The Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Australian Flying magazine are proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Wings Awards. The Wings Awards were inaugurated in 2014 to recognise the efforts of the many people who have dedicated their lives to general aviation, either through individual effort or as part of an aero club or flying school. It is passion that deserves to be acknowledged and sets a very good example for the general aviation community as a whole.
Col Pay Award for a Lifetime of Service to General Aviation
2021 Winner: Borg Sorensen
A well-known figure in the antique and warbird community, Borg Sorensen has spent decades repairing and restoring aircraft of all descriptions. The award has been made to recognise the many years of dedicated service Sorensen has given to GA as an engineer, preserver of aviation heritage, restorer of antique aircraft and as a founder of the Antique Aircraft Association of Australia. He has also supported many museums around Australia with restoration work and for many years operated his own restored Wirraway, which now resides in the aviation museum at Nhill in Victoria. Added to that, Sorensen was an early supporter Tyabb Airport and Peninsula Aero Club in their infancy has made a significant difference to general aviation as a whole.
Flying Instructor of the Year
2021 Winner: Jack Caddy, Sydney Aviators
Jack Caddy has a reputation of being not only a high-quality flying instructor, but also a mentor that takes a personal interest in the progress of his students. This award has been made because of his dedication, fostering nature and encouraging manner in the cockpit. Jack Caddy is a role model that your students look up to and are proud to have as their flying instructor. His abilities both as a pilot and a flying instructor are instrumental in helping the next generation of pilots get a good start to their flying careers.
Flying Training Organisation of the Year
2021 Winner: Ward Air, Bathurst
Bathurst-based Ward Air has a great reputation as being a quality school that cares about the progress of their students and has an instructor cohort that is dedicated to their charges; a highly-qualified school that has pressed on through the pandemic and achieved results similar to larger schools with far fewer resources. Ward Air has an innovative program of taking flying instruction to remote and regional areas, which can mean training at remote locations, sometimes on private airstrips, throughout the country, in people's own aircraft, while on tour throughout outback Australia. They also conduct training safaris that take students on extended navigation exercises over and above the CASA syllabus, teaching real-world training in a fun and fostering environment.
Aero Club of the Year
2021 Winner: Bathurst Aero Club
This award has been made because of BAC's dedication to general aviation and engaging with both the youth of the Bathurst district and Bathurst-based flying schools to foster involvement in GA. BAC also provides a raft of activities for members and facilities for visiting aviators that are valuable to both the GA community and the public as whole. During a very challenging year, BAC maintained contact through innovative on-line program to make sure people stayed engaged at a time when visiting the aero club was not possible.
Young Achiever of the Year
2021: Not awarded
The judging panel elected not to make an award in this category this year because there were no eligible nominations that correctly addressed the criteria.
CASA and Australian Flying congratulate all the winners of the 2021 Wings Awards, and thank the Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society and judges Doug Nancarrow, David Pilkington and Shelley Ross* for their efforts this year.
*Shelley Ross is an instructor at Ward Air, but was excluded from judging that category.