Chris Thomas, who is a member of the St John of Bridlington Lodge No.4434 in the Province of Yorkshire, North & East Ridings has been awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club for outstanding achievement in aviation.
The gold, silver and bronze medals of the Royal Aero Club are awarded annually for outstanding achievement in aviation during the preceding year or over a number of years, principally, but not necessarily, as a pilot. The ceremony for the 2011 Awards was held at the RAF Club, which is on Piccadilly, London, and the awards were presented by HRH the Duke of York, President of the Royal Aero Club.
Chris started skydiving at the age of 16 and has made over 8,500 jumps. He is a fully qualified instructor and Parachute Advanced Rigger, and has represented Great Britain at World and European Championships as well as winning the British Championships three times. He became the owner of his sports equipment company 18 years ago, which is the only British manufacturer of parachutes for sport, emergency use in gliders and light aircraft, recently having branched out into the manufacture of military equipment.
Chris is currently Vice-President of the European Association for Safety Parachutes, which aims to harmonise standards across Europe. He has been a successful sport parachutist and made a major contribution to the development of parachuting equipment. Previous recipients of RAC awards include the Wright Brothers, Captain Sir J Alcock, and Richard Branson - so he is very good company indeed!