The 2022 FAI Gliding Awards were announced at the annual IGC Plenary meeting in Copenhagen February 2023

Cornelia Schaich

Jana Veprekova recipient of the Lilienthal Gliding Medal 2022.

Lilienthal Gliding Medal

The Lilienthal Gliding Medal 2022, the most highly regarded soaring award in the world, has been awarded to Jana Veprekova from Czech Republic.

The Lilienthal Gliding Medal was established by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) in 1938 in honour of Otto Lilienthal, the German pioneer in human aviation. It aims ‘to reward a particularly remarkable performance in gliding, or eminent services to the sport of gliding, over a long period of time’.

Jana began gliding in 1975 at the airport Dvůr Králové and works there to this day. She competed in her first international competition in 1983 at the Competition of Socialist Countries in Shumen, Bulgaria, where she was the youngest participant to win the women's competition.

Jana has participated in all 11 World Women's Gliding Championships and 8 of the 11 European Women's Gliding Championships. At those events, she won 10 medals, winning the highest number of World Championships and European Championships in the history of women's gliding.

Jana's name is listed on a plaque in the museum in Mladá Boleslav, where she was selected in a poll among the 100 greatest aviation personalities of Czech and Czechoslovak aviation. So far, she has flown well over 5,000 hours and logged more than 250,000km cross country.

Cornelia Schaich

Champion Pilot of the Year  Cornelia Schaich with her diploma and the World Soaring Cup.

International Gliding Commission (IGC) Champion Pilot of the Year

The IGC Champion Pilot of the Year 2022 has been awarded to Cornelia Schaich from Germany. Cornelia took 1st place in Standard Class at the 11th Women’s World Gliding Championships at Husbands Bosworth in August 2022.

The IGC Champion Pilot of the Year is awarded to the Gliding Champion pilot, from among all classes, who earned the highest final score, divided by the maximum possible score for the championship they flew in that year.

Cornelia faced stiff competition for the title, as several WGCs were held in 2022. In addition to the WWGC, WGCs were held in Junior, Club and Standard classes, Open, 18m, 20m Two-seat and 13.5m classes.

As the IGC Champion of the Year, Cornelia was awarded the prestigious World Soaring Cup.

Cornelia holds national as well as international titles in the standard class: She won her first world championship in 2003 in Jihlava, Czech Republic, and twice the title of a women’s world vice champion - in 2013 in Issoudun, France  and in 2017 in Zbraslavice, Czech Republic.

Liz Sparrow

Liz Sparrow at WWGC 2022 Husbands Bosworth.

Pelagia Majewska Gliding Medal

The Pelagia Majewska Gliding Medal was awarded to Elizabeth Sparrow from the UK.

Elizabeth (Liz) is one of the founder members and a driving force behind the UK organisation ‘Women Gliding’. An international glider pilot, she came 4th in the Women’s World Gliding Championship in 2020 in Australia.

Liz dedicated four years to bringing the 11th Women’s World Gliding Championship to the UK. In leading the preparation for the championship, Liz had to contend with COVID restrictions, preventing face to face meetings of the team for almost two years, and an associated postponement of the event. Throughout, Liz managed the team effectively and patiently to deliver an outstanding competition with many associated events.

The Pelagia Majewska Gliding Medal is named in memory of eminent Polish glider pilot Pelagia Majewska who achieved 17 world gliding records and sadly lost her life in an air accident in 1988.

The Medal is given by the Aero Club of Poland, on recommendation by the FAI Gliding Commission, to a female glider pilot to reward a particularly remarkable performance in gliding during the past year, or eminent services to gliding over a long period of time.

Dirk Corporaal

Dirk Corporaal in the backseat with his son Roefoff, who contributed a lot to this project over the last few years.

Pirat Gehriger Diploma

Dirk Corporaal, teacher by profession, has earned the Pirat Gehriger Diploma for his work writing pilot manuals to clearly explain the theory for gliding from pre-solo student to glider pilot's license candidates. His first booklet for basic training was published in 1995. Since then he has improved and expanded his work and ensured its EASA compliance.

Dirk never wanted any compensation for his efforts. The only condition for using his material is that it may never be used for commercial purposes.

His work has been translated into four European languages and is available in print editions and online at

The Pirat Gehriger Diploma was created by the FAI in memory of Pirat Gehriger, the first President of the International Gliding Commission (CIC). A single diploma may be awarded annually for
eminent services to international gliding.