Royal Aero Club Annual Presentations 1st May 1986 - Presentation of awards by HRH The Prince Andrew
Federation Aeronautique Internationale Awards: Tissandier Diploma - David Barker
David Barker has just retired as Chairman of the Technical Committee of the BBAC, a job he has done since 1978.
The BBAC is entirely responsible for airworthiness on behalf of the CAA so the Technical Committee is central to the sport.
The Chairman, as always, ends up doing all the work and David effectively ran airworthiness for British ballooning throughout this period, maintaining the technical records for several hundred balloons, being responsible for the Technical Committee, and overseeing standards and the appointment and supervision of all Inspectors.
The World's largest and most successful hot air balloon builder is Cameron and the three most important manufacturers in Europe during this period, Cameron, Thunder, and Colt, are all In Britain. Balloon manufacture is an outstandingly successful part of sport flying In Britain, three quarters of production being exported, dominating the European and Commonwealth markets, with major sales in America.
There is no doubt that simple, fast and effective clarification, much better than the bureaucratic system in many countries contributes significantly.
He has been responsible for an important development, certification of all special shape hot air balloons, requiring courage and judgement. Would you certify a 200 ft, long flying chateau or a 56,000 cubic Ice-cream cone? David took it in his stride and contributed to the world wide domination British manufacturers have In special shape advertising balloons,
He successfully saw the introduction of the current non-expiring certificate of airworthiness, a significant simplification,
The odd situation exists that commercial manufacturers rely on a voluntary organisation for certification.
David has made a major voluntary contribution both by hard work and sensible judgement to certification, without which sport ballooning could not continue.