Hungarian pilot Ferenc Toth secured a hat-trick at the 19th FAI World Glider Aerobatic Championships at the weekend – winning the third World Championship gold medal of his career. Team Hungary finished first on the nations’ table.
After a 10-day competition that saw 20 of the world’s best glider aerobatics pilots battle it out in the skies above Hungary, Toth’s win confirmed his position as the best glider aerobatic pilot in the world.
“I was a bit nervous on my last flight, but my friends told me it was ok and it was enough,” he said. “I am happy with my performance, and I am very happy with my win.”
It is the third world championship win in Toth’s career, and is the second in a row – he won in 2015 and was defending his title throughout the competition. He has now been European Champion three times and World Champion three times. In total, he has 15 gold medals for international Glider Aerobatics.
Hungarian teammate Janos Szilagyi won silver, with Poland’s Jerzy Makula in third position with bronze. Toth dominated the competition all week, winning three of five rounds. Each round consisted of each pilot flying a three-minute aerobatic routine in a 1,000m-x-1,000m-x-1,000m cube-shape performance zone in the air.
The strong Hungarian showing in the individual competition pushed Hungary into top spot on the nations’ table too. Team Hungary were more than 2,300 points ahead of second-placed France. The battle for silver was tight-run, with third-placed Germany only 137 points behind. With 24,000 points on the table, it was a wafer-thin margin. The competition in Hungary was the 19th FAI World Glider Aerobatic Championships to be held, and attracted 20 of the world’s best glider aerobatic pilots.
The FAI World Glider Aerobatics Championships takes place every year. This year it was at Matko Airport in Hungary, 80km south east of capital Budapest. It took place from 20-30 July and was organised by the Hungarian Aeronautical Association and the Hungarian Aerobatic Club.
1. Ferenc Toth (HUN), 8,578.09
2. Janos Szilagyi (HUN), 8,281.92
3. Jerzy Makula (POL), 7,902.39
1. Hungary, 24,605.15
2. France, 22,277.76
3. Germany, 22,140.18