CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today CLICK HERE

FAI European Aerobatic Championship ends with victory for Russian legend

PUBLISHED: 10:44 01 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:44 01 September 2016

The victorious Mikhail Mamistov and Svetlana Kapanina

The victorious Mikhail Mamistov and Svetlana Kapanina


Mikhail Mamistov secured his fifth gold medal in style, while the women’s category went down to a photo finish

The skies were clear and blue for the 20th FAI European Aerobatic Championships, held 20-27 August 2016 at Moravska Trebova in the Czech Republic, but the sun shone brightest on Russia’s aerobatics masters, Mikhail Mamistov and Svetlana Kapanina.

Having taken the lead following the second programme, Mamistov never looked like faltering as he flew to the gold medal, his fifth at these championships. It is yet another accolade in his glistening two-decade career, which has seen him named FAI World Aerobatic Champion on two occasions.

Over the course of the week, 40 pilots from 13 nations competed across four flight programmes. The first was ‘Known’, meaning the pilots knew the routine they would have to perform beforehand, so could get in some training.

The skies were blue for the 20th FAI European Aerobatic ChampionshipsThe skies were blue for the 20th FAI European Aerobatic Championships

The other three programmes, however, were ‘Unknown’. Pilots were given 10 aerobatic figures during the competition and they had to turn them into a routine – which they had no time to practise.

It was the French pilot Olivier Masurel who took the early lead after the Known programme, with a score of 79.77 per cent. Mamistov sat in third.

With some mistakes from Masurel in the first of the Unknowns programmes, Mamistov snatched first place with a strong routine, ending the second day of competition on 78.207 per cent.

Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic won the FreestyleMartin Sonka of the Czech Republic won the Freestyle

The lead is where Mamistov stayed throughout the final two programmes, but despite the heights he reached with his routines, the seasoned star always kept his feet on the ground. Following his fourth 10-minute flight, he nonchalantly declared with a smile, “Not the best, not the worst, we will see!”

Mamistov won with a score of 78.915 per cent, while local hero Martin Sonka finished on 78.061 percent, which proved good enough for silver. Masurel held on to bronze.

“The competition was perfect – very interesting, demanding and just the right amount of difficulty,” said Mamistov.

Things were a lot closer in the women’s category. Kapanina managed to cling on to a gold-medal winning lead from the first day of competition, but by the slightest of margins. Fellow Russian Elena Klimovitch finished just 0.54 points behind her.

The Russians didn’t have everything their own way, as they had to settle for silver in the team category. France took home the gold, with six pilots finishing in the overall top 10.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the week came when the Czech crowd watched their countryman Sonka win the Freestyle Champsionship – an all-or-nothing four-minute routine to show off a pilot’s handling skills free of the programmes. After his victory (the second time he has won the title) Sonka beamed, “I was very happy to win here in my home country, performing before all the fans.”

And with clear skies throughout the week and the highest class of aerobatic flying (plus a local lad to celebrate), the 20th FAI European Aerobatic Championship had plenty to keep those fans happy.

More from News


ILAFFT has long been a ‘must read first’ feature in Pilot magazine, so it was no surprise when the Vintage Aircraft Club decided to try an informal forum for pilots that there was a very positive response

Read more
Yesterday, 17:02

EPS Diesel has received supplemental funding which should allow them to complete FAA Certification and to obtain production certification for the Graflight 8 diesel engine

Read more
Yesterday, 16:52

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG-GA) has called upon the Housing and Planning Minister to provide airfields with the same level of retrospective protection as churches, live music venues and farms

Read more
Yesterday, 16:07

Concerns over the design of the aviation skies above Britain were raised during the first Oral hearing session of an inquiry commissioned by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG-GA)

Read more
Mon, 17:09

Ilmor Engineering has improved the power density of a General Aviation diesel engine by applying technologies and design solutions honed in Motorsport to successfully deliver an EU Clean Sky 2 (CS2) programme

Read more
Mon, 16:34

Re-live all the action from 2018’s Old Buckenham Airshow with this action-packed DVD featuring over an hour of exclusive footage

Read more
Friday, December 7, 2018

This important judgement means that the High Court has given permission for the case to go ahead because it considers that the claim meets the threshold of arguability

Read more
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Fairoaks 2020, the volunteer campaign group fighting plans to close Fairoaks Airport to create 1,000 homes on its Green Belt site, has been swift to galvanise support from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of General Aviation and also from other sectors of the industry

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

L3 Commercial Aviation have announced the launch of the L3 Pilot Pathways Female Scholarship program, which will provide 10 scholarships to female candidates applying for its Integrated Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) training program

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

CAP 1616 describes the different stages of the airspace change process and the activities involved and the second edition will give updated guidance on the regulatory process for changing airspace design including community engagement requirements

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read

Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine