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Welcome Bob Henderson - President FAI

Not many people know this, but we have living amongst us someone who is extremely prominent in the world of aviation, and whose achievements have been little recognised here in the media, or anywhere else.

That person is Bob Henderson, recently elected President of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale - based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The FAI is the governing body for all aviation sports throughout the World, much as the Olympic Games organisation oversees olympic sports.

Each sport has its own organisation - gliding, ballooning, microlights, parachuting and a dozen others, and all recognise the role of the FAI in this regard. The reason why we seldom hear of its activities is that most of these sports are concentrated in Europe and the US, and their championship events equally seldom make it to this part of the World.

The World Gliding Championships were an exception - brought to Omarama in the McKenzie Valley many years ago, but unlikely to return due to the extraordinary cost, not to say the reluctance of the top pilots to leave familiar surroundings. Bob was one of the group of five responsible for getting that event here at that time as chairman of the Gliding NZ, and was instrumental in its administration. 

Bob's background is as an Air New Zealand pilot at the highest level, and as an aviation psychologist - a role in which he has had a distinguished career.

Bob and his wife Eileen - also a psychologist in the human resources area, have between them built a beautiful new home in the Kauaeranga Valley - overlooking the river, and are determined to enjoy the local ambience, in between fulfilling Bob's international obligations in his newly appointed role - one that is widely recognised and respected within the aviation community - in Europe in particular.




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