to presenting the new trophy to the Sportsman winner and in remembrance of this great pilot and friend.
IAC has launched a fund-raising campaign to create the new trophy. We urge members to donate in memory of Giles. The donation information can be found in the right margin of these IAC website pages. Donations can be tax-deductible as IAC an IRS 501(c) organization. Thanks for your support!