Air Sports

Fifth consecutive world champion title for aeromodelling prodigy Gernot Bruckmann

After a week of intense competition that saw the world’s best aerobatic model pilots demonstrate spectacular skills, talent and determination in Lithuania, the winners of the 2023 FAI F3P World Championships for Indoor Aerobatic Model Aircraft are announced. Austrian pilot Gernot Bruckmann (top picture) took the title in F3P-A class and Donatas Paužuolis won the F3P-AFM class. This is Bruckmann’s fifth consecutive champion title.

In the senior competitions, the podium mirrored 2019’s results in the overall rankings with Bruckmann and Paužuolis at the top. There was much more change seen in the Junior competitions: nine pilots competed, some in both classes, with female junior Prapulolenaityte Nelija representing Lithuania in AFM. Two new junior pilots flew for the Czech Republic team, and Lithuania put forward three juniors in this 2023 competition. France’s two junior pilots Arnaud Maerte and Lucas Poncet took a gold medal, and helped their national team become overall champions.

Fifth consecutive world champion title for aeromodelling prodigy Gernot Bruckmann
Donatas Paužuolis piloting his model aircraft (credit: Audrius Reipa)

F3P-A Finals

F3P-AFM Finals

A total of 32 junior and senior pilots from 13 nations competed in two classes: F3P-A: competitors fly a predefined sequence of manoeuvres to the highest degree of precision possible; F3P-AFM: the aircraft follow a choreographed aerobatic flight, set to music.

Egle Pauzuoliene from the organising committee with the female junior pilot Prapulolenaityte Nelija

Bruckmann’s victory is no less than his fifth world title in a row, a performance that no other aeromodelling pilot has ever achieved. The Austrian prodigy took up the sport at just six years old after spending many hours on the airfield as a child with his parents, both aeromodelling enthusiasts.

Gernot Bruckmann reacted to his victory on his Facebook page:

“What can I say, just wow. I am still amazed about this amazing week in Lithuania. First of all congratulations to the organizers, it was a fantastic event and I think all competitors and people really enjoyed the week in Jonava.

“I came here to try and defend my title in F3P and I go home with  medals, this is just crazy next to my Gold medal in F3P I could win silver in F3P-AFM and silver together with Team Austria.

“Also congratulations Donatas for winning his second Gold Medal in F3P-AFM and Jeffrey for his 2 Bronze Medals. As well as all competitors, we really could watch some amazing flights during this week in Jonava or live at home on the stream.

“Last but no least thank you so much to my sponsors and supporters, all my friends, family and my amazing wife Bettina. All this would never be possible without them, thank you so much.”

The Awards Ceremony took place in the Jonava Sports Center and the City Mayor together with the President of the Aeroclub of Lithuania were present. It was followed by a closing banquet at the Jonava Cultural Center where all teams celebrated with the organisers the end of a very successful event.

FAI Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM) President and Jury Member Antonis Papadopoulos said:

“These were the first FAI Aeromodelling World Championships of the year and I’m pleased to say it was very well organised. CIAM would like to thank the organising team, the city authorities, the Aeroclub of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Aeromodelling Federation for their contribution and their hospitality. After three years with all the restrictions applied all over the world for COVID, we are trying to get back in order again, and this event is a very good start. Congratulations to all the winners and all those who participated.”

The venue for the competition was Lithuania’s Jonava Sports Arena, which featured suitable dimensions to accommodate the aerobatic flights. Opening on 19 March 2023, the competition took place over six days with the awards ceremony closing the championships on Saturday 25 March.


F3P – Overall

  1. Gernot Bruckmann (AUT)
  2. Donatas Paužuolis (LTU)
  3. Jeffrey Durochat (FRA)

F3P – Junior

  1. Arnaud Maerte (FRA)
  2. Caspar Halim (GER)
  3. Radek Rája (CZE) 

F3P – Team

  1. France
  2. Austria    
  3. Switzerland

F3P AFM – Overall

  1. Donatas Paužuolis (LTU)
  2. Gernot Bruckmann (AUT)
  3. Jeffrey Durochat (FRA)

F3P AFM – Junior

  1. Lucas Poncet (FRA)  
  2. Jakub Muranowicz (POL)
  3. Caspar Halim (GER)

Podium pictures: Audrius Reipa; other pictures: Antonis Papadopoulos

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