2022 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. If the recipient is not present at AirVenture, the awards will be presented to the recipients at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships in Salina, Kansas. 

Please congratulate the following IAC members for their 2022 contributions in to the aerobatic community.

Frank Price Cup: DJ Molny  |  Robert L. Heuer Award for Judging Excellence:  Laurie Ramirez

Kathy Jaffe Volunteer Award: Bryan Jones    |  Curtis Pitts Memorial Trophy: Danny Bond


Frank Price Cup: DJ Molny

There are three very significant areas of volunteerism in which DJ has shown that he is the kind of volunteer that affects the IAC and its culture on a large;

2022 Website updates and refresh. At the request of President Jim Bourke, DJ took on doing research on a company that would help us redesign www.iac.org . This took significant time and DJ researched at least three companies.. He undertook all of the initial interactions and presented an overview of the task needed for the improved website. With this thorough information the design companies sent back their bids on the job. Prior to a special board meeting called in June of 2022, DJ evaluated the bids and reported to the IAC board of directors his findings and presented those at the meeting.

The board selected the Ameex proposal. Work began not long afterward. DJ oversaw the design work and background programming to convert Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. He reported back regularly to the IAC Web Team and held meeting with Ameex and the team. Although the website redesign is still in progress, DJ has done the lion’s share of the work and the project would not be possible without his leadership, technical knowledge and many hours devotion to getting it done the best and most efficient way.

2022 Judge Program. DJ continues as the IAC’s Judge Program Chair.
a. In 2022 he simplified the P&P that guides the program (Policy and Procedure 214 Judges Program). The revised P&P was presented at the November 2022 Fall Board Meeting. An overview of those changes. 1) Rewrote –to remove regional and national judges’ verbiage and replace with Grading Judges and Senior Grading judges. This change was valuable especially for the US Nationals as the board had already approved Regional – N judges with 250 hours of experience to serve as National judges. 2) Updated 214.2.4, 214.3.2, 214.3.3 Responsibilities (the Program Chair). 3) Added 214.6 Chief Judge Certification – This is significant since the Chief judges have not had a training program and were typically filled by senior judges who took on the role.

b. Held online judge’s school. This was the second year DJ has held this online. It has helped tremendously for judges and future judges to get the classroom time they need. Often there are not local in-person classes available across many parts of the United States. The attendance has been well over 80 for each of the two sessions this year and last.

2022 US National Aerobatic Championships. In preparation for Nationals, DJ has held online Judge’s classes specifically geared toward judges who will participate as judges at the annual event. This is very valuable to not only the running and expenses incurred at the Nationals site (a meal covered by the national’s budget.), but also for the judge, who in the past has had to arrive an day early and incur an extra night of hotel. In addition to running the national’s judge refresher, DJ served as the Chief Judge for the Advanced category. His was a huge category with over 20 pilots (due to team selection for WAAC 2023). He worked tirelessly on the line and gave briefings before each flight. He is an excellent chief judge, with great leadership qualities who shows a sense of fairness and explains rules very well.

DJ's efforts have been so vast and sustained in so many realms for so many years, he has spent years on the Tech Committee contributing, designing, implementing, debugging, managing, etc., all manner of our technologies. Including being the father of our existing IAC.org webpage - no small feat! And he's always available for consulting on, or assisting in, issues outside his central roles that tend to arise during competition season - especially during Nationals! And including Judging issues that have become invaluable.



Robert L. Heuer Award for Judging Excellence: Laurie Ramirez

Laurie typically judges a minimum of three contests per year, not including Nationals. Having judged for many years, she is consistent and thorough. She always has a rule book on hand and does not hesitate to look up anything being questioned on the line, even though she knows those rules like the back of her hand! 

She mentors to those that assist and record for her in an effort to add or maintain well qualified volunteers to the IAC. She participates in oral examination for future judges in order to pass on the exacting standards she uses for herself as a judge.

She has continued to judge at Nationals long after her spouse, and "reason" for being there, quit competing. Her passion for judging, and the IAC, remains steadfast.

Laurie is committed to the sport and treats judging with a seriousness that is unrivaled. She's a quiet, understated backbone of every contest she judges and we are all the better for it.



Kathy Jaffe Volunteer Award: Bryan Jones

Bryan exemplifies an IAC volunteer who is truly dedicated and passionate about this sport. Bryan is the President of IAC Chapter 36 and serves on the Chapter 36 Board of Directors. Although Bryan is an active aerobatic competitor, he chooses to forgo flying for his own chapter's two annual contests (the Hammerhead Roundup and the Borrego Akrofest) to fully dedicate his time and efforts as Contest Director. He has served as CD for the chapter's past 6 contests and volunteered as registrar for the preceding 3.
Bryan has been creative in bringing awareness to the sport, creating excitement about competing for both new and experienced pilots/competitors, and has brought in many non-flying volunteers. Organizing chapter practice days, social gatherings, utilizing social media, creating fun and unique contest awards and trophies and most recently, soliciting a Christian Eagle airplane as a donation for auction are among some of the ways that Bryan has created enthusiasm and interest in the sport and the contests. Thanks to many of his efforts, the 2022 Chapter 36 Hammerhead Roundup contest boasted 43 competing pilots, with 18 competing in the Primary category, 16 of which were first time competitors.
Bryan is also a CFI and shares his passion for aerobatics with his students, introducing pilots to competition and the IAC. He has brought many new competitors into the sport, teaching and coaching them into the Primary and Sportsman categories and volunteering as safety pilot.
The future of the IAC and our sport rely on our volunteers and members like Bryan who are not only dedicated but show ingenuity in generating interest and excitement in the IAC.


Curtis Pitts Memorial Trophy: Danny Bond

Danny Bond has for many years been the go-to person for anything Pitts Special related. Danny has typically rebuilt one or two Pitts’ yearly, replenishing what is generally becoming an aging fleet. Working out of his Virginia shop, he has been the go-to guy for any Pitts related maintenance, as well as for other brands of aerobatic aircraft.

Danny has always kept his prices very reasonable, and when asked why, he stated that he does it to give back to the community that means so much to him. And he doesn’t just do Pitts, though that is what he’s known for. He’s also resurrected Extras, Great Lakes, Eagles, and One Designs.

He is legendary in his ability to build aerobatic competition aircraft, rebuild aircraft, design aerodynamic improvements of ailerons, elevators, and rudders increasing the competitive capability of the aircraft. Numerous people have sought him out for rebuilds, reevaluations, and annual and conditional inspections. His work is beyond museum quality. 

When my Pitts was destroyed in a ground-based mishap, Danny took it upon himself to get me back in a Pitts, back in the air, and back into competition. He found me an S-1S, and very soon after rebuilt the wings, providing me with a safe and capable aircraft that will serve me for many years to come.

He has also been a stalwart Chapter supporter and contest director of the Farmville, VA event for many years. Oh, and he also coaches and judges for regional contests!

Danny’s name is synonymous with Pitts and aerobatics. Every person that has come into contact with Danny Bond will not only call him their friend but they know that they are his friend as well. His years of work on a countless number of Pitts earns him the recognition of the Curtis Pitts trophy by his peers in IAC.