Each year, the membership of the IAC nominates outstanding volunteers to be recognized for their contribution to the sport of aerobatics. The award winners are selected by a secret ballot of the IAC Board of Directors.
This year IAC President Michael Heuer will present the recipients with their awards at the IAC Gathering of Members on Friday evening, July 29th at the EAA Nature Center during AirVenture in Oshkosh.
In the past, these awards have been presented at the U.S. National Championships, but Oshkosh offers a venue that is unique and well attended. Recipients that are unable to attend on July 29th will receive their awards during the banquet at Nationals as in the past.
Frank Price Cup - Doug McConnell
Doug has been a member of IAC for 46 years. Attempting his first aerobatics in a Navy N3N when he was still a teenager, the excitement and fun of aerobatics became a life-long passion.
After the Air Force, Doug became part owner of an aerobatic flight school in Oakland, California, which was shortly after the Champion Citabria was introduced. The school ended up with 10 Citabrias and was totally devoted to aerobatic training. Doug and the school would eventually become a distributor and dealer for Champion Aircraft.
During his work with the Citabria dealership and school, he was hired as Champion’s new Vice President of Marketing and Sales. He became a test pilot and airshow pilot for the company at the same time. During this time period he became a member of the EAA and IAC as he saw they had much in common with a factory producing aerobatic airplanes.
Later when he moved to the Chicago area, Doug found himself near an active IAC chapter and started attending contests. He became a judge and immersed himself in IAC work. Attending contests around the Midwest, Doug flew in Intermediate and earned six achievement awards. He judged at the IAC Championships in Fond du Lac and also as a Chief Judge of the U.S. National Glider Aerobatic Championships when they were held as a stand-alone event in the Midwest.
After meeting Bob Heuer, IAC’s first President, Doug put his MBA and previous marketing experience to good use when he took on the memberships program for IAC. In the mid-1990’s Doug served as the IAC’s Executive Director and later became the Treasurer for the IAC. He reorganized the IAC’s financial statements so they would be easier to read and studied by the Board of Directors.
In 1998, when Doug was President of the IAC, he took on the task of membership development. IAC experienced tremendous growth under his leadership expanding from 4,500 to 6,200 members under his administration. After leaving the presidency, however, Doug’s dedication to IAC and the growth of its membership did not want. He serves as IAC’s membership director today as well as its Vice President.
There have been few people who have accomplished so much in IAC, much of it behind the scenes and not visible to most members, yet so vital to our future.
Robert L. Heuer Award for Judging Excellence - Peggy Riedinger
Peggy has been a top notch judge for several years at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships and 2015 was no exception. In 2015 she judged both power and glider categories and attended contests across the United States including Apple Valley, Duel in the Desert, Beaver State and Sebring.
Peggy is the type of judge that others look to for her understanding of the technical aspects of judging and has always been fair and unbiased. She is always willing to share her expertise and unfailingly pleasant. Peggy promotes the development of new judges and currency of current judges by helping her chapter organize their annual judges school.
In a selfless move she stepped in at her own expense, at the last minute, to assist Marty Flournoy at the 2015 World Aerobatic Championships when another judge was unable to attend due to illness. This is a great example of her dedication and willingness to support the IAC and their USA judging team. Peggy will be assisting American judge Marty Flournoy at this year’s World Advanced Aerobatic Championships in Radom, Poland in August.
Peggy is an outstanding aerobatic judge and represents the best IAC has to offer.
Kathy Jaffe Volunteer Award - Tom Adams
Tom Adams has been flying aerobatic competition since the early 1970’s and has been a volunteer at literally hundreds of contest through the years. Tom primarily volunteers in judge positions, including scoring judge at regional contests and the U.S. Nationals and chief judge at regional contests. He has been selected as a judge for several world championships. His judging experience and his willingness to teach new judges and assistants makes him a wonderful person to work with on the judging line.
In addition to his volunteerism as a judge, he has coached and mentored pilots at contests and on practice days. He has been available to anyone who desired some help in flying better figures. He readily introduces himself to new competitors and if they are interested in some coaching he will take them by the hand give to them practical ground coaching. Later he will encourage them to apply that knowledge in the cockpit and coach them via radio so their sequence is highly competitive in just a few flights.
Tom is the epitome of an IAC volunteer, whether he is coaching, mentoring, judging, or the contest starter. He is one of the longest serving members of the IAC Board of Directors and never failed to have new ideas for improving our sport. His willingness to step into any role and his vast experience over 45 years of being an IAC member make him the ideal recipient for this award.
Harold E. Neumann Award for Outstanding Contribution as a Chief Judge -
Charlie has served as Unlimited Chief Judge at the U.S. National Championships for years. Among his attributes as an outstanding chief judge he brings his attention to detail, and a dedication to safety. He is known for his leadership qualities and fairness on the judge’s line. Charlie is a judging school instructor.
Charlie first got involved with aerobatics and judging through IAC Chapter 19, where he was encouraged to go to judge's school. After qualifying as a National Judge, he served as chief judge for many contests. While acting as the 1998 CD, Dale Evans asked Charlie to serve as Chief Judge at Nationals and Charlie has been serving in that capacity almost ever since.
He has spent many years of selfless volunteering and is patient and thorough in explaining the judging rules. He conducts each contest flight in a professional manner and is well known by his peers as having a high degree of knowledge and experience of IAC rules and judging criteria. He is a great credit to IAC and the U.S. National Championships.
Curtis Pitts Memorial Trophy - Eddie Saurenman
Building his first Pitts at 14 and having no previous Pitts flying time, Eddie Saurenman strapped himself into his first single-seat open cockpit Pitts S-1 and started flying at 17 for two to three hours a day. He logged over 1,000 hours in the world renowned Pitts
Special before the age of 20; squeezing in being issued a Repairman Certificate and earning his FAA low-level letter of competency at 18 years of age.
Eddie’s aviation career started in 1975 working for Aerotek in Albuquerque, New Mexico, building 15 meter composite sailplanes with mentor, George Applebay. Over the next several years, Eddie worked at many of the major aircraft manufacturing companies in Wichita, Kansas such as Cessna, Beechcraft, LearJet, Raytheon, Bombardier, Helio Aircraft and others. Eddie learned the industry from the ground up starting with de-burring parts at Cessna to working his way through tooling, aircraft assembly lines, manufacturing planning, scientific information systems, airframe and systems design, aerodynamic and structural technical analysis.
Eddie’s passion has always been aerobatics and aerobatic aircraft design. He has designed and modified airplanes for a number of today’s premier airshow pilots. These modifications include wing design, tail design, fuselage modification, control system modifications and installation of turbo engines as auxiliary thrust units. When you see John Klatt’s “Screamin’ Sasquatch”, Kyle Franklin’s “Dracula”, Sean Tucker or Skip Stewart’s airplanes you are seeing Eddie Saurenman’s considerable expertise in action.
Now under Saurenman Aero Works, Inc. (SAW), Eddie has designed the next great aerobatic airplane, the “SAW Revolution”, an all carbon fiber biplane in addition to a super light aerobatic monoplane called, “SAW Revo”.
Eddie’s modifications and designs are making a lasting impression on the world of aerobatics.