Mustafa V. Koç

It is still with great grief that we look back in time and find ourselves struggling to believe that we lost one of our great souls of model soaring early this year. Mustafa Vehbi Koç passed away on the 21st of January 2016, unexpected and way too early. His love for airplanes developed early in his childhood and he was always touched by the crosscut of technology and aesthetics of flight. Soon he devoted his spare time to the hobby of flying model airplanes and to the beauty of soaring. But for him flying model aircraft wasn’t only a “hobby” for recreational purposes, it was a sport, which he followed through lots of worldwide competitions. He soon developed a driving force in the national airsports federation as well as on international level, always asking people for help and offering help and opportunities in return. It was due to his ambition and efforts that model glider pilots from all over the world knew “Turkish hospitality” for what it is and it was due to his efforts that the Turkish F3J-Team became Vice-Worldchampion (2004) and European Champion twice (2011 and 2013). Although he always seemed to be satisfied while around us on model flying fields, he never wanted to be satisfied while trying to push the borders. He wanted to change things, he wanted to contribute to the sports and he wanted to make things bigger and better! Growth, healthy growth was one of his main goals in life and thus in his beloved sports too. Therefore Mustafa followed the idea to support CONTEST in order to “evolve pinnacle sports and to increase acknowledgement of RC-Soaring”. He also had this consistent ambition to push the CONTEST Team members to work harder and thereby to achieve their goals to elevate model air sports to a higher level. In January 2008 GRUNDIG, a Koç company, started to collaborate closely with CONTEST as a result of the ongoing efforts Mustafa took. A very successful collaboration with the goal to support various sports-classes of radio controlled soaring. As a result the classes were harmonized, the competitions themselves and the prizes given gained a new level of attraction for the contestants and the number of competitors rose significantly! Due to Mustafas support CONTEST was able to sign a contract with FAI as “Authorized Event Organizer” to take further steps in developing professionalism of model air sports competitions. Without his support and collaboration the contest conditions for thousands of competition pilots all over the world would definitely not be as good as they are today. But beyond all that it will not be his passionate contribution to our sports which we will miss the most. It will be him, Mustafa, as a person, as a friend and as a fellow sportsman. All the pilots from all over the world which he met personally on various flying sites and which he had always approached with a smile on his face or even a drink to share in his hands – they / we will remember him for all these joyful moments and for the man he really was: A friend! Please raise in honour of Mustafa Vehbi Koç, who leaves big voids in our hearts, but who managed to fill big holes in our souls as a sportsman, a fellow, a spokesman, a supporter and contributor, but above all as a friend.

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