The EAC Board

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The EAC Board consists of Airshow and Aviation professional's from several different nations. Each Board Member comes with a different background from within the industry and are all current within their airshow roles, giving an insight into the most current issues and themes. 

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Board Member Since:

2000 - Founder Member

Nationality:

Belgium

Airshow Role(s):

Airshow Event Organiser

Airshow Coordinator

EAC Roles:

Chairman of the Board

Gilbert Buekenberghs

Chairman

The Chairman of the Board of the EAC is Gilbert Buekenberghs from Belgium, who has been leading the EAC since the first Convention when the EAC became a formal organisation in 2000 and before that in several informal meetings in various cities across Europe. Gilbert is also one of the airshow organisers representatives on the EAC Board having successfully organised the Belgian Sanicole International Airshow for some 30 years until passing the main responsibility to his son, Geoffrey.

 

However, he not only continues to play an active part in that Airshow but has also accepted the challenge of assisting the Belgian Air Force organise its major annual airshows. Now retired from headmastership of the largest school in Belgium, he finds time for a wide range of activities including the conducting of tour parties to various countries.

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Board Member Since:

2000 - Founder Member

Nationality:

Malta

Airshow Role(s):

Airshow Event Organiser

Airshow Coordinator

Joe Ciliberti

Board Member

An avid aviation buff since the young age of 11, Joe has harnessed his hobby with a passion to share and encourage more and more people to join the aviation scene in whichever scenario. Observing many airshows, but primarily the International Air Tattoo from Greenham Common days, Joe felt the need for Malta to have its own airshow and went on to organise the first Malta International Airshow in 1993:it is still running it to this day..


President of the Malta Aviation Society for the last 29 years, Joe was also instrumental in the setting up of the Malta Aviation Museum and is a director at Medex Aerospace. Joe runs 2 companies un-related to aviation but is also involved in aviation trade in North Africa and assists with organising aerial events in other countries.


In the EAC Joe has found the perfect forum for like-minded people who have airshows at heart and has been a founding member and Board Member of the EAC since 2000

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Board Member Since:

2005

Nationality:

Belgium

Airshow Role(s):

National Aviation Authority Regulator

Joerg Thurnheer

Board Member

Jörg Thurnheer works at the Federal Office of Civil Aviation Switzerland as the responsible inspector for all air shows and special events in Switzerland. At the same time he acts as deputy head of the section Air Navigation Services conducting audits and inspections and head of the Search and Rescue oversight in Switzerland.

 

He started his working career with Swissair in Zürich as an Ground manager and instructor, moved on to Jet Aviation Business Jets as a Flight Dispatcher and joined the FOCA Switzerland in 1992.


Jörg is an active pilot with a MEP/IR Rating and frozen ATPL licence. He served in the Swiss Air Force during his mandatory military service. He is married and living in a small village near Berne in Switzerland. Jörg has been a Board member of EAC since 2005.

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Board Member Since:

2013

Nationality:

Greece

Airshow Role(s):

Display Pilot

Flying Display Director

Manolis Karahalios

Board Member

Manolis Karahalios was the Hellenic Air Force’s F-16 Demo Team “ZEUS” Display Pilot for the 2010 to 2012 display seasons. He joined the Hellenic Air Force Academy in 1996 and graduated as a distinguished graduate in 2000.

 

Upon graduation he spent 2 years as an operational A-7H Corsair pilot and then he joined the 340 Squadron, flying the F-16 Block 52+.
Since 2014, Manolis is a civilian instructor pilot, while in 2018 he took over as the Flying Display Director of the Athens Flying Week International Airshow (AFW).


Manolis currently resides in the UAE working as a civilian Flight Instructor for the UAE Air Force instructing on the Pilatus PC-21.  Manolis created and continues to run the EAC's Fast Jet Solo Pilot Safety Workshop, drawing together the worlds Military FJ Display Pilots to share best practice and learn from each other. 

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Board Member Since:

2016

Nationality:

France

Airshow Role(s):

Event Organiser

Flying Display Director

Jean-Noël Bouillaguet

Board Member

Jean-Noël started his career as an Air Traffic Controller with the French military before changing to the civil sector. He is an Event Organiser and Flying Display Director with over 30 years of experience in France and other European Nations. 

Jean-Noel is now President of the French air display association France Spectacle Aérien, which was formed in 2016 to represent the vibrant airshow industry within France and to pursue greater recognition and safety standards within his home country. 

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Board Member Since:

2018

Nationality:

United Kingdom

Airshow Role(s):

Display Pilot

Mike Ling MBE

Board Member

Mike joined the EAC Board in 2018 after leaving the Royal Air Force.  In RAF service he flew the  F3, the Air Defence version of the Pan European, Panavia Tornado, before joining the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team in 2008. 

Mike is well known in the airshow world, using his experiences from the Red Arrows, displaying across the Globe with the team as both a team pilot and their safety supervisor.  Mike is the longest serving Red Arrows pilot in history with over 10 years behind him, which earned him an MBE from HM Queen Elizabeth in 2017. 

Mike is now a pilot with The Blades Aerobatics team and an ambassador for aviation charities and Airshows in the UK. He is a specialist in Formation display flying and safety. 

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Board Member Since:

2000-2014

2014 Honorary

Nationality:

United Kingdom

Airshow Role(s):

Event Organiser

Bob Dixon MBE

Honorary Board Member

Executive Coordinator of the EAC since 2000, Board Member from 2004, now is  Honorary Member; Bob was a member of the Royal Air Force for over 40 years and a logistics specialist with a particular interest in transportation, fuels and explosives.  Leaving the RAF as a Group Captain (Colonel), he then commanded a Reserve Air Force Squadron before accepting the challenge of working with the EAC on a part-time basis.

He was appointed as the Executive of the EAC with responsibility to the Board for all aspects of its activities and particularly the planning and organisation of annual Conventions held in Belgium. He handed over his responsibilities as the Executive to Charles Skiera in 2014. Bob has been involved in the organisation of Airshows and events at Airshows over many years in the UK and mainland Europe. Married, his wife has also been an active volunteer supporting EAC Convention administration.  Bob retains his Air Force connections as Vice President of Swindon RAF Association and President of the two Associations of RAF Squadrons that he used to command.

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Board Member Since:

2003

Nationality:

United Kingdom

Airshow Role(s):

Display Pilot

Aviation Consultant

James Black

Honorary Board Member

James Black is Co-Chair of the European General Aviation Safety Team (EGAST) and Board Member of the European Council of General Aviation Support (ECOGAS).

 

He is also a Member of the FAI Safety Expert Group and President of Honour of the International Aerobatics Commission (CIVA) of the FAI. An active display pilot and organiser for over 45 years, James was a member of the British Aerobatic Team 1966-76 and British Aerobatic Champion in 1969. He operated pleasure flights and trial lessons at 7 airfields around England with vintage and aerobatic aircraft 1994 -2004. He is currently a Director of Avia Special Ltd and the Antonov AN-2 Club.


After some 30 years working in the oil industry, he has been an active aviation consultant and a member of the British Association of Aviation Consultants for 25 years. James has been a Board Member of the EAC made the difficulty decision to retire from the EAC Board in November 2021.

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Board Member Since:

2014

Nationality:

United Kingdom

Airshow Role(s):

Flying Display Director

Airshow Event Organiser

Charles Skiera

Executive

With an interest in flying and Gliding, spurred on by attending many airshows as a child, he joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and still works with the organisation as a Commissioned Officer at the rank of Squadron Leader.

He has both light aircraft and Gliding experience, having been an avid aviator. He joined the RAF Waddington International Airshow Team in 2002, helping to stage the RAF’s largest airshow, until it finished. He now runs R5 Air Displays Ltd, with his former Waddington colleague, providing Flying Display Management Services across the UK and further afield.

He is a UK Civil Aviation Authority and Military Aviation Authority Accredited Flying Display Director, with a vast range of experience in all sizes of events.  Charles also works for the Police, giving him additional knowledge of Emergency Services work and responsibilities, particularly in event management and safety.  In 2018 he  joined the Committee of the British Air Display Association, the National representative organisation of the UK’s Airshow Industry.

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Board Member Since:

2000 - Founder Member

Nationality:

The Netherlands

Airshow Role(s):

Airshow Event Organiser

Airshow Coordinator

Ed De Bruijn

Board Member

Founder member and Board Member; Ed de Bruijn is Director at Texel Airport and he also organises their Airshow.

 

He is also responsible to the Royal Netherlands Air Force for organising their participation in airshows outside the Netherlands as well as the big military airshows in the Country. He was awarded special recognition for his work in the community by the State. Ed is a founding member and Board Member of the EAC.

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Board Member Since:

2000 - Founder Member

Nationality:

France

Airshow Role(s):

Display Pilot

Jacques Bothelin

Board Member

Jacques Bothelin started his career in the French Air Force and has flown many types of aircraft in his long career.

 

He created and is still the current CEO of Apache Aviation, providing a range of specialised Flying Services to various customers. He has been a full time display pilot and team leader since 1982 (Martini, Ecco, Adecco, Breitling). In his career he has participated in more than 2800 displays in 36 countries worldwide and has accumulated 11 000 flying hours in 150 aircraft types. In the 1990s he was also an airshow organiser in France. Jacques is a French Air Force Honorary Colonel in the Reserve Citoyenne.


Jacques has been a member of ICAS since the 1980’s and is a founding member and Board Member of EAC

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Board Member Since:

2008

Nationality:

Spain

Airshow Role(s):

Airshow Event Organiser

Pablo Gonzalez

Board Member

Pablo joined the EAC Board in 2008.  He is an Event Organiser and Director of several airshows each year in Spain  and has over 15 years of experience within the airshow industry.

He is an enthusiastic private pilot, competitive athlete, he coordinates too with the Spanish Air Force for several annual national events.

 

Pablo is also the President of several non profit organizations dedicated to Aviation and his culture.

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Board Member Since:

2016 

Nationality:

Czech Republic

Airshow Role(s):

Airshow Event Organiser

Zbynek Pavlaicik

Board Member

Zbynek is the founder and CEO of Jegello2000, which is the main organisation supporting the subject of public diplomacy in the field of security policy and membership of the Czech Republic in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it also participates in projects focused on the European Union. The main goal of the association is to raise awareness among the general and professional public about security policy and transatlantic relations.

One of the key activities of the organisation is close liaison with NATO and the Czech Air Force, including the organisation of the NATO Days in Ostrava and Czech Air Force Days, a large scale Air, Defence and Civil Defence show.

Zbynek created the event in 2001 which has grown to receive visitors of over 300,000 people annually and is held in high acclaim across the world.  Zbynek joined the EAC Board in 2016.

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Board Member Since:

2021

Nationality:

Italy

Airshow Role(s):

Display Organiser

Flying Display Director

Alberto Moretti

Board Member

Alberto is our first Board Member from Italy, and brings with him a wealth of flying, display flying and Airshow Organisation experience.

 

After joining the Italian Air Force in 1974 as a pilot, he  soon joined the 21st Tiger Squadron, flying the famous F104 Starfighter in the Air Defence role.  It was in 1981 where Alberto began his ventures into the Display world, being assigned to the Frecce Tricolori, the famous Italian Nation Display Team, which was also the first year the team flew the MB339 aircraft. 

After Staff tour in Rome during 1987-88, he returned to the Frecce Tricolori in 1988, staying with the team until 1992, amassing 10 years with the team, both as pilot and later Team Commander.  After a staff tour in Rome, he became the Air Attache in Abu Dhabi, before returning to Air Force HQ in Italy, retiring from the Air Force in 2004. 

 

Since 2005 and with over 4200 flying hours under his belt, Alberto is now with Prima Aviation agency, organising more then 70 airshows in Italy each year, mainly in the most important tourist location on the sea side such as Jesolo and many others. 

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Board Member Since:

2021

Nationality:

Finland

Airshow Role(s):

Flying Display Director

Airshow Organiser

Perttu Karivalo

Board Member

Perttu started his aviation career building plastic models as young boy, but the real start was at age of seven at the Helsinki International Airshow. After that,  the airshow world captured his imagination and since then aviation and airshows have been part of Perttu’s life.

 

Perttu is Finnish Air Force Reserve Flying Officer and holds also FAA/EASA Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor licenses. He was part of Finnish Air Force display team, The Midnight Hawks between 1999-2012 coordinating team’s activities and worked as the teams commentator and photographer. As Flight Display Director, Perttu and his team have organized some 20 airshows in Finland, Europe and Asia. Finland’s annual main airshow and Poland’s yearly Aerobaltic Gdynia Airshow are the ones you are likely to find Perttu at every year. Display and airshow flying safety is very important to Perttu and he is always working to improve safe flying and operations in airshows.

 

Aircraft photography and plastic modelling are still Perttu’s keen interests in addition to airshows, but flying as a seaplane “bushpilot” in Lapland, Northern Finland,  is the flying he loves!

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