Annual Award Recipients Announced

Each year, the membership of the International Aerobatic Club nominates outstanding volunteers to be recognized for their contributions to the sport of aerobatics. The award winners are selected by a secret ballot of the IAC Board of Directors. In typical years the award recipients were recognized at the IAC Annual Member Meeting at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This year, due to the cancellation of AirVenture, the awards will be shipped to the recipients’ homes. Please congratulate the following IAC members for their contributions to the aerobatic community.

Frank Price Cup: Lynn Bowes  |  Robert L. Heuer Award for Judging Excellence: DJ Molny  |  Kathy Jaffe Volunteer Award: Teri Branstitre

Harold E. Neumann Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Chief Judge: Hector Ramirez  |  Curtis Pitts Memorial Trophy: Anthony Horvath


Frank Price Cup: Lynn Bowes

With some 35 years of service to the IAC, Lynn Bowes has filled every volunteer position imaginable. She has an unbeatable can-do attitude and boundless energy to complete every task with a professional approach while fostering lifetime friendships along the way.

2019 found Lynn’s plate very full; she served as the IAC secretary, which included duties on the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee. She was also an integral part of a working group to update the IAC Policy & Procedures. Leading up to 2019 AirVenture, Lynn contributed her time and editing skills on the Exhibition Banners which hang in the IAC. Additionally, she worked with the graphic designer on the IAC posters for Airventure and the U.S. Nationals. Two other projects came her way, which she gladly led; the development and design of the Director Emeritus Awards and the new American Champion Aircraft flight medals, in which she worked with Sara Arnold to guide her through the process of setting up a new award and connecting her to the vendor who assisted with the award design.

2019 was a year of change for the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships when a search group was formed to select a new home for the championships. Led by Bob Freeman, Lynn Bowes was part of the Review Team that traveled to three prospective locations to meet with airport authority leaders and Chamber of Commerce representatives. Lynn’s support and contributions to this team led to the selection of Salina, Kansas as the venue for the 2019 Nationals.

Leading up to the championships, Contest Director Ron Schreck relied heavily on Lynn’s organizational skills and hospitality experience. She has already fostered working relationships with important players at the Salina Airport Authority and the Salina Chamber of Commerce during the Review Team’s visits. Lynn had even scoped out venues that would later be used for social gatherings and hotel accommodations during Nationals.

Ultimately it was Lynn who made all the arrangements for the Key Volunteer Dinner, the on-site food service, the Medal Banquet and the final Awards Banquet. She also developed the Nationals printed program and the Awards Banquet program in coordination with the graphic designer.

Knowing that the IAC looks to the Nationals as the largest source of revenue each year, Lynn served as one of the sponsor recruiters.  Her long-time association with the IAC had given her the opportunity to meet and befriend hundreds of contestants, volunteers, vendors and enthusiasts.  She doggedly pursued potential sponsors and somehow left them happily relieved of large sums of money!  The financial success of the Nationals can trace back that success in large part to Lynn's efforts.  

The Frank Price award recognizes the person who has contributed the most to the sport of aerobatics. In 2019, Lynn poured her time and attention into many areas of the IAC and made a substantial contribution that positively affected the club and its members. 



Robert L. Heuer Award for Judging Excellence: DJ Molny

During the last several years DJ assisted with or chief judged contests at the USAF (Ben Lowell), Fort Morgan, Colorado (HPHF), Lamar (Clyde Cable), and Las Vegas (2019 West Open).  These contests were part of the top twelve largest regional contests in the USA last year.

As usual, DJ has also taught multiple judges’ school in 2019 as he has in past years. DJ lives in Colorado and has judged for over 20 years beginning in 1998. His mentors were Mike Jones and Clyde Cable. Mike turned over IAC 12's judge school responsibilities to DJ in 2008.  DJ teaches three schools each year and has done so for the past 12 years.  He is not only an experienced judge, but he also has shared his knowledge and brought many others up through the ranks.  His impact on the IAC is substantial. 

DJ is one of our most prolific judges.  Since 2005 he has judged about 3 contests per year. The Chair of the IAC Judges Program confirmed from the IAC website data that DJ has Graded 1073 flights, has a Judge quality "rho" of 83%, in 2019 served as a Chief Judge at 2 contests, and in 2019 was the Judges School presenter at Denver, CO, Heber City, UT, and Aurora, OR.  DJ helped organize the 2019 contest at the US Air Force Academy.

In 2019 DJ played a pivotal role in revising the IAC Rule Book as a member of the Rule Book Refactor Working Group.  Many of his proposals have been adopted over the years.  DJ works to make the rules consistent, clear, and easier to apply without dumbing down the sport from the competitor's perspective.  CIVA and the Aresti family adopted his notation change for hesitation rolls (MxN).  DJ is also very helpful every year in his well-reasoned critiques of IAC rule change proposals.

DJ is very deserving of recognition for his dedication to serving as a Chief Judge, Grading Judge, and his efforts and enthusiasm towards supporting and growing new judges.



Kathy Jaffe Volunteer Award: Teri Branstitre

Teri has been involved with her local chapter and in a leadership position for many years. President of IAC 77 since 2014 except for 2019 when she was the VP and returned to the President position in 2020.

Teri has had her pilot's license since 2012, but is not a competition pilot herself. She serves the chapter in her free time contributing in many ways to the chapter, their contests, and activities.  She is skilled at organizing and getting things done.  Her chapter attributes their successes directly to her dedication.

Outside of her home region in the Pacific Northwest, Teri has made many trips across the country to volunteer with other chapters in California, Oregon, Washington and for the Snowbird Classic in Florida. She has volunteered as registrar, scorer, boundary judge, and errand runner.

She has volunteered at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships five times. Three times in Sherman/Denison, Texas, once in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and then in 2019 at Salina, Kansas. In 2018 with the move to Oshkosh, the volunteer team found themselves without a scoring director. Although unfamiliar with the international ACRO scoring program, Teri volunteered and stepped up immediately when called. She learned the program over a series of some months and came fully prepared. Her dedication to the chore was herculean in scope; entering scores for nearly 80 pilots in an unairconditioned space carved out of the corner of an old house, she labored early in the morning and often late into the night. She was very efficient and prompt in posting scores timely and often.

You will not often see someone so willing to pitch in just for the joy of it.  Teri’s husband often comes to contests with her and participates as a Starter or helps her out in her duties.  Both of these people are gems.  They are happy, helpful, and stay focused on running a safe and fun event.

IAC is very grateful to have Teri in its organization and is proud to see her receive this recognition for her efforts.


Harold E. Neumann Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Chief Judge: Hector Ramirez

Hector started flying and participating in aerobatics in 1992.  Along with his wife, Laurie, he started making yearly pilgrimages to the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships in 1998. They have attended every year with only a few exceptions.

Hector has contributed on both sides of the fence, judging and flying.  He was the U.S . National Intermediate Champion in 2000. He processed to the Advanced category and was the U.S. National Advanced Champion in 2005 and 2008.  Hector qualified to fly on four US Teams— two Advanced and two Unlimited.  His performance helped secure a silver team medal in Poland 2006 for the Advanced Team with an individual bronze in the Free Program.  He also helped secure a team gold medal in Pendleton 2008 for the Advanced Team with a silver medal in the Free Program.

Initially a Bear Creek Chapter 3 member, Atlanta, Georgia, in the mid 1990's, Hector and Laurie attended their initial judging school instructed by Liza Weaver.  Within a couple of years, they were both regional judges.  Hector became a National judge in 1998 and has served on the Nationals judging line since then.

Hector has served as Chief Judge at Nationals a number of times in varying categories.  Most recently at Nationals, he Chief Judged Intermediate in 2016 & 2017, Advanced in 2009, Unlimited in 2019.  Hector had also intended to return as Chief Judge in Unlimited in 2020.

Locally, Hector, along with his wife Laurie, typically supports three to five contests every year in the Southeast - serving in nearly every capacity and having done so for more than 20 years.  It is unknown how many times Hector has served as Chief Judge at a regional level, but the best guess is well over 50.

Hector possesses a known leadership quality and exhibits fairness on the judge’s line. He conducts each contest flight in a professional manner and is widely respected for his knowledge of the IAC rules and judging criteria. He is a very worthy recipient of this award.

Curtis Pitts Memorial Trophy: Anthony Horvath

Tony Horvath is a humble aerobatic airplane builder, supplier, and pilot in Creswell, Oregon.  He worked for Steve Wolf from 2004 to 2009.  When Steve moved to Florida in 2009, Tony started Specialty Aero.  He supplied Wolf Aircraft with parts until 2014 and still builds all the wing kits for the Wolf Pitts. Tony has become invaluable to the competition, air show and air race communities with his contributions and innovations to the Pitts design along with the creation of components for many other high performance aircraft.

Tony's development of the Wolf wing kit for the S-1 Pitts has done more to make these legacy airplanes competitive in the upper categories than anything else in the last 20 years.  Those who have built one of his kits can tell the love and attention to detail he gives to the project and Tony always has time to answer any questions his clients have.

Making his living supporting custom aerobatic aircraft, Tony has established himself as the go-to source for aerobatic aircraft re-builds, custom fabrication and modifications.  Tony is carrying on where Steve Wolf left off when he moved away from building, maintaining and modifying Pitts aircraft.

Tony produces popular parts for Pitts builders, including performance parts for the Pitts S1-11 and Pitts S1.  Tony is therefore very important to the Pitts community and "grassroots" aerobatics. He is also a prolific aircraft builder.  His list of aircraft builds and modifications are impressive and includes these complete airplanes—Sean Tucker’s Oracle Challenger III, Wyche Coleman’s Wolf Pitts Samson II, Peter Kohmann’s Pitts S-1T, and Pete Diaz’s Pitts S-2S.

Tony supports the IAC as a pilot, volunteer, and with his technical expertise.  He works hard, bills fairly, and provides excellent support after the sale.  Tony is honest, funny, and intelligent.  He is exactly the kind of person the Curtis Pitts Memorial Trophy was designed for, because more than anyone else in the IAC he represents Curtis’ innovative spirit!