22 Sept 2023
This year’s Sword of Honour – which recognises an outstanding contribution to General Aviation – goes to Francis Donaldson. For more than 30 years, as Chief Engineer of the then Popular Flying Association and then Light Aircraft Association, Donaldson has recommended the issuing of permits to fly for more than 3,000 aircraft and overseen the engineering and handling reviews of around 200 different types. He stood down from his role at the beginning of 2022 but has remained involved as a consultant. Few people have been more influential to the progress and development of light aircraft in the past three decades, with an encyclopedic knowledge backed by real world engineering and flight testing expertise.