News story

British Helicopter team continues World Rankings rise

St Albans, UKLearning NewsBob Little Press & PR

The British Helicopter team – managed by John Matchett, the founder of the training company John Matchett Ltd - rose to third place in the world rankings following this year’s World Helicopter Championship, held in Eisenach, Germany, from 13th to 18th August. This indicates a continuing improvement by the team, which came fifth in the World Helicopter Championships in Austria in 2002 and fourth in the Championships in France in 2005.

“This progress puts the title of World Helicopter Champions firmly in our sights for the 2011 competition, being held in Russia,” commented the British team manager – and former Championship competitor - John Matchett.

The Russian team, which won its ninth World Championship title in Germany (out of the 13 competitions held) achieved 96 per cent of a ‘perfect’ score, with 3730.8 points out of a maximum possible of 3900 points. The British team, which took third place, was only 12 per cent behind this.

“The Russians and the Germans produced some of the most stunning and competitive flying that I have ever seen,” said Matchett. “The Russians, in particular, produced some superb performances – and, in some events, achieved the amazing result of incurring almost no penalties at all.”

In selecting and preparing the British team for this year’s Championships, Matchett, a businessman and entrepreneur by profession, applied psychology and business strategic thinking.

He commented: “It’s always a ‘David and Goliath’ battle against the Russians, all of whose pilots are full-time professionals. Nonetheless, the British team not only has the skills to win the competition but we are developing the drive and the mindset to succeed despite the ‘pressures’ of international competition.

“The British team captain, David Monks, is used to representing his country in international competition, having previously represented Great Britain at both swimming and badminton,” Matchett added. “Ron Watkins, Jeff James and Michael Buckland are among the British Army’s leading helicopter pilots; while Alastair Sutherland is one of the most experienced civilian pilots in the country and the winner of five British Championships – and Martin Rutty is the current British Club Champion.

“In addition, the British team included Caroline Gough-Cooper and Imogen Asker, winners of two Ladies World Championships.

“The British team did extremely well to compete on level terms with teams that are wholly professional and which attract a large amount of sponsorship,” he said. “We’re deeply grateful to our team’s sponsors - Haywards Aviation; Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay; Enable Software; EADS UK; Sywell Aerodrome; Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield, and Eazzee – for making it possible for us to challenge so effectively for the World Title this year.

“It’s important that we consolidate our prominence in this sport and develop an even better team for the next World Championships in 2011,” said Matchett. “To do so, we need to attract further sponsorship to fund the training and equipment we need if we are to lead the world in this event.”

The World Championship’s final table was:
Russia 3730.8 points
Germany 3484.4
Great Britain 3256.2
Austria 3241.0
France 2943.7
Ukraine 2381.0
Switzerland 1896.0

In all, 48 teams competed in the Championships. The maximum possible points total – that is, with no penalties for each event – is 3900.


Pictures of the 2008 World Championships are available on request from Bob Little Press & PR (tel 01727 860405; email